Els and Whitney and Cupid by the Lake

During the week of giving Thanks for all that we are grateful for, my husband and I flew to Reno, Nevada, then rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee to drive over the Donner pass to where our son and his fianceé live. There is so much to be thankful for, I almost don’t know where to begin.

Thank you to the car rental staff for making sure we got that 4-wheel drive vehicle, though the process wasn’t Thrifty nor fast. After all, that extra hour allowed me the opportunity to have a cup of hot chocolate before heading out into the 30-degree gloaming.

Thank you for the pickup truck I followed all the way through the snow to our final destination. I think our S.U.V. imprinted on it’s rear bumper. It was kind of comforting for someone who hadn’t driven in the snow for thirty years to have someone who seemed to know what she was doing ahead of me.

Thank you for the very large room overlooking the lake. And the parking lot.

Our bucolic view of the Lake in the snow.

Thank you to the large dog next door for the early wake-up call. I lay there fuming before composing the snarky post card I pushed under the adjoining door and instantly regretted. It read:

Dear Neighbors,  I’m sure your dog is lovely, but has been barking for the last 40 minutes incessantly (from 7:38 to 8:20AM). While we appreciate how challenging it is to travel with a pet, we did not come all this way to share in your dog’s misery.

Thank you for the endless string of football games that kept all of us engaged for 3 days between feedings. Thank you, too, on behalf of some of the guests who even won money.

Thanks for teaching us that crockpot stuffing doesn’t need the extra chicken broth even though it looks a bit dry. The glutinous mess was still tasty and now we know for next year!


Thanks to Kelley’s tree farm for the experience of picking out the best tree on the lot and finding out that it was only $10 a foot instead of the spruce’s $20 a foot.

Thank you for the newly hatcheted Christmas tradition of watching our son trim the bottom and top branches off the tree with a rusty machete that he just happened to have in the trunk of his car. A little too “Hotel Rwanda” for my tastes, but handy after all.IMG_5457

Thank you, Tahoe Sheriffs, for not ever pulling my son over and finding that rusty machete in the trunk of his grandma car.

Thank you for reminding me why I live in Southern California, allowing me to practice for four days the burdensome ritual of putting on and taking off sweaters, zipping up and down down coats, scarves and boots. For both myself and my husband. I’ve got it now.

Thanks for the front row seat to see the parents of our future grand baby as they decorated their first shared Christmas tree. IMG_5461And for the nice in-laws that we seemed to get along with famously.

Thank you for the patience to wait another two weeks or so until “she” arrives via the precious talismans signaling her arrival for the time being. IMG_5445 Thank you for the love and hope and turkey and gravy and pumpkin pie and pizza and excitement of the weekend.

And finally, thank you for the five uninterrupted hours of togetherness we had in the airport on the way home. We don’t get enough time together, and we were happy to spend in spite of the annoying publicist who paced back and forth behind us, ricocheting between berating his poor assistant and kissing his clients’ asses. I had to turn around when I heard him say, “Yo! Dog! What’s up!” Middle-aged white guy, wearing a white cable-knit sweater over a well-fed tummy, and a large sheepskin collar  on his black leather jacket turned up ala The Fonz. Not what I would have expected in a million years.

 All in all, life is good. Thank you!IMG_5465

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