The extrinsic and intrinsic lessons from the West family vacation

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We have had a very good West family vacation. We live in a warm climate and it has been such a treat to walk in the snow, to experience Colorado’s warm and friendly atmosphere and to learn things that we have not experienced before. Some of the lessons we learned were extrinsic and some were intrinsic.

Extrinsically, we experienced the town, we skied, snowboarded, had a sleigh ride, rode horses, saw the countryside and had the most marvelous cooking lesson.

Intrinsically, we learned a great deal about ourselves and human nature as a whole.

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My children have always been willing to do ANYTHING. They cliff dive in Jamaica, climb the waterfalls without safety nets, sky dive and anything that will turn my hair gray — (that last point is between my hair stylist and myself).

Yesterday, however, was a bit of a fright. My eldest daughter, Aubrey, pressed me into agreeing to let her drive a snowmobile. She used the argument that she had already used jet skis and I heard this argument in my ear for the 6 or so miles that we drove out into the wilderness. I realized as she rode behind me that she did not lean into the turns, she was afraid of the heights as we crossed bridges and afraid when we had to gun it to get to the top of the mountains. She told me that I was being “over-bearing” and I was not letting her “grow up.” I explained that the trail was more demanding than it seemed and we even wiped out ourselves!

Against my better judgment, I gave in. We got halfway and I switched with her. She put Lynn on the back and off they went.

Allen and I took a different route to avoid the cliff and Aubrey breezed by us going FAST. Sharp turn FAST, unable to correct, and we watched them plow into a tree…FAST! The snow machine totaled, everyone jumped off of their snowmobiles to help…and all we heard was screaming.

Allen leaped into the air and ran full speed, falling twice because we were actually running across a frozen lake, so there was little to no traction.

The crew from Steamboat, the Roadhouse and even the vacationers were very helpful. The response time was miraculous. Aubrey will need to see an orthopedic doctor when she gets home. I took pictures thinking that I could send them to 911 but soon realized there was no Sprint signal.

Aubrey’s temperature dropped to 90 degrees — she began to suffer from hypothermia along with the leg injury. One young lady kept her alert by speaking with her about the future, school and music. Allen held her over him to keep her warm, and I have never seen him as fearful as that moment.

In the ambulance, the EMT workers were remarkable. Accidents will happen anywhere, but the reaction of this crew was first class. We will be back — if they’ll have us (smile).

Extrinsically we learned to do and appreciate all of the winter sports, the beautiful Colorado mountains and the beauty of exploring the USA.

Intrinsically, we learned a lesson about pushing limits, being prepared for the negative as well as the positive circumstances, and the community of man.

What a Blessing our God has given us this Christmas.

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