Monday, April 17, 2006

To Winter and Back

Caroline's dream was to see snow for Easter. So, we headed up to Lake Tahoe last Thursday -- a 5 hour drive from our home -- to stay at my sister-in-law's house there. (How lucky are we, to have a Tahoe place available?!)

Here's what some of us were doing on Friday morning:

Caroline buried herself in the snow. Gemma frolicked wildly, never having experienced snow before. Roger and I took turns trying to keep her under control, while being pelted with snowballs.

Caroline does not remember her years living in New Hampshire, between ages 6 months old and 2 1/2. She loves to hear about how she stood in a snowbank up to her neck (just briefly -- we rescued her immediately). Now, at age 10, she has the skills to shovel her way out.

Gemma met a friendly neighbor golden retriever, Grizzly, and they had a good old time playing keep-away with a big pinecone.

I didn't get pictures of our big sledding day on Saturday. I was too tired from trudging up the hill over and over. But it was WAY fun. And we rewarded ourselves Saturday night with a lovely dinner at Sunnyside Restaurant (Mel! Where you AQ Tahoe guys went!) for prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes accompanied by a gorgeous cabernet sauvignon.

By the way, it crossed my mind to bring some hand-sewing project to work on. To Tahoe generally, I mean, not to dinner. But I don't really have a hand-sewing project. So bringing one would have required planning a design or choosing a pattern, choosing fabric, assembling supplies...It was simply too overwhelming and I was overwhelmed as it was with packing snow gear and clothes and dog supplies and Easter goodies and other weekend accoutrements.

So, instead I packed a big stack of books and a knitting project. I was so happy curled up on the couch next to the woodstove that I managed to read all 4 1/2 of the books I brought. ("Seaside" by Scarlet Thomas-- an eerie, unsettling mystery; "The Nominee" by Brian McGrory, a ripping political thriller that I didn't want to put down; "Julie and Romeo Get Lucky" by Jeanne Ray, a slightly fluffy but enjoyable story of two folks in their 60's in love and combining families; and "To the Hilt" by Dick Francis, an engrossing and totally satisfying mystery of hidden Scottish relics and business intrigue; and "Yarn Harlot," essays on knitting by the wonderful writter and blogger Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I knitted only about 2 inches on the scarf, I'm embarrassed to say.

Our plan was to drive home on Easter sunday, after a relatively leisurely breakfast, so that Roger could be at school for Monday classes (don't you love a county where the community college has the week BEFORE Easter for vacation and the public schools have the week AFTER?) and Caroline could be at Day #1 of pony camp. But to our surprise and Caroline's great delight, here's what we saw off the back deck on Sunday morning:

After scanning weather reports and calling the Highway Patrol road conditions line to see what conditions were like on the ONE highway that gets from Tahoe to the SF Bay area, we determined that we should stay put. This proved to be an excellent decision, as the news that evening was full of pictures of stopped traffic and massive snow on Sunday afternoon, with the road eventually closing for hours.

So, we gave up our travel plans and happily resigned ourself to being snowed in. Caroline assembled a gingerbread bunny hut. (I'd like to say that we did this ourselves, but it was from a kit.)

Gemma got to taste an Easter "Peep."

Roger and I read and kept the wood stove burning and generally were very content.

And here's how things looked on Monday morning:

Gorgeous! The roads were totally clear and we had an easy drive home.

And here's what we found in our backyard back in Healdsburg:


From winter to spring in 5 hours.

Normal life will now resume.


  1. The photos are gorgeous - all of them, although I particularly like that first one.

    It sounds like a lovely weekend. I would like snow much better if I could go visit it a while and then leave it like you did! :-)

    The books sound good too. When you say "Seaside" is eerie and unsettling, do you mean in a good way or a bad way? Would you recommend it or say pass?

  2. Anonymous6:49 AM

    IMWTK....How long did it take Gemma to chew up that Peep??


  3. ohhh... me and pets also enjoy it on the snow to play... specially when we have some cool dog products to play with.