Grasshopper Soup: Don’t be late for summer |

Grasshopper Soup: Don’t be late for summer

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Summer is here, regardless of which way the earth is leaning or what the calendar says.

We are creatures of the lake and the mountains, each individual a sovereign entity, free from the tyranny of time. Summer is when we say it is, and the Tahoe summer has begun.

Summer started for some of us with the Chambers Landing and Sunnyside deck opening parties several weeks ago, both of which I missed, accidentally on purpose.

There was a time (youth, I think it was called) when you didnand#8217;t even have to know about those parties to end up at both. and#8220;By word of mouthand#8221; was something you were never too far from, and it was never any trouble to look for trouble, and the least you could do was flirt with it. Unfortunately, I never had any trouble at Sunnyside or Chambers Landing.

For some people summer wonand#8217;t start until Saturday. Their calendar is fixed. They are not only on the calendar, they are in it. They call every day as they see it, or as someone else sees it for them, until they retire and get the kids through college, finally free to ignore the numbers on the days and hope to live more days without number.

To each his own calendar. To each his own interpretation of the stars. Divide the night and day however you like, as long as you donand#8217;t miss summer.

Summer begins for some like it did Monday, in high winds on Lake Tahoe, with the mighty Tahoe Cruz between them and the deep blue cold. Wind gusts of at least 37 knots had been reported, so stronger gusts were a real possibility. Only two other sailboats were sighted on Tahoe Monday, and no power boats. The wind was just too strong, but not for the Tahoe Cruz and the sixteen brave souls from the Dam Cafe family in Tahoe City, all of whom got a little wet whether they liked it or not, even sitting aft, in the cockpit, where you were least likely to be splashed by three to four foot swells slamming against the hull, tossing their white-caps in your lap, in your face and on the cheese and crackers.

For the loyal players of the Bridgetender golf scramble, summer started two weeks ago, in memory of the late Chris Parks and Nick Fuller, who passed away unexpectedly and before their time within a month of each other about two years ago (it seems like yesterday). Itand#8217;s hard to keep track of how many years have gone by when remembering such great loss. The mind turns quickly away from conceding so matter of factly that those we loved, and those who gave so much to us, are gone. Itand#8217;s easier to retreat to the calendar and say, and#8220;Oh, look, today I have to take the car in and have the tires rotated.and#8221;

The BT golf scramble began some twenty years ago with about eight teams. This year two teams scrambled to keep the tradition alive. Iand#8217;m not a golfer, and the only scrambling I can do anymore at my age is with eggs, and even that can hurt sometimes.

Why do we refer to those who have died as and#8220;the lateand#8221; Mr. so and so? Itand#8217;s not fair to blame someone for being late if theyand#8217;re dead. Maybe they are right on time and finally in on everything. If late means youand#8217;re dead, I donand#8217;t want to hear and#8220;Later, dude!and#8221; ever again, though the idea of keeping death in the future makes more sense.

Someone told me recently, and#8220;Thatand#8217;s what death is, you just fall asleepand#8221;. It appears that way, but Iand#8217;ve never died, so I canand#8217;t say. It didnand#8217;t seem reasonable to ask if he was speaking from experience, nor did I want to ruin his claim by saying something logical, like, and#8220;How do you know?and#8221;

If I had any scramble left in me I would make these longest days of the year repeat themselves forever, like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, only I wouldnand#8217;t drive my truck off a cliff, unless I knew I was just going to fall asleep and wake up in a Tahoe summer.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.

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