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Sunday, July 25, 2010

This house, This home

I am writing from the Alpina Cafe, my coffee shop of choice in South Lake Tahoe for many years since my in-laws have no internet at their home, which is somewhat remote from the tourist bustle of the south shore. We drive over the mountain to Fallen Leaf Lake and hike in to a "secret" beach to swim. Didn't see another soul yesterday. We sit on their deck and watch the thunderheads form over the mountain peaks. It is the hottest I can remember - Don says since 1985. Ah, yes, the summer I was here with baby Maggie.
I think Bill brought me to meet his sister, Ellen, in 1974. We lived in Carson City the summer of '76, when he had a temporary job with BLM. That was the year Ellen laid the foundation for her house. We watched it being built and came often to stay over the years, especially when we lived in Bishop, CA, just down the Sierra skyline. Amazing country that I have grown to love so much; the Sierra Juniper, the granite, the atmosphere of 7,000 feet.
Maggie and Katy grew up coming to that home and Don and Ellen are their second parents. When the house was totally destroyed in the Angora Ridge fire in 2007, we were all emotionally devastated. I came to stay for a few weeks as they moved into a rental nearby and tried to make sense of a life with everything they owned gone. Bill's mother was living down in the Carson Valley at that time.
The next summer I came to help with hospice for Ellenor in the same, rented home but now a new home was rising out of the ashes and the past two summers I have been staying back on the same property looking at a very different landscape but knowing that Don and Ellen are healing and life moves on for us all.
I will be in Tahoe until next Thursday when I am attending a dance performance in San Francisco that one of Katy's friends is a part of and then I am off the the North Coast - the true home - via Hwy 101. I just can't put all of my experiences in the past month into this blog but I am also writing in a travel diary so, somewhere along the way, I will give you the condensed version.
Hope you are all enjoying the full moon wherever you are.

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