Dodging the green blob
As I watched the giant green blob get closer and closer to Truckee on the radar map Tuesday morning, I couldn’t help but get a little giddy.Like many of us in Truckee, I think about the fun these storms will bring: The snowboarding, the cross-country skiing, the snowball fights from the deck of our office – heck, maybe the snow will stay on the ground long enough to try downhill skiing this year.I haven’t always felt this way about the snow, though.There was a time – almost two years ago to date – when I was convinced that I was not a “snow person.” Growing up in Southern California, I always heard about those people who couldn’t hack it in the snow and cold. You know, the ones who moved to the L.A. area from Michigan for 72-degree Christmases because they’d “had it” with shoveling their driveways every morning.That mid-December day I moved from San Luis Obispo on California’s central coast to Truckee, there was a doozie of a storm.I knew it was coming. I had never been to Truckee before, let alone Lake Tahoe, but I had spent one summer and a few winter weekends in Mammoth. It couldn’t possibly storm that badly at 7,000 feet, when the town of Mammoth Lakes barely gets dusted at 9,000 feet, right?In my two-wheel-drive pickup truck, I made my way through the flooded Central Valley. By the time I hit Sacramento, my mattress, all my boxes and my furniture were soaked.I could have stopped for a while, or turned around, but I was starting work at the Sierra Sun the next day. (Little did I know that this was a real storm, and they would have made an exception for my tardiness.)Did I mention I had never driven in snow before? It was a day of firsts: The feet of snow, the chains, and the chaos of driving among people who, like me, didn’t have a clue.From my San Luis Obispo doorstep to the buried driveway of my Tahoe Donner rental, a six-hour drive took 16 hours, thanks to my unpreparedness and the biggest storm I have ever seen.Digging into the snow in the driveway as the clock ticked closer to midnight, I thought “There’s no point in unpacking my soggy truck; I’m going back to San Luis Obispo tomorrow morning.”I was sure I wasn’t a snow person. I was ready to scrap my first real work out of college, turn around, and beg for my waitressing job back.”Don’t worry,” said my boyfriend, who would be returning to school in San Luis the next day. “You’ll wake up tomorrow and the sky will be blue, the trees will be covered with snow, and you’ll forget about how you feel right now.”Well, he was wrong – I haven’t forgotten how I felt that night. I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I doubted my life-changing decision to move to Truckee, a place I had never been before, away from my college buddies and farther than I’d ever been from my family.But, my boyfriend was also right. Since that night, there hasn’t been a single morning or moment in Truckee when I have thought “I’ve gotta get out of this place” – not even when I’m scraping ice off my windshield and not even when I’m waiting in a horrendous line at the grocery store over the holidays.So as the green blob covers Truckee, I feel jubilation, but not without forgetting that dreadful day spent on Interstate 80 before I knew what a pleasure it is to live here.Renée Shadforth is assistant editor of the Sierra Sun.