About a month ago, my stepsister offered us a week in her condo in Kirkwood, Tahoe. It would work out well with my son’s week off from school, but a ski vacation…really? Now? It felt extravagant. But I said to my husband this was one of those things we needed to say yes to. No regrets. So, after borrowing ski equipment, digging out all our long stored ski clothes and packing up our car with all the Trader Joe’s supplies we could manage, we were off on a family road trip! After much consideration due to snow and ice, we decided on the 395, not realizing what a great decision that would turn out to be. None of us had ever driven this road and it was extraordinary (see above photo!) Just breathtaking mountains, streams, cows, wild horses, snow, tiny towns. We ended up taking a little known side loop to avoid using chains, which is where I got the above shot. I felt like I wanted to get on a horse in some chaps and a cowboy hat and ride into the sunset! As we drove through Hawthorne, we all wondered aloud what the heck all those miles of underground bunkers were all about. Certainly top secret military operations that your average citizen can know nothing about. Aliens? Secret Ops? Does anyone know? Fascinating. We stopped and ate at Jack’s in Bishop and found out that the original owners were a couple who started the business after the war and that after Jack died, his widow married their short order cook! Fascinating. We eventually made it up to Kirkwood and spent the week in the beautiful mountain “cabin”, which felt like a 5 star lodge, cooking scrumptious meals, playing jenga and bi-lingual scrabble, watching movies, popping popcorn, taking epsom salt jacuzzi baths and because it was so cold, cuddling all together in the big king size bed each morning. Oh, and there was so much snow we built a snowman named Bob on the balcony! And then there was the skiing. My first time skiing in four, maybe five years and my son’s first official ski lessons. The year I was diagnosed with cancer, 2007/8, was the year I was going to make my dream of us being a ski family come true. We were going to ski that February vacation, get our son ski lessons like I had when I was his age. But here we were, the three of us riding the lift together….in Tahoe no less, the very place where I first learned how to ski at 10 years old…just like my son. Synchronicity. It just felt right. I told them of my dream and how here we were, making it a reality.
It didn’t take me long to get my “ski legs” back. I guess it’s one of those riding a bike things and what was so amazing was how I suddenly recognized myself. I thought, “I know this. I remember this. This rocks!” I had this overwhelming feeling of, “this is me.” And it all kind of came together that I need to say yes to things…. to life, to getting out of my comfort zone, getting the hell outta “Dodge”. Who knows what you’ll find? Maybe you.