December 29, 2009

A California Christmas

Surrounded by national forest and with Yosemite just a short drive away, the beautiful Christmas weather has given us all a chance to get out and play and spend time with family. We are grateful for the chance to wind down from a hectic autumn and look ahead to the adventures planned for 2010, but more than anything we are enjoying the moment and being together with our children and their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.

A few days before Christmas, we took a drive up into the mountains on a small dirt road as far as the snow would allow. Here we stopped the car and got out to breathe in the scent of pine trees and allow the boys to get out and get dirty. As I watched them climb and crawl over boulders and search for sugar pine cones, the theme for our year together suddenly came to me. The year of getting dirty. The coming year is all about getting outside together and getting dirty, trying new things and doing more of the things we already enjoy doing outdoors.

The snow that fell last week made for a great start to ski season for all of us. Elias started where he left off, loving the feel of new fallen snow under his skis. He took his first ride on a ski lift (with skis on) and immediately headed for the gates leading out into the backcountry with his cousins. At the end of the day, he still had a big smile on his face and was ready for more.  Soon enough we'll be back on the snow and with a long winter season ahead we have plenty of great ski days to look forward to.

Keeping to family tradition, we again headed to Yosemite on Christmas Eve for ice skating in the Valley. Despite the many hundreds of trips to Yosemite Valley since my childhood, the tunnel view continues to inspire. There is something majestic and humbling about popping out of the tunnel and being dwarfed by the immense granite walls towering above. However Elias' first words as he awoke from his slumber in the back seat to these inspiring mountains were perhaps more humbling than the view itself. "Klatre", he said, "climb" in Norwegian. He elaborated his comment by following this with "climb the big mountains".
Even at his age, his appreciation for the outdoors is already evident. His passion for exploring, climbing, skiing, and more perhaps than anything getting his hands dirty (and wet) is what we hope to be able to nurture in the year ahead. And of course as a climber, seeing Elias and Frêney grow to love the mountains and want to climb them, would make me a very proud father.

As the new year quickly approaches, we are blessed to look back at the many adventures we have had in 2009 and the chance to celebrate the holidays with our family here in California.


wenche said...

Godt nytt år. Koselig å følge med dere på denne siden. I morgen starter skoleåret opp igjen. Vi får ny rektor så det blir ekstra spennende. Håper dere får mange fine og spennedne opplevelser. Klem Fra Wenche