Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow springing from my palm

So, my grandma died.
It wasn't a horrific surprise. We knew it was coming, she'd had Alzheimer's for over a year. And the memorial service was two weeks after she had died. Thinking about her was a little melancholy, perhaps, but nobody was heartbroken, and traveling down to Palm Springs for the service turned out to be a very nice trip.
I always enjoy going down there. All of my relatives live there, and they are these mega-blinging-rich people who buy Dior hand soap for each of the fifty bathrooms and travel to Egypt and Spain every summer. The people who flew over here from Kansas and wherever stayed in this fancy Marriott hotel, and the first day we got there, we had dinner at one of the restaurants inside, those ones that charge seventeen dollars for a salad.
Wow. It was a huge place. This crazy hotel actually had BOATS that would take you to your room, and you could cruise across this enormous lake full of ducks and black swans to get there. I have no idea how much it would cost to stay there for a night.

My family and I were staying at a nice low-key Best Western, but everybody else was staying at this enormous place. The decorators must have spent at least fifty thousand on palm tree seeds alone. Or bulbs. Whatever palm trees grow from, because they were everywhere. Anyway, the dinner was so awkward. Two of my dad's cousins got terribly drunk and started acting so obnoxious that other diners would turn and glare. My sister and I didn't know anybody except our parents and grandfather: the rest of them were these complete strangers. But apparently they were related to me. Whenever they started conversations with me, they just did not know what to talk about, and neither did I, so I just stuck to smiling and laughing occasionally at whatever the rest of them were saying as I ate my eighteen-dollar cold-turkey sandwich and fruit salad.
Yes. Eighteen dollars. For two slices of wheat bread, two slices of tomato, a pickle, two lettuce leaves, and turkey, plus a small bowl of pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe, and grapes. I could make that dinner myself for five dollars.
The adults went to the bar afterward, and my sister and I were free to wander the hotel. We considered splitting a Starbucks, but a Frappichino was nearly five dollars. I can't imagine how people could afford life like this.

More exciting-ly, on the way back, it started SNOWING, which thrilled all of us, except my mom, who is about as easy to thrill as a zucchini.
We stopped at the first rest stop we could and exploded out of the car and into the whirlwind of tiny white ballerinas twirling madly towards the ground.
My sister catching snowflakes on her tongue:
I love the taste of snowflakes. They are a fairy queen's finest delicacy, tainted sweet by their fleeting presence, rich with promises and cool on the tongue.

I love the feel of snow crunching beneath my feet. The sound is crisp, the footprints left behind distinct, the entire sensation a satisfying one.

Even this dirty, murky old stream is beautiful because it is dusted with snow. Snow is magic. It lifts my spirits and makes everything around me so much more fascinating, and I always feel so dizzy and intoxicated after just moments of prancing around in its fluffy, freezing, enchanting beauty. I climbed back into the car with glittering diamonds melting in my hair and tiny butterflies perched on my eyelashes. I felt like a goddess, a mythical snow goddess.
It's too bad I live in California. We very, very rarely get snow, but I suppose that's what makes it so special.

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