Over the years we’ve vacationed in the snow many times. I have fond memories of spending long winter weekends in Lake Tahoe with friends who had small children like our’s were at the time. Three families comprised of six adults and nine children. The first year of what became an annual event for ten years the youngest child was an infant and the oldest, one of my sons, was nine. No snow parks needed for this band of suburban families. There was a fantastic area right outside the house to build our sled run. There was always plenty of snow and fun to go around.
There were plenty of other times and events in the snow. One scary and memorable event was a drive to Lake Tahoe with our daughter in what turned out to be a white out. On top of almost zero visibility from the snow storm and darkness of night our car’s windsheild wipers were badly worn which negated any help from the defroster. I couldn’t see any road; only white. Thankfully we didn’t fall off the edge of a cliff and we made it over the pass and into the Lake Tahoe Basin area safely and had a wonderful time snowmobiling and sight seeing.
At 3,100 feet elevation The Golden K is just the lower edge of the snow line for normal years in the Sierras. But with the drought and evolving climate change who knows what normal is anymore. Still, we hoped we would get some dustings from time to time and yesterday was one of those times. I had driven down to the Bay Area in the morning and was heading back home around 3:00 pm when Holly text me to say it was snowing. As I got up the hill closer to the GK the rain turned to flurries and I felt my lips spontaneously turn to a smile. For a moment I felt like a little kid experiencing something special for the first time. Maybe like my daughter felt when she fist saw snow during that first annual trip with our friends. But I’ve been in the snow plenty of times. Heck I drove through that white out with nothing but snow all around us. So why do a few snow flurries make me feel happy? But then at that moment I realized that experiencing something familiar can still feel new when the context changes.
This new context is the Golden K.
By the time I arrived home the flurries had turned to rain and there wasn’t much evidence of snow on the ground or trees because it melted as soon as it landed. So much to my delight when I woke up this morning to see new evidence of a light snowfall from over night. I felt my lips smile again as I looked through the windows to see patches of snow on the ground and traces of snow on tree branches. I quickly fed the dogs and took a brief walk around the house’s immediate surroundings to enjoy the sights.
I realize that it’s easy for me to selfishly want it to snow for the pure beauty and experience of it in this new context. And I realize that at the end of the storm (s0 to speak) I don’t have to deal with it. I’m sure anyone reading this who lives or has lived where real snowfall is a real part of life throughout the winter and has to shovel it, drive in it, work in it, and clean up after it will chuckle and say, “Be careful what you wish for Mike – a winter living in the snow is not all sled runs and
hot cocoa Hot Totties by the fire”.
It was only a dusting and that’s fine. Because when your lips spontaneously turn up into a smile, you feel like a three year old seeing something for the first time, and you are for that moment in time at total peace, you just might be at The Golden K experiencing a romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.