I was never one who favored the expression, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Wrong. Because sometimes you are and you do. The love I have never been sorry about, however, is what I feel for Sugarbush through 41 years of ups and downs. It has been a constant source of fun, joy, solace, and even salvation. It was where I came with my first new skis via bus and rental car and the magic began. Singles galore, crazy drives over the App Gap from Syracuse and huge crushes on the Austrian ski instructors.
Falling in Love
In that interval, I met a down-country man in the Valley House chair. He would become my soul mate for over 30 years and the father of our five daughters. Our kids were mini-bears, GMVS hopefuls and a source of incredible pride. They weathered bone-chilling weather and hung in through fluff, crud or sheer black ice. In a lean year I sold an emerald that I had been given for our 15th anniversary so we could have season passes. During the oil crisis we used a Suburban with over-sized tanks to ensure we could get here. We kept the kids out of school on powder days.
It was on this mountain they learned independence. They learned social skills for chair chatter and how to meet us at four o’clock or else. They learned how to be responsible for their gear, find all the jumps on Sleeper, make it safely out of the trees and that there is always room for one more in a ski house. A daughter was married at the Sugarbush Inn and four are “in waiting.”
Keeping the Memories
In 2002 I lost my husband. Yet what could not be taken away were all the memories of our times at this wonderful, year-round resort we called our second home. We had planned off in the future to retire and live here. On a weekday, the first winter after his death with no one even visible on the lift line at Castlerock, I could hear his voice saying, “Skiing alone sucks.” As I got off the chair there stood seven men. I skied up to them and jokingly said, “Which way are we going?” One looked right at me and said. “Middle Earth. Then we are going to Chez Henri for lunch and you are coming with us.” I did. Sitting around the table I told them what their random act had done for me and how grateful I was.
Time and time again I have met skiers who have become new friends and enriched my life. As our adult children bring their friends to make their own memories, we hang out together doing the Sleeper jumps and the Paradise bumps and our hearts can only smile. Now as a Warren resident, Sugarbush still makes me want to get up each day and wonder what a chairlift ride will bring.
*Essay submitted by Cherri Sherman to Sugarbush.com