In the realm of vacation getaways, we are perpetually dependent on the kindness of friends and colleagues who own such things. We’re lucky to have them. Kind, kind folks, whom Mrs Dad has known for years, offered their beautiful mountain home as a late summer getaway. And so hence we hustled, laden down with playing cards, bathing suits, and gratitude. This getaway the more appreciated since as of a few days into our last attempt at a family vacation, our girlie’s body temperature shot up never dropped below 100. So home we went, playing cards, bathing suits, and all, to nurse the rest of the week-long bronchial scourge.
We arrived here several days ago to discover that a forest fire was raging about twenty miles to the southwest of here. As of today, 60% contained (better than the 43% when we arrived!). Thanks to the InciWeb Incident Information System website we check daily, we know an extraordinary amount about it. It began twelve days ago; it has now consumed 16,812 acres of the Tahoe National Forest; upwards of 1,866 personnel are working it with 50 engines, 32 water tenders, 88 dozers, and 12 helicopters. It’s in “an old growth timber stand with no recorded fire history, in steep, hazardous terrain with dry, heavy fuels.” But so long as it doesn’t hop the North Fork of the American River, we’ve been advised, we’re fine. Hazy, but fine.
The smokey air keeps us indoors more than we would have been, as has the occasional rainstorm (yesterday: with hail!). But hello? Beauty all around, even through the haze. Skittering chipmunks, blessed quiet, board games aplenty, a huge stock of great movies, and two kids obsessed with learning as much as they can about poker as their poker-player mama will teach them. Also, the special sense of comfort conveyed by being in a beautiful space generously shared by warm people. And most precious: the time and space in which to pay attention to just one another, a vacation-only treat for we who co-house (status quo at home: permeable boundaries and perpetual community). The maraschino cherry enabling it all: working WiFi, so the older set can have gotten away in the first place. Because people, a working vacation is way better than no vacation at all.