Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Getting Away From It All

Shortly after 9 p.m. on December 25th we got what our family had wished for since October—a White Christmas at Mohonk Mountain House.

Maddan, our grandson, was on the ice, showing his family his acquired prowess on skates—including his six-year-old don’t-puck-with-me hunched-over, hockey-player stance. His three-year-old sister Finley was perfectly content to sit on an adult’s lap in a chair equipped with skates while Maddan, showing his true nature, patiently propelled the chair around… and around… the rink.

What is a snowfall without gusts of wind? Compliments of nature, clusters of swirling snow occasionally blew in on us through the open walls of the wood-roofed skating pavilion, crystals of snowflakes dissolving on our faces. At one end of the pavilion, heat shimmers as flames dance and rise in a 39-foot-tall stone fireplace. Maddan and Finley huddled there for comfort, and a photo op.

It is a far cry from an open-air refrigerated ice rink to an outdoor heated mineral pool, but hours later I made the leap—into 100 degree water. And as the world slid ever further away, it snowed again. I don’t know what Maddan and Finley would have thought of my Indigo Herbal (hot) Poultice Massage earlier at the spa, serenity not being an operative word in a child’s word bag, though uppermost in mine.

Mohonk is no place for edgy politics or even for news. If you know of a breaking story, best you keep it to yourself. I surreptitiously read my New York Times. I saw to it that the front page was always folded inside.

Clearly, this is not how we holiday or idle in Manhattan. (But why not?) I asked Maddan what he liked most about our stay. He answered in his genuine, matter-of-fact style, “I liked everything.”

My only disappointment was the snowball fight with clean snow we anticipated that never happened. But I didn’t tell him that. Now we are looking forward to a white New Year’s. So we can have our snowball fight. May yours be merry and bright.


  1. i'm with maddan on that - i liked everything... a magical few days...

  2. It is always wonderful the perspective a child can give us - we need more of that in our lives. Happy New Year Ray!!

  3. A White Christmas at Mohonk, a white New Year's in Manhattan. And Maddan and I had that snowball fight!--in a storybook courtyard.
    Say what you will... climate change, habitat destruction... nature shows up on time.
    Here's to auld lang syne!

  4. "I liked everything"... this kid knows the score! love the hockey player stance, happy new year to you Ray!

  5. Truly something out of a storybook.

    Oh Maddan... Finley... what a childhood they have been blessed with.