Around the time I was born, my grandparents bought a cabin in South Lake Tahoe. They’d been renting it for vacations for several years, and when the owner was ready to sell it, they swooped in and bought it out from under two other couples who were interested.
I’ve spent literally my whole life going up to the Tahoe cabin. First with my grandparents, who had my brother and I a lot of the time when we were growing up. Usually all summer and over Christmas when we were little and then, when we were school aged, they’d pick us up from school every Friday and we’d spend the weekend with them.
Some of my earliest memories are spending the holidays at the cabin. The stone fireplace crackling, the wall of sliding glass doors, the snow coming down soundlessly onto the deck. We went for New Year’s Eve and my grandmother would change all the clocks so we thought we’d made it until midnight but were in bed by 9:00, as always. We made paper hats out of construction paper and watched the ball drop on TV in New York.
My brother lives out of state now. So do my grandmother and her son, my biological father. Really, my husband and I are the only family members left in the state of California, so the cabin has become our responsibility. We’ve been going up way more often, now. Every few months. We like to make sure it’s okay, we like to do little projects. It is LARGELY unchanged from when it was built in the 1970s. It has the same avocado green oven and dishwasher. The green shag carpeting was replaced downstairs in the 90s at some point, but it lives on in all its glory upstairs.
We’ve done a lot, though. Added a bear box for the trash and recycling. Replaced smaller things like getting a new toaster, a new coffee maker. We replaced the old bed in the main bedroom with a king sized bed that fits two grown adults and two dogs much more comfortably. Every time we go, there’s a project.
Anyway, between the Dixie fire and the Caldor fire, it’s been a stressful time for South Lake Tahoe and I’ve been very worried about our little cabin. The Cabin is in the town proper, so I knew that if the cabin burned down, likely the whole town had been lost. So far that hasn’t happened, so far the firefighters have been amazing, but with California fire season, you’re never really out of danger. One trip, we added a ring security camera, and that’s been wonderful to feel worried and be able to pull up the security feed and see the deck intact, see that the cabin still has power, see a bear or two roaming the empty streets.
There’s not much else to say, other than Tahoe is one of the most important places to me and it’s a community that I love. I write about Tahoe often, it’s been the backdrop and inspiration for more than one of my stories. For now, I’m keeping it in my heart. Holding my favorite memories close to me. Keeping an eye on that security feed any time I start to feel worried again.
I’ll leave you with some pictures from a few of our recent trips.