I hate snow. I hate it more than the Lakers, more than grammatical errors online, more than Asian food of any kind. And that's a lot. It's fun when you're a kid, and you can spend hours making giant snowballs named Big Bob Pataki (true story), or make four-foot deep snow angels during freak snowstorms. It's pretty if you get to stay home and watch it turn the world around you into a magical, sparkly wonderland. But if you have somewhere to go, or someone is coming to visit, snow turns into this dark, dangerous, diabolical entity disguised as a natural phenomenon. It turns a normally blissful twenty-minute drive on the beautiful pine-tree covered Foresthill Road into an exercise in terror. Especially if you drive a car like Stan who has only one sad headlight that does little to illuminate the pitch black forest from which deer, raccoons, and other creatures could sprint out at any second.
The 450ish mile trip from L.A. to my tiny hometown halfway between Sacramento and Reno went fantastically, if only because one of my best friends, Kelly-Bean hitched a ride with me. We jibber-jabbered like lady chickens, rocking out to my cheesy girl power playlist (Pat B., Kelly C., Aretha, and the Spice Girls mostly), planning our future weddings like the super girlie girls we so aren't. So even though it was dark and raining most of the way, the hours seemed to fly by, driving into the abyss. But once I dropped Kelly off at her house, I immediately started to panic. My mom had called to warn me that it was snowing on the Hill. I could have crashed (bad choice of words) at Kelly's, which probably would have been smart. But you know how it is when you just want to get where you're going and sleep in your own bed. So I forged on into the wilderness.
Luckily the roads weren't icy and treacherous yet, but there was a half-inch of snow and Stan does not carry chains. I had to drop my speed from the 55mph limit to about 30, but eventually made it home alive. I just had to trust that Stan would deliver me home safely to my mommy, and he came through big time. I could barely see a thing between the one headlight and the thick snow flying at me, reminding me of Star Wars light speed. It's been a long time since I've driven in the snow (having lived in So-Cal for the past five years), but I forgot how cool that aspect is. I was pretty much driving blind, but imagining that I was co-captain of the Millennium Falcon alongside Han Solo helped with the fear. Yep. Major nerd moment, but at least I survived.
So now that I'm back in Foresthill for Thanksgiving, I've decided to make a list of everything I like about being home:
1. TV!!! I actually get to watch television! What a concept! Specifically, What Not to Wear, which is my biggest guilty pleasure and one of the few shows I love that I can't watch online (believe me, I've tried) And it's on a screen that is actually bigger than my laptop unlike my own TV.
2. My dog, Jesus (don't be offended, I named him that because he's gentle, loyal and friendly and protects us from burglars, bears, and squirrels and loves everyone unconditionally)
3. My cats, Piccolo and Peter. Though they can be little bitches sometimes. Like most cats I suppose.
4. This probably shouldn't be this low, but seeing my family, obviously. Especially my baby nephew Ayvind who is pretty much the cutest little boy alive. I have proof.
5. My dad gives Stan a check-up to make sure everything is all right. Currently the back windows are stuck open which isn't a problem in balmy L.A., but when it's snowing outside, that's probably not a good thing.
6. Foresthill really is beautiful. It's a crappy town to live in, with an extremely sparse population of rednecks (imagine all Southern stereotypes without the accent), and an even sparser (?) selection of food and entertainment venues. But with the trees and the canyons and rivers, and wildlife, it's what a lot of people would call paradise. Not me. But you know, if you like that sort of thing.
7. While there is never any food in my parents' house, there is a current pool and hot tub in the renovated garage with a tv so you can swim and watch movies at the same time. Sweeeeeet.
8. Getting to see old friends, going out to breakfast at Awful Annies, Waffle Barn, or 2AM sausage and applesauce at Denny's (keep your fancy restaurants, give me Denny's any time)
9. Playing a real piano. Especially since I have to practice my solo of Rufus Wainwright's "Hallelujah" for the Sally Tomatoes winter concert. Ack! I must apologize to Rufus in advance.
10. This might sound really trivial, but the water here is frickin' delicious. Especially if you suffer from the floater-ridden off-clear murky suspect crap they pass of as H2O in L.A. I was dying of thirst the whole way home, but a) I don't believe in paying for water if I can help it. And b) I look forward to a glass of ice cold, crystal clear mountain spring tap water whenever I make the trip up to Nor-Cal.
In short, Foresthill is the kind of town you can't wait to leave, but love to come home to. As long as it's not bloody snowing.
UPDATE: Naturally as soon as I finished this post, the power went out all night which was just difficult and annoying. It is awfully pretty outside and today I'm going to the Mandarin (as in oranges not Chinese) Festival. I just hope Stan will forgive me for having the windows open and subjecting him to this frightful weather.