Skiing and Making the Most of What You Have

by Sandy L on March 12, 2012

One of the great things about living in the Berkshires is that it is filled with outdoor activities year round.   I literally can see the local ski mountain as I drive home from work.  It takes all of 10 minutes to get there from my house.  Bousquet was one of the first ski mountains with night skiing thanks to GE being nearby (you know, Edison, light bulbs, etc).   One of things we budget is to spend time in the winter skiing.  Bousquet is great because you can get a lift ticket for $10 after 3pm, so it’s very affordable once you have the gear.  In addition to that, the ski sales that happen around September and October at the local mountains are superb.  I got top of the line used equipment for $500 and I think both of my kids were outfitted for under $100.   Snow sports are a big part of the culture here and we love it. I have multiple friends who are ski patrolers and it’s just what you do in the long winters we have here.  In fact, if you want it to be even more affordable, you either work or volunteer at the mountain part time so that you can get free season passes for your family.

Bousquet Skier - Courtesy of Bousquet Homepage


Anyway, it’s the tale end of the season here and I was really struck by a recent trip to the mountain.  You see, this ski mountain is very much a beginner mountain.  It’s where you go when your kids are little or when you are learning to ski.  It does have a couple of trick parks and even though there are 2 other mountains nearby, this one is by far the most affordable to visit.   Usually that means it’s loaded with kids.  On our last trip up there, I was going down one of the slopes with my 6 year old, when a couple of high school kids came racing down the hill past us. That part wasn’t that unusual. What was interesting was that they zipped by us backwards.  These two had probably been on skis since they got out of diapers and it showed.   They belonged up on Killington, not Bousquet. However it was a weeknight, and Killington is 2 hours away and a weekend lift ticket there for a teen is $73.

It was such a great lesson for me and to think that I learned it from a cocky teenager.   Yeah, so you are an awesome skier and your local mountain is too easy. Instead of snubbing their noses up at it, they start skiing it backwards to make it challenging again. When that becomes too easy, maybe they’ll start one leg skiing or switch to snowboarding or telemarking or doing crazy jumps.  Even if their situation wasn’t ideal, they made the absolute most out of living near an affordable ski mountain.

So, how about you? Are you making the most of what you have available to you? Instead of dreaming about how to upgrade what you have today, can you make do with what you have?   What is your Bousquet? Tell me about a dream you have and how you make do today.  If you’ve dreamed about a garden but don’t have the land, do you at least have the ultimate container garden growing on your doorstep or patio? Do you make the most of your living space?  For me, the snow sports are part of what make our long winters here tolerable. Rather than complaining about the cold, we embrace it wish for giant snowstorms. One of my most favorite memories as a child is the cherished snowday. They were some of the best days ever. Your turn. Please share.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Daisy March 12, 2012 at 9:12 AM

I guess my example of this is apartment living. I HATE it, I’ve always dreamed of owning a house, but we rent an apartment. I make the most out of it by saving my money by living in a cheaper apartment for my future home. We also move every couple of years to keep things fresh, haha.


Sandy L March 15, 2012 at 6:06 AM

Daisy – yes, I remembered those days. I also got a subscription to a home magazine and took little clippings of my favorite photos and put them in a binder. I wanted a home so bad that I did this even in high school. Eventually, I did buy one and I do love it.


Mutant Supermodel March 12, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I went skiing one time. I was maybe 10 or something. We had a good time but not enough that I’d be like WOO HOO SKIING! I do like ice skating.

I’m just more of a fan of water in its liquid form– preferably with salt in it. 🙂


Sandy L March 15, 2012 at 6:08 AM

Mutant – well if I lived in Florida, I would be miss aqua USA and dive all the time. The ocean and mountains are my 2 most favorite things. It’s great that you live by one of them.


Nansuelee March 12, 2012 at 5:19 PM

My car is two months shy of being completely paid for!! Very excited. We will be keeping it until is dies and will be doing all we can to keep it running well. Why? First we like it, the ride is comfortable for 4 passengers and since visiting family is a 2 1/2 hour drive that is important. Secondly we will be using the $380 each month to pay off credit card debt and build our emergency fund. We were able to get a boost in our savings from a tax refund so have it started at $1000 and will put $100 in savings and $280 will be extra paymtents on the credit cards.

No upgrade for us until the credit card debt is gone. Then we hope the vehicles we have will hang in there until we can have nice down payments. They are 7 and 10 years old so I am not sure if they will hold out long enough for us to save up to pay cash but we sure will try.


Sandy L March 15, 2012 at 6:10 AM

Nansuelee – that’s so exciting. Keeping cars is not so hard for me. I grow quite attached to mine and it’s hard for me to let them go..even when they are 10 years old. I’m so excited that you are getting debt free. I remember when I had all kinds of student loans and how great it felt when I paid one off and that was one less bill and one less check I had to write. It does add up fast.


Linda March 12, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Like Nansuelee, I’m making do with a car that is 11 years old, but completely paid off and running well. Actually, it’s not much of a sacrifice for me since there is no car currently on the market that I covet. Plus, I rarely drive.

A dream I have, though, is to move to California’s Central Coast. I love that area: Monterey Bay and Big Sur are so wonderful and the growing season is all.year.long. How awesome is that for a die hard gardener!!?? How I make due is to extend my growing season as much as possible, saving money for a future in which my employment and income may drastically change, and also making myself a highly valued/skilled employee at my company in hopes that they’ll keep me on if I relocate. I’m probably at least five years away from a move like that, but I’m hoping to make it work someday.


Sandy L March 15, 2012 at 6:12 AM

Linda – yes, that is a gorgeous area. There is a reason California is so expensive, because it’s one of the nicest places in the world. I love your dream. You live in a big city anyway, so a car isn’t a must have anyway.


Jacq March 13, 2012 at 11:49 PM

My dream is more time. BUT I’m happy to say that I’m actively working towards that by trying to think up some scheme to drop hours, telecommute a bit or transfer to an office here in my home town without a commute. Oh how I would love that 2 hours extra a day lost to commuting!
In the meantime, I’m trying to make the most of my time and make time for what I value. It’s hard though, because I’m getting OLD… and tired…. LOL
The old grey mare, she ain’t what she used to be.


Sandy L March 15, 2012 at 6:15 AM

Jacq – I hear you on time. I keep telling myself that the work I do now is to make my future older and tireder self happy down the line. It’s those peak earning years that I don’t want to miss. Being such a book junkie, what about doing books on tape. Some of my colleagues with big sales territories rave about them. I haven’t tried it yet because I can usually pass the time on the phone doing work related stuff or errandy things, but it may be a way to enjoy the journey a bit more.


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