Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On Snow, Daughters, and Winter Memories

By Allen Bacon, The Daily Bosco

Next weekend it will snow in my hometown of Fullerton, Southern California, USA

It never actually really snows in my hometown but that doesn't stop us from going up to the nearest mountain and bringing back a big truckload of snow and depositing it by the Dam so we can play in the cold white stuff.

I bet if you go to above the Arctic Circle in Alaska about now, I'm sure most of those folks would think we were crazy. "You can have OUR snow", they would be saying..."Take all you want!...You crazy looney tunes"

If you can't go to the mountain, bring the mountain to...

Which got me to thinking that this probably isn't such a bad idea really.

That's because most of my fondest memories of my kids and family had snow added.

I was thinking specifically this week about the winter season of 26 years ago. I was spending some time with my young family in the Southern California mountain community of Big Bear. My daughter, 6 at the time, and I took some time off from the rigors of playing in the snow by our cabin or roasting marshmallows to take a drive into Big Bear City for a bite to eat.

This was when we came across this luge ride out by the lake. We had to try it.

As expected, we became instantly addicted to it and spent the whole afternoon there. We were pretending to be a part of the USA two man luge team and we were timing ourselves on the run to get better so we could qualify for the Olympics...in our minds.

I remember this so clearly. The cold clean mountain air was rushing into our faces as we kareemed down the mountain...faster and faster. With every turn we would lean in unison and with every trip we got faster and better.

On about the fourth trip down we took a turn too fast...the sled almost went over the enbankment which could have been really disasterous.

I remember watching Wide World of Sports and they had this happen in a luge race...They never found the guy. We kept it on the track but both my daughter and I broke away from the sled and started to slide sled-less and on our backs and apart from each other down the track.

For a moment I stopped being a kid and went back to being the responsible parent. Maybe this wasn't the safest thing for a six year old and her father to be doing...and I suggested that we go back to the cabin. And my daughter, in a way that would become her persona as an adult said "Let's try it again Dad. I'm OK."

Fast forward 24 years later. A couple of things triggered this memory about my daughter. In March 2008, my daughter, then 27 and I decided on a whim to run the Los Angeles Marathon. She had never ran or walked more than ten miles before in her life.

At the ten mile mark her hip started hurting. She could have packed it in at that point. Especially since her apartment was literally a two minute walk from that point of the race. But she didn't give up. She got to an aid station, took some Advil, and continued on. She finished the race. She and I went across the finish line arm and arm.

The other thing my daughter did that year was start a new business...in the horrible economy. Nadia is like me in the aspect that we are either too naive or stubborn to listen to naysayers that say this is not a good time to be starting businesses. So far, her business is doing quite well.

One Saturday, I went to Los Angeles to help her get some furniture for her apartment. We could have had the stuff delivered...we had to make four stops to pickup stuff she had bought and load it into the apartment...but it gave us a rare moment to be together. A lot of funny stuff happened and we laughed a lot as we wove around West LA and Hollywood, well kind of like we were on that sled going down the mountain 25 years ago.

My daughter is scheduled to come over this weekend. Maybe we'll go over to the snow they have dumped in Fullerton and do Luge runs...For old times sake.

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