My oldest son has been here for the weekend. The time together is wonderful but never long enough. He came up Friday night and left this morning. It was a good visit.
Yesterday, at breakfast,, we were talking about SNOW and how we hadn't had any this year except for a light dusting that melted quickly. "M", our son, said "Why don't we take a drive up into the mountains and find some?" The Prospector and I agreed that this was a great idea.
We packed some warm clothing, took the four wheel drive Toyota and headed out. We drove up highway 88 through Pine Grove and Pioneer. Right around Buckhorn we started seeing snow under the trees.
By the time we got up to Mace Meadows we were really getting into the heavy white stuff. It was beautiful...
Finally we reached our destination.
KIRKWOOD RESORT. This is where we all learned to ski about 30 years ago. The boys were about 11 and 16 years old then. It was raining so hard we almost decided not to go. We got up at 4:00 a.m. and joined a caravan of friends from the neighborhood. It was raining so hard that morning and we knew that it would be snowing heavily up in the mountains, but we went anyway.
Our next door neighbor had promised he would make skiers out of all of us. He did.
It was the most amazing thing I have ever done. Going up on a ski lift in a snow storm was like nothing else in this rather normal life of mine. There was no other reason that anyone would have been out there in that kind of weather than to ski. It was an experience I have never had since. I can remember thinking, as I rode up on the ski lift, that this was one of those moments that would never be forgotten and I can still feel the snow blowing across my face and the power of mother nature. It was a life changing experience until I had to get off the ski lift gracefully. I didn't. I fell. But my neighbor and the Prospector were waiting for me and picked me up and so the lessons on the "bunny slope" began.
We went up there to ski once or twice after that. We took the boys to other ski resorts, but usually they skied and we watched. I was getting very tired all the time and didn't feel like doing anything that required as much energy as this. It was a year later that I found out, at 39 years of age, that I had cancer.
I don't talk about it much. It was a life changing year in my life but the experience of learning to ski in a snowstorm at Kirkwood will forever be captured in my memory. It made me fight harder and survive a year of what I called "living dangerously". It was a year of being braver than I had ever been before. Skiing made me understand that I could learn how to survive.... even in a "snowstorm".
I don't have a great desire to ski now. I would probably kill myself just getting to the ski lift or putting on all the equipment.It's a sport for folks a lot younger than me. But in my heart, when I watched the skiers coming down the slopes yesterday, I wanted to be up there. I wanted that feeling again... The cold, the skill required, and the excitement that you feel. It's a wonderful place to be and I will always remember the joy of accomplishment when I finally came down an intermediate slope all by myself. It gave me courage that I took into the difficult years ahead.
So, moving on....
We found the bathrooms, bought some hot chocolate, took pictures and watched people. Most everyone was having a great time.
It made me kind of proud that I'm a native daughter.
There was a little boy that reminded me of my youngest son, when he was little.
Memories of a beautiful place....
We left Kirkwood and headed back down into the foothills before the coming rain and snow that was predicted by night fall. The clouds looked ominous. We drove through the Carson Spur again.
"M" left this morning. We will miss him. He lives in Oakland and is a very busy man, with a job that keeps him working hard. I'm so glad that he came up here this weekend. He left relaxed and rested... and with some brownies.
I'm always happy when my family comes to visit. My children come with their own set of memories and everything that they remember is not always the same as mine, but life goes forward and that's as it should be. They are building their own memories.... their own lives.
We are proud parents. We were not perfect but we did our best and we have two sons that have become wonderful human beings..... who (like their mother) love computers, poetry, a good book, good food chocolate and SNOW.
Life is sure good sometimes....