When my mom and stepdad moved to California, I was 15 – soon to be 16. I did not go with them. I had lived with my grandmother since I was 5 and I was staying put and finishing high school. They moved to San Jose and I visited occasionally.
When my mom and stepdad moved to California, they purchased some land in Lake Tahoe. When I would visit – my younger sister eventually moved to California for a time, we would go to Lake Tahoe. They never built on the land. Building up there is a lottery system or it was in the 80s. But we would always go up to Tahoe.
I remember a crystal blue lake. Even being in an outdoor curriculum in college and going to school in the Adirondacks, I had never seen a lake this color. It was truly blue and a sapphire blue at that. It still is this crystal blue, just not today.
I sit here on the east coast and watch the news. At one point in my life, I could have been in Tahoe fighting the fire. I have a degree in forestry and one of the things I looked into, before going on for a four year degree in business, was working in the forest service on the west coast.
At one point in my life, I could have been visiting Tahoe at this time of year. I ski but not well and not often. When I visited Tahoe, it was almost always summer and it was to escape the heat of the city below.
So here I sit almost 3,000 miles away. Here I sit watching the news and praying for those in the wake of the fire. Here I sit hoping containment is close but know it is not. Here I sit hoping for cooler weather in Lake Tahoe.