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.)