TAHOE BOUND HOUNDS
It's hard to believe it's been two years since I've been at Lake Tahoe, the source of my joy and inspiration, besides my dogs, that is. I'm working on my next book and the words and ideas are flowing like the snow melting on Mount Tallac in this glorious alpine sunshine. I'm so happy to be here again, as are Peaches and Beau, but Beau is not as able to walk the mountain trails as he was last time we were here. He has some weakness in his hindquarters due to arthritis (hoping it's not his spine--he is the longest dog we've had), so we have to take it easy for his sake, and mine.
We bit off a bit too much the first day we tried to go down to Tallac Historic Site, our favorite place, because Kiva Beach is an off-leash area, one of Tahoe's few, other than on forest trails. The area wasn't open yet for tourists, so I couldn't drive in close to the lake's edge. We had to walk quite a distance to get to the beach. It wasn't easy, but we made it there and back. Beau wasn't the only one struggling. My knees aren't what they were two years ago when I injured them dancing, though I can at least walk on the easier trails now, which I could not have dreamed of doing before the Euflexxa shots I got in them about a year ago. I never thought my knees would give out on me, but after all the aerobics and dancing I've done over the years, what did I expect? I see long-distance runners, some wearing knee braces, and think, "Well, there goes another knee replacement surgery." I met a lady at Tallac who'd had both her knees replaced. She wasn't happy with the outcome and said she wouldn't have done it had she known. I was getting around better than she was. She's not the first person I've heard say that, not only about knees but hips, too. An elderly neighbor of mine still has one of the recalled brands of hip replacement hardware in her. Margaret has limped ever since her surgery years ago. I expect she's in pain, but being British she stays calm and carries on. Doctors are only too happy to get those fake knees or hips implanted in u$ at the first opportunity, but humans can't really duplicate what is natural, and that includes the complicated joints in our bodies. I'll keep the originals I was issued at birth if at all possible.
The reward for our effort at Tallac was that the beach was entirely deserted. Not a soul was in sight. No motorboats were thrumming on the lake to disturb the peace. The view was so incredible! I could imagine this was exactly how Tahoe looked when only the Native Washo were here, before white men ruined it forever. I sat down on a log with the dogs beside me, closed my eyes and just listened. All was silent, except for nature's music of waves lapping on the shore, quacking mallards, a jay bird's call, and the tapping of a woodpecker in the forest. I wish I could find someplace to live that is as beautiful and restful as this. I hope it won't be so long before we can come back here again. The dogs are both getting old, though, so it will have to be soon. But like a dog, I am just going to live in the moment and not worry about what lies ahead of us. There's no yesterday, no tomorrow, only today. We're together now, and that's all that matters.