Grasshopper Soup: Jason’s birthday storm
March 30, 2010
Mountain storms are for celebrating, even if they are unwanted! My only complaint is that the wind has yet to activate my new mega-wind chime. Jason Adams, my next door neighbor and lover of storms, whose birthday is today, hung it for me. It consists of two very heavy brass candle holders once owned by my grandfather. They weigh several pounds each. In the wrong hands they could be lethal weapons.
They are 13 inches tall and about five inches wide at the base, which is bell shaped. From top to bottom, and all around, they are emblazoned with an intricate and complex floral design, all brass. They are also hollow, and fun to hit together. They sound better than a perfect ringer in a game of horseshoes using real Clydesdale size metal horseshoes. The note they strike sounds like a high G. When the wind hits them just right you might be able to hear them in South Lake Tahoe. I’m exaggerating, I think. We’ll see, or hear rather. I don’t think I have to be concerned about the sound breaking any laws. As a matter of fact, I’m secretly hoping it does. If not, maybe I’ll just hang two of those four or five feet tall, empty gas cylinders. Now that would make a wind chime.
Hopefully today the two candleholders, for the first time, will collide with maximum force and sing out across the lake singing and#8220;Happy birthdayand#8221; to Jason. He deserves something special. Jason was my chauffeur almost two years ago when I couldn’t walk under my own power for several months , or afford to hire a chauffeur. Jason has a long black beard and shoulder length black hair. If you see him at the Renaissance Fair, you will see him dressed like a fierce, merciless medieval warlord. His generous gift of time during my recovery proves that you can never judge a book by its cover.
Sierra Nevada wind can move mountains, especially when the jet stream is aimed directly at us. I can’t wait to hear from and#8220;Voltsand#8221; about how hard the wind really blew at the top of Alpine Meadows. If you don’t know who and#8220;Voltsand#8221; is you are forgiven. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear him tell me there were gusts measuring at 150 mph. Heck, I wouldn’t even mind if the wind was that strong down here in Tahoe City. I’m going to be 60 this summer and I don’t have any kids. What difference does it make to me if the whole world gets blown away? Well, it makes a big difference to me, but I can’t stop the wind, or the volcano spewing molten lava in Iceland. Reports are that a major event could occur there and cause problems all around the globe. In fact, I would love to see some real cataclysmic destruction in my life time. Bring it on Mother Earth, or Devil Earth, whoever you are. A passive earth can be so boring.
Young people should think about death more, like old people do. What could it hurt now that the government has promised to keep us all alive indefinitely (careful what you wish for)? A near death experience for everyone would also help. Now that it’s the law of the land that you can remain on your parent’s health insurance policy until you are 26 years old, why not? The world would be a better place if young people all had near death experience, because such experiences almost always result in a major change in behavior. Why waste youth on the young? Seeing life the way us and#8220;oldand#8221; people do (or should) might steer young people away from alcohol and cigarettes and get them to take up knitting. As youth, we feel invincible. We think we can do anything we want. When we get old, we know we can’t do anything we want, like run and jump like eight year olds, but we also know we have earned the right to do, and be, anything we want anyway. I am going to be a Tahoe storm for the rest of my life, and a ray of California Sunshine.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.