Snowy Sunday

Wireless internet access at the ski area where your cell phone doesn’t even work? Tables next to actual working outlets? Tea that’s not $5 a cup like it is at most ski areas? I have died and gone to ski mother heaven. (Or is that the mother of all ski heavens?) I don’t know. But I am truly in heaven.

Okay, there’s a huge blizzard going on, and Charlie is all set to race in it. Jack and William are out there too, on chair seven, stalking the race. Each of them is gaining character in that way that only skiing in a blizzard can confer on a child with some nordic blood in him or her.

I am a bad example, I know, but I like to think that I am working, so I am a different kind of example. Except I’m having too much fun being gleeful about the wireless internet access to be an example of really diligent hard work, which is supposed to, you know, hurt. I am thrilled about Dodge Ridge. First, good name, don’t you think? Very western, very sierra-like. It’s a little bit of a secret place (and now that news of the free wireless gets out, I’m screwed getting a table), not being up at Lake Tahoe but, instead, more near Yosemite and the gold country, named because, you guessed it, this is where they found gold in the hills in 1849, thus creating California, land of the new age, Disneyland, movies, and fog over the Golden Gate Bridge. Dodge Ridge is about forty-five minutes from Sonora, the town where my mother grew up.

My wonderful cousin has a little house in Sonora that she lets us use. It’s completely uninsulated — we like to think of it as a miner’s shack — and we love it, and we really, really love my cousin for being so generous about lending it to us. It takes about two hours on a Friday to drive up here from the bay area. Sonora’s below the snow line, so you don’t have to crawl along through the snow the way the poor people who’re going to Tahoe have to do. We get there Friday night. Sleep in the miner’s shack. In the morning, my husband, nordic god that he is, gets up, makes coffee, and performs somehow the miraculous feat of getting four sleepy, not quite so nordic people, in the car for the drive up to Dodge Ridge. It is a military campaign-like affair. Mandatory bag checks (do you have your mittens, William?), for example.

My only job is, as Jack put it a few weeks ago, to make the whole thing more comfy and more tasty. That, dear reader I can do. Instead of character-enhancing sleeping bags, they now slumber in comforters with flannel covers. I make black bean soup and bring it up. I fasten helmets so they don’t cut off the flow of blood to the head. I encourage people not to lie down in the snow (that will make you wet, darling). I feel I have a function, small though it is.

And now I have wireless internet access. I am THE luckiest woman in the world, even if nobody in the publishing world cares that they could get in touch with me today, Superbowl Sunday, up in the Sierra if they wanted to. (What, you’re not working today?) Right now, I don’t really care either.

(I would also like to say that I am aware that this post doesn’t have a single paragraph break in it. That was not my intention. But, apparently, paragraphs have been banned on wordpress. Maybe they were being misused. Overused, even. Whatever the reason, try to take a breath while you’re reading this post. And wish me luck in having my license to paragraph at will reinstated. ( *Woot.   Paragraphs are back.  Never mind that I didn’t actually want to download another browser and stop using the perfectly good one that came with my mac.  But there you have it.  If you use safari and blog on wordpress you have to be okay about paragraph-less writing, which is sort of the equivalent of talking until you’re blue in the face.) 


20 thoughts on “Snowy Sunday

  1. It all sounds like Heaven to someone who has to travel a thousand kilometres in +40C temperatures tomorrow.

    And yes, I have noticed WordPress’s antipathy to paragraphs. I want my white space back!

  2. Archie, that’s not cold, that’s for sure! Poor you. Have a good trip. I’ll send cool wishes your way. I did figure out the problem with paragraphs, by the way. You can’t anymore do line breaks if your browser is safari. My browser is safari, hence the problem. Why this should be a problem is beyond me, but the solution apparently is to download a different browser (in my case, firefox). Irritating.

    Thank you Ingrid. It’s a lovely day here, in fact. The sun just came out and we’re about to drive home. A good day.

  3. More reason to love visiting your blog: I love Dodge Ridge, and Sonora. When I was little, my family used to vacation in Twain Harte, a little town just east of Sonora. And I have fond memories of Dodge Ridge, and all the smaller Sierra ski areas (Bear Valley, Boreal Ridge, Badger Pass). So thanks for the memories!

  4. Re Paragraphs; I use Firefox and I sometimes have problems with paragraphs! Sometimes I have to be very inventive with HTML coding to get them to appear. So it is not only a Safari difficulty. Perhaps it is the theme I use – dunno, all to complicated for an unedjumicated antipodean.

