Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Baskets in the Snow

When we were growing up, DeeKay's family had a condominium at Lake Tahoe. We all used it year-round; sometimes No and I went with them, sometimes just I went, sometimes my mom took us, with or without other kids. The condo's first floor had two bedrooms and the second floor had another bedroom and an open living room-dining room area with a kitchen counter that opened to the dining area. There was also a balcony with a hammock that looked over a dirt road that led from the condos to the rec area, which had two swimming pools and a spa (generically called Jacuzzis in those days), as well as a sauna and tennis courts. I remember the walk to the rec area as a little long, but I don't know now how far it was.

The path was fabulous in snow season as a sled run. It was wide and even, and had a good slope that was suddenly steeper at the end. Sometimes we built up the bump at the end of the steep part of the path so we could get airborne on the plastic toboggans and discs we had. No and I didn't ski at first (and I never did) so we sledded a lot. In the evenings we would hang our snow suits in the laundry room and put our boots and gloves next to the fireplace.

When tired from sledding, we trudged up to the rec area and sat in the spa until we got too hot. Sometimes Deekay would get out and sit in the snow to cool off so she could sit in the hot water longer. No said today he remembers people smoking "funny-smelling cigarettes" while hanging out in the water. I don't, but it was the '70s - I'm sure they were.

One Easter weekend all of us were at Tahoe. By then, J Jump Joyful's folks had a condo up there too, so almost the whole neighborhood had been transplanted to Northstar. I remember DeeKay's dad riding the long orange toboggan with their collie, Honey, who wasn't pleased about making the trip. JJJ's brother, who was the Oldest Kid, led us in building a snowman. As many of us as possible would get in one sled; we would race discs; we would run and jump in, like Olympian bobsledders; we would try standing up while the sleds started down the hill. The whole day was filled with sled down, walk up, sled down, walk up.

On Easter morning, No, DeeKay, and I awoke to find the ends of three strings with tags on them, each tag with one of our names on it. Our job was to follow the strings to our Easter baskets (and Easter baskets meant chocolate for breakfast!). The strings went everywhere: As I passed DeeKay on the stairs going down, No was coming up again. One of us unwound the string around the coffee table twice; another one had to crawl under the table to unwrap chair legs. Finally all three of us found ourselves downstairs in the hall and the strings went right out the door. DeeKay and I stopped to shove on our moon boots; No went right out into the snow in his bare feet.

Our Easter baskets were sitting in holes dug in the snow about ten or fifteen feet from the front door.

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