That means snow. While this isn't the first snow of the year, it looks like it might be the first one to stay around. It was definitely the first time I went running while it was snowing this season. And it was a struggle. I got dressed then got curled up on the couch under a blanket trying to convince myself to go out and run - for an hour.
I used to like snow a lot more when I was living in California. It was something to look forward to because my husband was such a little kid when it came to winter and skiing and Christmas. Rain in the valley in the late fall meant winter in the mountains. It was so exciting to think just a couple more days until the weekend and then we can go skiing.
I remember Friday afternoons being full of packing for the trip to the cabin, stops at the grocery store and the gas station on the way up. Arriving in the dark and unloading the car. Turning on the heat and starting a fire. Taking the dog for a walk in the neighborhood in hopes the cabin would be warm by the time we came back. If we got there too late for the heat to really make a difference before bed, we'd get dressed in long johns and cuddle under ice cold blankets to fall asleep. Wake up in the middle of the night sweating and run down the stairs to turn the heat down.
Saturdays we'd be up early for a pancake breakfast before hitting the slopes. So exciting when the sun was up, the ski was clear. Deciding what to wear - trying to get just the right combination of clothes layers so you didn't have to take something off midway through the day and carry it around in the back pack. Giving people tours around the mountain on skis. Going on some crazy runs, sliding on our butts down a ravine because it turned out to be too steep and narrow to make turns. Having lunch on the deck at Sugar Bowl, enjoying a bloody mary made special my Reb. Going back to the cabin feeling exhausted and exhilirated all at the same time. Reliving the days turns, runs, falls (not many usually), guests, and weather. Having a drink by the fire while we waited for the homemade pizza to finish cooking. Or walking down to the neighbors' cabin for dinner and a movie. Or hanging out at the lodge, sharing stories of the days skiing.
Sunday getting up to do it all again and then clean up, pack, and go back down the hill. Leaving the snow behind like some magical mystery, knowing it would be there when we wanted to go back again in a few days. Hoping we'd get there right after a big snow fall and enjoy first tracks in the sun out on strawberry fields. Knowing where to go off trail to get the best snow.
Yes, it's winter. Somehow this time of year isn't as much fun as it used to be. It's kind of bittersweet. There are lots of good memories, but sometimes those memories make me sad.