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Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Back To The Grind

Struggling to get back into the groove after the holidays. I’ve always found it to be a daunting period of adjustment. I’m so far behind on my favorite blogs, I think I’ll just have to forgo catching up.

I do want to thank those folks who commented to my previous post—written before Jill and I took off for a little vacation to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary. I appreciated your sentiments very much.

We had a great trip up until the last day. As we hit the highway to head home and began our ascent up the Eastern slope of the Sierra, there was what appeared to be a nice break in the weather. We considered ourselves particularly fortunate since there had been a howling storm the day before. But in the High Sierra, things can change in a flash.

We stopped for a bite to eat, and when we got back into the car, a brisk snowfall came out of nowhere. It quickly turned into a near-blizzard condition. It took us an hour and a half to go two miles. Fifty miles of mountain wilderness lay ahead.

“Screw this,” I proclaimed, and swung my car around, barely making it through the drifts in the center of the road. We decided to find a room, if we could, before they were all gone. We had to settle for a cheesy, drafty, thin-walled place that soaked us for a hundred bucks. I would have paid double that to get out of that storm and have a place to wait for it to blow over.

We were quite lucky on two other counts. It was impossible to walk anywhere, and we could have been screwed as far as being able to eat. But, miraculously, there was a Thai restaurant directly across the highway. Not a restaurant that would have a prayer of surviving in the Bay Area, mind you, but you can’t really screw up Thai food that badly. A crappy Thai meal beats a greasy spoon or fast food any day. The diversity of California culture and the ubiquity of its many ethnic groups does indeed have its blessings.

Our other stroke of fortune was that, despite the sleaziness of the motel, they had HBO on the tube. Amazing! And HBO was running an entire evening of back-to-back episodes of Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” as a prelude to the beginning of its new season.

This made up for everything. There’s nobody like Larry David to make you forget your troubles. When we awoke early the next morning, the sun was shining. It took about twenty minutes to dig the car out and get underway, and we had to get chains. The speed limit for the long mountain run was 25 mph, but seven hours later, we got home in one piece--and in time to keep a dinner date at a great restaurant with two of our favorite friends—a fitting end to a good holiday.


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