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Skiing: An Elegy

By Shamae Budd

When I was a kid, skiing was ritual—or rather, everything that surrounded skiing was ritual.

My dad, my brother, and I would pile our boots and skis and poles and hats and mittens and goggles and scarves into the back of the red car early in the morning (not as early as Dad wanted, but still early), and after all manner of rushing around the house looking for the second wool sock and pulling on snow-pants and pulling off snow-pants because Dad reminded us to pee and pulling them back on again and eating a bowl of Cheerios and packing lunch and kissing our pajamaed mother goodbye, the three of us would pile ourselves into the car, layered and bundled and already too-warm in our coats, popping the familiar cassette tape with the faded green cover into the tape deck as we pulled away: They Might Be Giants’ Flood. We never listened to anything else during those Saturday morning drives through the canyon. Or if we did, I don’t remember it. Anything but TMBG was forgettable, wrong. We knew all the fast-talking lyrics to all the songs, even as elementary school kids. And now, anytime I see snow-covered pine through a car window, I can hear the almost whining, nasally voice of John Linnell singing the first lines of “Birdhouse in Your Soul”: “I’m your only friend / I’m not your only friend / But I’m a little glowing friend / But really I’m not actually your friend / But I am.”



About the Author

Shamae Budd received an MFA in creative writing from Brigham Young University this spring. Her essays have appeared in Hippocampus Magazine, Bird’s Thumb, and Prairie Margins, as well as a handful of campus publicationsLast year, she served as the assistant coordinator for the English department’s weekly reading series and as the nonfiction editor for Inscape, BYU's journal of literature and art. In addition to writing, reading, and geeking out about creative nonfiction with other lovers of the genre, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, camping, dancing, leather-working and other crafts. She lives in Utah at the foot of the Rocky Mountains with her husband Daniel, a hedgehog and a big red poodle.