  5. Litlove, I did have fun. It helped that there were so many eager parents who wanted to gatekeep (i.e., stand around in the blizzard) that I got to spend the entire day Sunday in the lodge. The photo is the view out my window. You’re always that much warmer when others are that much colder.

    Archie, I read this morning that this problem is “spreading.” I love that. Sprawling paragraphs have gone viral.

    My dear Gentle Reader, That’s right! I’d forgotten that you aren’t an LA girl. I love it that there’s a compound literary named town in the gold country, one that honors that often neglected poet, Bret Harte and of course one of the greatest of all American writers, Mark Twain. Twain Harte! Yay.

    Hey Kate — I’m so glad. My life is made that much better because I get to write about it and, thus, take the edge off things like blizzards and long drives, and lost ski mittens.

  6. Oh, I think I want to move there! And how wonderful that your only job was to make things more tasty and comfy and that no one was busy dragging you out on skis. (If I lived in a family of boys, I’m sure that’s what they’d all do if for no other reason than all the hilarious “Mom-on-skis” stories.)

  7. What a wonderful mission–to make things tasty and comfy. And what a wonderful treat to have that actually recognized by family members. In my experience, the ones making things tasty and comfy aren’t always seen and noticed.

  8. No, I’m from the Bay Area 🙂 I always loved the poetry of the name of our little vacation spot, Twain Harte, and of course when I found out who it was named for I had to read “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, which turned me into a Mark Twain fan at an early age.

    Like litlove, I like your “maternal function” during your ski trip! And I love your photo 🙂

  9. Mmm. black bean soup. We love that here, as well as navy bean soup. The cool thing right now is since I have been using black beans as a second “cover” crop for the onion bed, I have home grown black beans to use for soup making. It was several years ago that I discovered that the freshly dried homegrown black beans are much tastier and have a better texture in the soup than the ones I could buy at the organic food store. I am not sure why this is so, since the ones I grow have to be dried before I shell them. Maybe it is because they are fresher than the ones you are buying at the store.

    I love that picture, makes me long for the long lost days of my youth when we lived at 8400 feet in Colorado only 10 miles from the local ski area. Those were the days!

  10. Oh, what an image. Have you ever imagined what it would be like if snow wasn’t white? What if snow was robin’s egg blue or pea green? I think I would like a blizzard of pale, dusty-rose snow.

  11. Bloglily: Sonora! I love Sonora. I don’t get up there often enough, and now it’s been discovered and Hwy 49 is often jammed. Still, I do like to get up to the Gold Country.

    My wife remembers Columbia when she was little, growing up nearby on an orchard outside Modesto. My parent’s first date was to see the movie High Noon, filmed in part in Columbia. When we took them there they recognized buildings, scenes, all these years later.

    Do not forsake me oh my darling …

    One of the hotels in Columbia ties their midwinter weekday room rates to the temperature. Thirty degrees that night? Then you pay $30 for the room.

  12. Ben, OOOO. What a brilliant idea. I’d guess it was pretty cheap last week. But it’s warming up. And yes, I love Columbia — it’s a really charming place. We panned for gold there with our boys and then took a stagecoach ride. They loved it. So did I!

    Tai — It would be so lovely. Except not yellow. Bad color for snow.

    Ms. HMH — I love it that you make your black bean soup from your cover crop. (Is it called a cover crop?) It sounds wonderful.

    Thanks gentle reader, fellow Bay Arean — and yes, it’s good to know your maternal function and stay within it, as long as you got to choose it in the first place, that is.

    Tiv — Any day now, any day now and then BAM, spring.

    Ah, Sandi, what a good point. I think they recognize the tasty/cozy thing because they don’t get it that often! Scarcity is my watchword.

    Emily, On skis, I am mocked terribly by my boys, and I am actually an okay skier. But then that is another of my maternal functions apparently.

    Thank you LK — In fact, fun was had! xo, BL

  13. Hello Very public socio–logist! And welcome again. England in the snow; so very beautiful. I am writing another novel, set largely in London, and it will be snowing through much of it, the way it was in the 16th century –so much snow, in fact, that the Thames will freeze. Now, I know that’s not likely at all, given global warming, but it’s not UTTERLY unlikely so, mainly because I like the way the world looks in the snow, it’s going to happen in that book.

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