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Summit Up


Special to the Daily

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column letting a visitor to our county pen today’s column.

We’re not lazy, we promise. Joanne De Stefano stopped by this week, plopped down at a computer and started writing. After all, she is a watercolorist and freelance writer from New York visiting here with her cousin.

Anyway, here goes:


The temperature reads 12 degrees through the glass door. Mounds of snow form sculptures of white fluff against the background of tooth-pick-like Aspens.

Beyond the glass, various topics of conversation babble away. Mary Ann curls up in a cozy corner of the stripped, worn couch. She is oblivious, reading her third novel in two days. The morning routine begins with stretches on the berber-covered floor.

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Limbs tightened to the chest, and arms are outstretched in an attempt to limber up for the powdery slopes.

Comfort food permeates the large kitchen living-room combo; homemade Tuscan soup and Nicotera’s Bakery Italian bread baking at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.

Getting ready for the ski day is no simple task. When thoughts, opinions, and Dave’s daily map reading is complete, they proceed to get “layered up” to create the bulk of colorful ski outfits ” heavy, brightly patterned sweaters, cotton turtle necks , warm hats with braids hanging down and thick goggles! Mary Ann knows the routine! She has at least ten more minutes for about 25 more pages!

Madeline and I are intrigued as we watch cousin Joe proceed to entangle a CADS “contraption” that will put less stress on his knees. As he bends and contorts, moans and groans, he pauses a minute to rub the pulled muscle in the small of his back. He is determined to ski! He does not give in to the ailments that grip us like a vice tightening around a piece of hard wood.

With everything finally in place, he demonstrates how these “wires” protruding from the grommets at his rear attach to bungee cords to his skis, enabling his knees to remain in a bending position.

Just when at least three of the four waddle out the door, someone comes back in to loosen everything up for one last trip to the bathroom.

As Madeline and I observe all of this, we sink deeper into the cushions of the couch. Our job for the day will be to bake the bread and keep the Tuscan soup on simmer till nice and thick.

“Madeline, what else should we do today?”, Joanne asks.

“I don’t know about you, Joanne, but I’m exhausted!”

“So am I!”


When blizzards hit, angels step up. This week was no different, as we have an Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!! going out to a few heroes from Molly. She wrote: “May huge blessings be sent to angels sent from above after I was in a car accident on Highway 6 near Summit Cove during a blizzard on Thursday night. Rich, Richard and Ron (I hope these ‘R’ names are correct) from Texas helped me to get out of the passenger window of my rolled car. They then climbed back in to turn it off and then let me stay in their warm Texas jeep until the wonderful Sheriff’s Deputy, who was on his way home, stopped to take care of things. Thanks also to Scott Kennedy for getting the tow truck taken care of. Shiny halos to all five guys.”

We agree. And wings, too …


It’s Saturday, and we’re still neck-deep in snow. E-mail us at