okay guys, last day of the blog every day in may series!! i missed it by five days now after making it for the other thirty, h-a (cone of shame!). with good reason maybe as we’ve been uber sick and a computer screen is the last place that sounded fun, but i’m here and ready to seal the deal, tissues and a mug full of throat coat tea in hand 🙂 if you also participated, i salute you. it was an absolutely surprisingly fun exercise, and gave me opportunity to think outside the box. i loved it.
so onto the last day’s prompt (last friday) day 31: A vivid memory
my memory can be both impeccable and completely fallible in the same breath. but the things i remember vividly, i usually never forget. since i’ve officially hit the ‘longing for vacation’ mode that always occurs around late may, early june, i thought i’d go with a memory that’s travel oriented. i think it’s just my habit but after the school season begins gets out, i get achey breaky for a trip. one specifically wonderful memory are the summers we spent in lake tahoe with the entire family.
the night before leaving on a trip was always the most excruciating and exciting for me. we’d fill our bags with all the necessities which, if you ask my mom that meant ‘bathing suit and toothbrush’ or something to that effect. i’d bring all my odds and ends down to her bedroom and ask her to help me roll them all up and after we’d place our bags near the front door, with our pillows balanced carefully on top and the only thing postponing summer vacation was a usually restless night’s sleep!
the next morning we set out on our journey and met rest of the family at a rendezvous point to begin our caravan. and because walkie talkie names were a must, we were golden goose, silver bullet and the green mallard. the drive from the bay area to tahoe is a myriad of panoramas: wide open agricultural fields, sprawled out desert-like dryland and eventually, the crawl up the mountain—where staggering mountain highways where towering pines, mighty oaks and maple trees hover over and crowd the roads, with streams of sunshine peeking through. and finally, after hours of patient curves and twists, nearly six hours of land, an opening seemed to suddenly appear and there, stretching across our windshield, was twelve miles of crystal blue. lake tahoe.
as we rounded highway 89, the main road around the lake, we experienced a pristine view of our water wonderland. boats circling the edges trailing skiiers and wakeboarders alike, far off views of gorgeous emerald bay, lakeside mansions that you’d pay to be a fly on the wall (‘much less a cat!’ says my aunt mary). the walkies start to buzz, cousins giving the ‘roger this’ and ‘roger that’ to one another, sarcastic jokes between siblings and parents, people urgently needing to use the bathroom or another alerting someone to catch a glimpse of the stunning views.
at last, we pull up, we are here. beautiful lake tahoe, tahoe pines to be exact. in a big house for the lot of us. bunk beds, shag carpet, an open sunny deck with a birds eye view of big blue, a lakeside rec center, tennis courts and boat docks just waiting to be explored. a summer vacation playground for any age. playing in the pool doing handstands til our ears ached as mom and her sisters looked on. eating too many ears of hot buttered corn. staying up much too late watching movies giggling with uncle bill and cousin matt. wandering the grounds with mom to people watch. going bowling and getting beat by the boys, except cousin penny who’s in a league.
age barriers faded away and each one of us laughed so hard together. that year was the first time i’d ever felt so connected with my entire family. it was also the first trip we’d taken together since grandma had passed. i didn’t realize it til later, but we all needed a reason to laugh that year, and frankly, we didn’t even need it to be a very good reason.
sharing stories as we each ventured about the lake, marveling together at what a very big lake it was—deep, wide, mysterious, with some places cold as ice, uninhabited with rocky shores, other places were full of life with bright warm sunshine with soft rocky sand beneath your feet. in whatever we did, whether eat or rest or read or watch or hike or play, it was much more than a getaway, it was a catching of our breaths, an overflowing, rumbling, belly-aching laugh and an overflowing joy that settled itself nicely some place deep down in my heart.