In an ever-changing world, I find myself clinging to my constants: people, places, things. As life swirls around me like a mercurial river, these things wrap me in cloaks of security. Traditions occupy a sacred nook in my heart. When inevitable changes overturn the smooth running of my life, I look to them as an anchor. Hidden in traditions lie memories, nostalgia, and reassurances of bonds forged through precious shared experiences.
One such tradition is a family trip to Lake Tahoe around Christmastime, every other year. When we make the nine-hour drive up, we almost always follow the same routine: travel with the same core group of people, stop at the same places, eat at the same restaurants, stay at the same hotels. The past two times, however, we have not followed tradition exactly as we used to. The first time we deviated from this felt particularly painful, however unreasonable that might be. “How can we be changing what we always do within something that we always do?” was the constant cry of my secret outrage.
I learned that year, how much these little traditions meant to me–how much I looked to them as a security blanket. As long as the things that never change never changed, life will ultimately be ok..or so I felt.
But as these mini-traditions crumbled into the dust of the past, I saw them revealed for what they truly were: props in the backdrop of what really mattered. What are they, after all, but remnants of a treasured past?
I’m sure that my family will continue making trips to Tahoe, and maybe we will do some of those things we “always” do. More importantly, however, may this tradition remind me of its true purpose: to bring us back to our roots, and to bind our family together in love.
- Lake Tahoe Vacation Resort: My family’s timeshare adventures began here, roped in by some admirable salesmanship and the allure of discounted activities [har har..]. In all seriousness though, this is a wonderful place to stay. It’s close to the lake, and there’s a convenient shuttle system that takes you directly to the ski slopes.
- Erick Schat’s Bakkery [Bishop, CA]: We stop at this bakery every time on the way up to Tahoe. It’s nicely situated at the midway point in Bishop. They make everything from scratch, with only the freshest ingredients. It’s easy to see why this is such a popular place, as the bread really is absolutely divine. They’re known for the “Original Sheepherder Bread,” but my personal favorite is the cheese bread. I’d recommend steering away from the coffee, and spending your money only on their baked goods.
- Heavenly Lake Tahoe: What’s a winter trip to Lake Tahoe with spending a day on the slopes? A broad spectrum of options is available here, with hills for every skill level. You can even tell your friends that you skied from California to Nevada.