November 3, 2016



We are going to do it, she said!   We are booking a cabin in Tahoe for the end of October.   And she did.  This was Barbara . She gets things done.
My siblings and their families live in Colorado.  Two sons and families live in California, and I have two daughters who live here in Nevada.   Planning a family gathering is a major strategic project.   Booking anything after the first of October in Tahoe is risky, unless you are a ski enthusiast and ready for winter weather.
But the two nieces arrived on a bright sunny October afternoon, and we all packed up and set off for the hills as if we had good sense!
The “cabin” turned out to be a beautiful family home in the Tahoe Keys area; an upscale neighborhood in the South Lake Tahoe vicinity, with towering pines and lush greenery. It was a 3 bedroom house, very spacious, complete with a fully equipped kitchen, 2 baths, a gas fireplace, loaded bookshelves, comfy beds, television and movies.  All the comforts and then some.
The weather report was not encouraging.   Maybe a sunny day in between rain squalls.  My Colorado guests were unfazed, being accustomed to Colorado’s unsettled weather and the prospect of rain is always welcome in this drough-stricken region.  We just zipped up our hoodies and headed into the day.   We toured the whole lake looking for Sugar Pine Groves.  My guests wanted to see those huge 14 inch cones! 

 No luck finding those trees, but we tramped the woods and breathed in fragrant,  pine scented air and awesome scenery.
I secretly thanked the weather gods for allowing my guests to experience Lake Tahoe in the midst of a winter storm.   The beautiful blue water turned bluer and churned into a froth of white caps and wavelets.  The wind blustered and the pines whipped around and bent down, dropping huge cones.  Waves splashed against those huge boulders and washed up a mini surf along the sandy shores.  We paroled the boardwalks and beaches, hair flying, coats flapping.   Everyone had a camera, and Barbara could not stop grinning.  It was exhilarating!  The air was sharp with ozone, and the parched earth exuded its unique perfume! 
Back at the ranch we gathered around the big table, warming our hands on mugs of coffee and chocolate and so began the tale telling, the Sanderson sarcasm and old jokes that went on into the evening hours.  One story led to another and I believe my brother Dale’s new lady gained a new perspective of the family she recently joined.
Food seemed to be a secondary priority.  (I, being the matriarch, was excused from all work) and food appeared by magic, and the clean up also mysteriously happened.  I was not involved.  One of the perks of growing old—real old.
I believe that these  gatherings should be a requirement for keeping family connections alive.  How very precious this was to me—to be able to see these beloved persons through the lens of my advanced age is a very special blessing.
B.Owen, reflections.  October 2016

This is my version of our family event at Lake Tahoe last week....Betty L. Owen 

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