Early one Saturday morning in early January ’83, after a week of Los Angeles rain, we packed the van with tube socks and pieces of cardboard. For two hours, we played “I spy.” We used colors instead of letters because Jake couldn’t spell yet. Before each turn, we peered out the windows for snow, hoping to say, “I spy something with white!”
Not long after we spied the snow, dad turned the van to climb the mountain, Big Bear. The splotches of snow grew thicker, closer together. Cars parked along the sides of the road with happy looking kids sliding down on sleds, snow-blasters, and toboggans. And still the van climbed.
We drove into a mountain resort town and by a Circle K, the snow now piled feet deep on each side side of the road.
And finally, dad turned into the cabin and stopped the van. Grandma’s cabin. We stepped out of the van and into the snow. We pulled out the cardboard, pulled the tube socks onto our hands, and walked up the hill next to the cabin. Four or five kids were on the hill with their sleds.
I made it to the top of the hill first and laid down the cardboard. I jumped on it and sped down the hill, feeling the speed and cold and wind and grin on my face. And I remembered how much I loved grandma’s cabin.
Kris, Zach, and I were invited to a cabin last weekend, a couple of hours outside of Dallas. We brought neither cardboard nor tube socks and there wasn’t any snow; it was hot and humid. But there was a road trip.
And time with family.