There’s so much to remember when you’re packing a family up for a day at the ski hill. First of all, if you own your own gear, there’re the armloads of big, bulky ski equipment like your all mountain ski to haul out to the car. It would be pretty tough to make do if anyone left one ski boot behind, for instance. Before we came skiing, I read a few ski equipment resources before I bought anything, just to make sure I bought exactly what was needed.
At our place, getting out the door for ski school on Saturdays is a herculean effort involving at least some frantic searching for someone’s goggles or neck warmer, and hopefully only a little admonishing along the lines of “but you’re not supposed to wear your good ski gloves to school!”
It’s a big victory when we also pack a healthy lunch so we don’t have to rely on the ski hill’s array of chili fries and grilled cheese sandwiches to fuel us for the second half of the day.
With all of that stuff to manage, it’s a bit of a miracle when I also remember to stuff everyone’s ski-jacket pockets with Kleenex. So when Kleenex asked me to participate in its “Share Kleenex Care” program this cold and flu season, offering me a stash of tissue packs that can be shared with a friend, I decided to hand them out on a ski day.
I don’t know the science behind what a cold winter does to sinuses. But like everyone who spends time outdoors in the winter (and I hope that’s all of us, truly)—whether hurrying from bus stop to the office or playing a snow sport—I know to expect runny noses in winter. And that’s whether any of us have a cold or not.
With frosty air in our noses both on the slopes and the chairlifts, ski hills are runny-nose headquarters. So on an outing to Mt. St. Louis Moonstone recently, I took my stash of Kleenex Share Packs and set out to distribute them to anyone who might need them. That’s everyone basically, but because I’m a mom myself, I targeted mostly families, knowing that the dignity of multiple noses could be restored with just one pack of Kleenex.
It’s a little random act of kindness to present a stranger with something they’ll surely need as urgently as people need Kleenex. The skiers I talked to were pleasantly surprised by the gesture and happy to tuck the packs into their jacket pockets.
Okay, I’ll admit that some people looked at me as if the free pack of Kleenex must surely come with a commitment to a timeshare in Arkansas. That wariness of strangers is so engrained in us that it’s sometimes hard to see a situation for what it is. But for the most part people were pleasantly surprised by receiving these and happy to pay it forward by sharing one half of their pack with someone else.
Any day on the slopes is a good one in my books, but this little mission made the day all the better. Here’s to a healthy and active winter!