Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Why 39+11=39 |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Why 39+11=39

It’s the new, improved, decidedly maiden-like, modern math.

A methodology for females in a very particular age bracket to finally put to rest whether or not the square root of the hypotenuse equals Pythagorean theorem times Pi divided by the Douglas Adams-infused logic of 42.

And although the ladies can spin, fold, mutilate and manipulate the numbers to their hearts content, either way the answer always reaches the exact same startling conclusion: My wife turns 50 today.

Yes, Lise Birgitte Lorentzen Carnes was born half a century ago this very morning, and thrust into a world dominated by a parental dynamic duo of Danish immigrants whose engineering skills had propelled them to America to seek fame and fortune.

All three benefited beyond their wildest dreams, but none so much as the person I have been lucky enough to call my bride since 1997.


Once she made it through high school and college, and after bouncing around the planet as a ski bum (bumette?) for a few years, Lise finally bought the land, built the building, opened the business (Eagle County’s first quick oil change, Mountain Lube), made a profit, sold it all, and is now enjoying life to the fullest.

In between she has been a regular ski instructor for over 25 years here in Happy Valley, and even spent a few seasons instructing down under in the early ’90s.

She topped it all off by becoming an “instant mom” upon marriage to moi, and then her final crowning glory, a bouncing baby boy named Peer, who is already a practicing preteen, constantly testing her sanity levels.

Friends and family wait to see just what she’ll do next. But even if it’s nothing of worldwide consequence, I guarantee it will be given 100 percent priority in her world.

And to think, way back when I turned 50 (2009), I still did not understand the concept of how to fold a fitted sheet.

Anyway, accepting the fact that when she awoke this mourning (oops), her body is now closer to 60 than 40, should be a reflective moment worthy of celebration, not sorrow, as the first half of her life has been wonderful, and I promise to do my best to make the second half even more fulfilling.

And never forget, falling in love with a part-time jackass who loves you full time is a blessing (in a secular sense, of course. But either way, waking up in the morning, even after 18,250 of ’em, is always better than the alternative of not waking up at all.

Happy birthday, honey.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at Comment on

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