Today I am turning 17. Living at boarding school, birthdays are honestly the best. Not only do I get a birthday party and a cake at night, but I also get to spend all day with my friends.
Today has been amazing and I’m so thankful for the people around me that make every birthday so special. But exactly one year ago, my day looked a lot different.
I had just found out that my dorm had burnt down. I was just packing to leave again, to get away from the smoke. I had none of my own clothes to wear, none of my belongings with me. My then-boyfriend had just ditched me to hang out with his friend on possibly the worst day of my life. My family was trying so hard to make my sweet sixteen as good and peaceful as possible, but there wasn’t much they could do. My life had just been turned upside down.
I can’t believe that was already a year ago. The hills and trees still look burnt, we still live in mobile homes, and the pictures of the fire still make me sick. It seems like yesterday that I was screaming at the orange skies that were burying the sun behind smoke to go away, to go back to normal, to turn back the time and make this all go away. But there was no turning back, there was nothing left to do. Nothing left to do, besides trying to forget about everything for a day. Trying to imagine that we were going on vacation and not evacuating from a wildfire. Trying to imagine that my friend and I were watching Riverdale in the girls lounge, not on my sofa at home with amber alerts going off next to us. Trying to imagine that everything was like it had been 48 hours earlier.
Now, a year later, I know that nothing is really still the same. We don’t live in the same rooms anymore, we don’t have the same buildings anymore. I know that, and I’m finally beginning to accept that. I know that there is nothing left but to move on.
Sounds like a long time.It is a long time. But I don’t know why, it doesn’t feel like a long time. Time doesn’t exist or really matter when I am with him.
Two years ago, on the 29th of this month, a much younger, braces-clad me was asked out by my current boyfriend. We both have grown so much since that day and learned so much about each other. Tomorrow, 24 hours from today, we will be hitting our 2 year milestone.
This is a big deal; neither one of us have been in a relationship this long and with the impending graduation coming closer each day, I want to make sure that tomorrow will be a special day, a memorable day that he can look back on after he walks the cobblestone stage.
I plan on making him a scavenger hunt. A series of six clues that lead him to me. I will tell him that I can’t see him because I am busy studying for the upcoming AP’s and that I am so sorry that I can’t see him on our anniversary. Then, his friends will make sure he doesn’t eat dinner or leave the vicinity of his room. He will find his first clue which will come with a rice krispies treat that I made in the shape of a letter. After finding all the clues, the rice krispies will reveal my location and he will meet me there to find a dinner made from scratch!
It’s not much, just a few pieces of paper and time spent putting a few ingredients together. But they say that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If he likes it, then that’ll be the best thing!
It’s 2011 and with that, the 75th winter season is underway at Sun Valley Idaho’s world renowned ski resort, known to the locals as “Baldy.”
The walkway is adorned with the flags of other countries as you cross the bridge over the Snake River to the River Run Lodge. Ski rental shops and food stands stake ground here to welcome the skiiers and boarders to another winter of powder days and perfect corduroys. If you’re lucky, someone might pay you to use your lift ticket when you’re coming off the mountain.
Home to the steepest downhill slope in all of America, (the path is Ridge, Christmas Bowl, Cold Springs) Sun Valley Ski Resort lies right in the heart of Ketchum, a quiet Idaho town located deep within the mountains. Lindsey Vonn, and John Kennedy Jr. and Arnold Schwarzenegger have cruised the catwalks along the side of the mountain, Shawn White has graced the half pipe, and many olympic skiiers throughout the generations have flown down the groomers since the inaugural winter in 1936.
I have skiied on this mountain since 2000 and the lift tickets in my family’s ski closet display over a 20 year evolution of passes. I did my first 360 and rode my first double diamond on that mountain, I have eaten at the various lodges, got caught in a few blizzards, have skiied in the spring with a short sleeve t-shirt and have had some of the best times I’ve had at River Run. Happy Birthday Baldy, and many more to come. I’ll see you again in February.