Puke and Rally

“What a perfect day” I said to myself as I drove our minivan up the winding road leading to Mt. Baker with the rest of the Fry Family Quartet this morning. Blue sky. Cool temperatures. No wind. A perfect day for skiing. And then, from the back seat, Ruby said, “I puked.”

I quickly pulled over to the shoulder, opening the windows as the car slowed to a stop and Kristine crawled into the back to inspect the situation. Yes, Ruby had become car sick. All over her shirt, snow pants and her brother’s hot cocoa travel mug. We then realized we had no towels and no change of clothes for Ruby. Note to self: give the kids Dramamine before driving up the mountain. We decided we’d buy a new shirt at the ski shop and power through.

Within a few minutes of continuing on our way, Ruby was in good spirits – making jokes about the hint of cinnamon in her vomit from the waffles she’d eaten for breakfast. Pretty soon, it was the rest of us who thought we’d be sick.

With our mini disaster out of the way for the day, we proceeded to the mountain for what turned out to be an amazing day of skiing. Henry, Ruby and I roamed around the mountain while Kristine caught up on her reading and people watching in the lodge.

Our second nauseating moment came later in the day when we witnessed a naked skier jump into the slalom racing course. Did I mention it was cold?

I’m proud of the entire Fry Family Quartet today. Way to puke and rally, Ruby.

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Happy New Year from Fry Lodge

The Fry Lodge Year-in-Review video is a good opportunity to reflect on an entire year of adventure, change and growth for the Fry Family. 2017 was quite a year. We made some nice friends in Bellingham, traveled all around North America… again, and [re]learned several skills, including snow skiing at the end of the year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful!

2017 Fry Lodge Year-in-Review | soundtrack by B.E.R. (The Night Begins to Shine)

Ski Bums 

Today,  Henry went snow skiing for the first time in his life, and I joined him. The last time I skied, George H.W. Bush was president – back when I still had knee cartelidge and my original ACL. I was a more than a little anxious to get back on the slopes, but Henry has been so excited about learning how to ski, I had to try. So, at 6 am this morning, with a brace on each knee, little Fryman and I pulled the minivan out of the Fry Lodge driveway on our way to Mt. Baker. As Henry slept on the way up the mountain, I kept saying to myself, “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy.” 

Crazy? Yeah, crazy awesome. At several points during the day, both Henry and I said to each other, “This is amazing.” 

We were the eager beavers of the mountain. With a parking spot right in front of the ski rental shop, we were first in line to sign up for lessons. Henry looked a little panicked when I told him we couldn’t be in the same ski instruction class, but he confidently joined his group as we went our separate ways for 90 minutes to learn the snow plow and how to turn. 

A lot has changed in 30 years. Skis are shorter, bindings are more forgiving, and boots are a hell of a lot more comfortable. Over the course of my lesson, my muscles somehow remembered how to ski, and I almost felt 17 again. When I rejoined Henry post lesson, it was clear his life had changed forever. I seriously don’t think he’s ever had this much fun doing anything. 

After dozens of chairlift rides, and as the sun started to set, we called it a day. On the drive down the mountain, Henry decided we’re going skiing again this Thursday. He also gave me some of his reactions to the day. He thought it was great that we didn’t have to pay each time we got on the chair lift (I agree).  He also admitted that he’d envisioned something completely different. For example, he’d expected us to take the chair lift up the mountain, ski around a bit, and then take the lift back down. He thought the actual way they do it is way better (I agree). 

Winter at Fry Lodge just got a lot more exciting. 

Fry Lodge Sports Saturday 

What a sports day at Fry Lodge. The big news is that Ruby played her first ever soccer game – made extra sweet by her team’s 6-1 victory. Ruby did great, playing three different positions throughout the game: defender, midfielder and goalie (no scores against her). Nice work, Ruby!

We started the day with Henry’s soccer game, which was also fun. His team played Lynden, who are apparently very serious about their sports. The Southside Tsunami held their own for most of the game. Henry’s a great defender.

Oh, and the Gonzaga Bulldogs won their Elite Eight game against Xavier, sending the Zags to the NCAA Final Four for the first time.

Fry Lodge on Ice 

Ruby started ice skating lessons last week, so we decided to take the whole family to the skate rink today to show support for her new sport. I’ve never skated before. I’ve always pointed to my “bad knee” as a convenient excuse to stay off the ice the few times that Kristine and the kids have gone. Today I decided to give it a shot. Henry has decided to start lessons. I might join him. 

The Comeback Kid

It’s baseball season on Lopez Island. Both Henry and Ruby have started practicing. Ruby is playing t-ball. Henry has moved up to the Minor league, after a year in the Rookies, a team that only plays games against themselves. Over the past few weeks, Henry has struggled with whether to go back to Rookies or stay on the Minor team; most of the kids are bigger, older and more experienced than he is. Translation: not much playing time, and stuck in right field. Henry’s decided to stick it out. Saturday was his first game – against Orcas Island.

With that as background, you can understand why there was a bit more anxiety associated with Henry’s first game of the season. He got up to bat in the 4thinning. I watched with anticipation as Henry walked up to the plate and got into his batter’s stance.  The first pitch hit him in the arm, as he crumbled to the dirt in pain. So much for easing his anxiety. He took his base, but then had to have somebody run for him, as his arm was in a lot of pain.

I wasn’t sure if the coach would put him back in, but he did. In the top of the 6th inning (of a 6 inning game), Henry again was up to bat. Lopez was down 3 to 4. Two outs. A runner on first. So much for easing him back into the game. If Henry got a hit, Lopez would stay alive, with chance of a tie or maybe a win. If he got out, the game would be over.

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Henry courageously walked up to the batter’s box, pounded home plate twice with his bat, and got ready for the pitch.  The first pitch was a ball. Phew. Henry connected with the second pitch, but it was a foul ball. The count was 1 and 1. On the next pitch he hit a grounder and outran the throw to first base! The ball was overthrown, so Henry ran to second. A double!

I couldn’t have been more proud of Henry. He’d made the tough choice to stay with the Minors, despite lesser ability. He kept a stiff upper lip when hit with a wild pitch on his first at-bat. Then he came back and hit a double. Way to go Henry.

Side note: Yours truly was operating the electronic scoreboard. It was actually only the 5th inning, not the 6th, so the stakes weren’t as high as I’d apparently made them.

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Ultimately, Lopez ended up losing to Orcas 3 to 4. But all the kids came off the field smiling. Henry’s smile might have been the biggest.

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He wants it

Henry Owen Fry played his first-ever baseball game on Saturday. In the words of his coach, “he wants it.” Which, at this age, is way more than half the battle. He wants it. He wanted to play catcher. He wanted to play first base. And he wanted to hit that ball. He did. On his very first at-bat, Henry hit the ball. He was thrown out at first, but we were so proud. On his second at-bat, he hit it again. This time he outran the throw to first. We couldn’t be more proud of Henry “Hank” Owen Fry. Here is his first hit, in slow motion.

Hank Owen