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Old Cowbelle: Skiing, then and now

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columns Ellsworth,Wisconsin 54011 http://www.piercecountyherald.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/23/0613/murrayinacurrent201155.jpg?itok=OPqBbE26
Pierce County Herald
715-273-4335 customer support
Old Cowbelle: Skiing, then and now
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

It has been fun following the Gindt family on Facebook, and seeing photos of Brien and Shannon and the three boys, Logen, Landen and Lucas, in their ski gear with numbers on front.

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And photos of them together with parents and aunts and cousins.

This was Shannon's second full Birke, and Brien's second Cortelopet (23k). What a wonderful family activity.

The Birkebiener is quite an event in Hayward, much of it was televised on channel 4, one of the largest ski events in the world.

Quite a contrast from my "childhood skiing days." We did ski a lot, even skied to school in the winter. Our skis were hand made by my Dad, making them from some kind of wood, and then soaking them and bending them over a barrel, fastening them there until they were completely dry and had the curved shape. He made three pairs, a pair for each of my brothers and one pair for me.

They didn't have shoes, but a leather strap that was passed through a slot in the middle of the ski and fit around the front part of our boots. Sometimes, we would cut an old inner tube in strips and loop it around the front part and over the heel. This kept the foot from slipping out of the leather strap.

I actually saved my old skis all these years, but forgot that they were stored over the old garage that was buried with the house and barn and the rest of the buildings a few years ago. 

When I was 60-years-old, my family bought me a pair of skis and poles, and I really loved them. I would ski out the field road and then back around the fence line by the lane, looking for small animal tracks in the snow. 

Until one day I skied back to the far corner of the farm and there, in the snow, I saw the tracks of Charlie, the itinerant cougar that we spotted many times over the years. (Maybe not the same one all that time, but a cougar anyway.) After that, I stayed closer to the buildings.

Those skis still lean on the basement wall and seem to call to me as I walk past them, and say "O come on, give us a try." But I do have a brain in my head and know that I am not that foolish...I'll keep my memories....and unbroken bones.

*  *  * 

It's always so hard to lose a pet, but when that pet, a lovable chocolate lab, has been in the family for about 16 years, it's really, really hard!

My wish is that if someone, somewhere out there knows of a little chocolate lab puppy for sale, or one that needs to be adopted by a loving family, please call 715-273-4502 or 715--821-4939. We would be so happy!

* * *

Happy Birthday, Landen, Beth, Pearl, and Happy Anniversary Nate and Maggi.

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