Maiden Mother Crone
By Christine Schultz
“I’m finishing early, in December, at the end of the semester. Can you get me a job at your restaurant? …You can? …Yes, I’ll book my ticket, I can’t stand it here anymore.” At seventeen she had completed all her high school requirements; graduating early, she took off to have a ski adventure. Caroline was getting on a plane for the first time in her life and flying to Salt Lake City.
Navigating the airports and suddenly feeling alone, she made her way knowing there was no one but her who could help if she had trouble. Successfully making her way to the mountain, where she would have a contact waiting for her, was a challenge. She got off the bus and had to put on skis just to go from the road to the ski resort; she didn’t know how to ski. It was only about fifty yards, but it seemed to take forever. Excited and determined, she made her way falling and getting back up...
She’d made it! She was now selling chili-cheese dogs and hamburgers in the restaurant on the path of the skiers halfway down the mountain. She made friends, dated boys, and become a good skier. She roomed in what seemed more like a closet with two young men: imagine the Lion and the Tin Man. Protective and kind, they made her feel like their little sister. Shortly someone offered a job at the elite resort close by. The Tin Man and Lion agreed it was a good opportunity. She took it and said goodbye to the chili dogs.
At the lodge, she was free to ski when her work was finished around noon. She met interesting people who visited the resort, and while she rode the lifts. Here the social life was big. All the employees gathered in the evenings in their own clubby lounge where libations flowed and white lines were sniffed often. After hours Caroline and some of her friends would enjoy the hot tubs and sauna in the spa. They’d jump in the snow and make angels after sitting in the super hot jacuzzi. One night after the lifts closed, they took discs and hiked up to the top of the mountain. The full moon lit up the mountain, making every snowflake sparkle. Flying back down was a trip; there may have been a couple mushrooms in the mix...
As the months turned warmer she skied in shorts and a bikini top, and sat with her friends in the solarium -- a dugout in the snow where they’d sunbathe. There were lots of people there who made these jobs their lives, but that wasn’t for her.
Some of her friends were staying to enjoy camping and hiking in the summer. One friend was planning on New York City. “Can you get me a job there too?!” Caroline followed her friend to New York but vowed to come back to the resort one day as a guest.