Uncle Mike and The Skis

The joy of Christmas morning
Among the gifts beneath the tree
Was one for all to cherish
there was so much there to see

Books and clothes and other things
gifts were piled to our knees
but the longest item under there
Was Uncle Mike’s new ski’s

Now Mike, was something special
and I think I have a hunch
That you might have read about him
And his famous Christmas Punch

Well, two days later here he was
Standing, looking at his ski’s
He asked his wife, my Aunty Pat
“what the hell do I do with these”

“You need to get more exercise”
“Cross country skiing is quite hot”
He said “look at this round body”
“Athletic…it is not”

After a little conversation
Well, an arguement Mike lost
He agreed to go and try them
No matter what the cost

His brother Gerald joined us,
With my brother and our sled
We ventured out to T.V Golf Course
To exercise, like Aunt Pat said

Now, the golf course is an old one
Trees and water all around
But that was in the summer
Now, just snow was on the ground

For those out there among you
Unaware of what’s involved
To learn cross country skiing
Is not so quickly solved

The first and most important
point when learning how to ski
Is, stay on ground that’s level
And don’t collide with trees

We stood atop the highest hill
With a gentle grade straight out
It was the most level spot out there
Of this there was no doubt

My brother went down on the sled
On a hill just to the right
He was flying like a rocket ship
And was quickly out of sight

Mike, all dressed and shackled in
Was trying hard just not to fall
He was 5 foot three in ski boots
And lying down, was just as tall

We said to try just walking
The hill would do the rest
Behind him we were laughing
Poor Mike, he tried his best

He swore a lot, and we all laughed
It was not something he liked
For, Mike, need to prepare for things
To find something, and get psyched

The view from atop the highest hill
Was something to be seen
From here, you’d see the river
And, to the left the seventh green

After two hours out we decided that
We should be off and then
Mike said “I’ll give it one more run”
“I’ll try it once again”

Gerald, Ian and myself
had packed up, were set to go
When Mike came sliding past us
Moving quickly on the snow

In front of him, a little bump
Turned him slightly to the right
Toward the hill of sledders
This gave Uncle Mike a fright

“fall down” we yelled, as he went by
He just waved and made the turn
He hit the hill at his top speed
He hit two bushes and a fern

The hill, all 14 stories
Was more ice than it was snow
And there was Mike, at full speed
Dodging sledders on the go

We heard him scream as he went down
But what we heard, was only half
Because the sight of him free wheeling
Was making us all laugh

He shot on up the other side
Stopped and then came back
But because the hill was made of ice
He hadn’t left a track

Once he stopped we ran on to him
We stood there, a laughing group of men
And Mike, all five foot three of him
said “I’ll not do that again”

The skis, were gouged and splintered
The wax was off, as was the tar
He grabbed one under both his arms
And we trudged off to the car

Aunt Pat was there to greet us
When Mike, pulled out the skis
He showed her, gouged and scratched and ruined
And said “I’ll not be needing these”

That Christmas is my favourite
We still smile at Christmas lunch
Of Uncle Mike’s speed skiing
And of course his Christmas punch.

We went to Thames Valley golf course and Mike went down a toboggan hill, all ice, on cross country skis. It was his first time ever on them. He could have been killed, which would have resulted in a different tale. But, Mike…our dear Mike gave us Christmas memories that we still cherish thirty five years later. Boy do I miss him.

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