Seven inches of snow had just fallen and the lodge was jammed with dozens of parents leaning over their children’s ski boots. And over there, in the corner, I was struggling with my own boots — what an ordeal! — when the woman beside me, Karin Tenney, 47 years old, of Dover, N.H., let out the insight of the ages:
I wish I had my mom here to help me get dressed.
Did I ever wish that, too. In the days when my mom actually was here — in this very spot in the bowels of Mount Cranmore, in North Conway, N.H. — the act of getting ready for skiing was a whole lot harder. Lest my own children read this and groan at this story — with apologies to Nathaniel Hawthorne, this is, in our family, a twice-told tale — let me remind you that there was a time, within living memory, when there were no buckle boots.
Now, in an age when no one even uses the term “buckle boots,” it is appropriate to inform the schussers of today that ski boots once were like skates, tightened with laces.