I’ve been in this room for more than half a year. Not all at once; I’ve been working at it over a lifetime, one week per year since I was 17.
After falling in love with Snowbird, my dad arranged the following: Every year for 50 years, during Week 40, which begins on the first Saturday of October, we would vacation in Iron Blosam Lodge's condo unit 609 for a week. Every year for 50 years -- an eternity.
I’ve lived in 10 different houses or apartments since I first stayed in 609, so now, strangely, I have a longer history here than anywhere. This place holds the memories of nearly everything and everyone that’s been important to me since high school. My Granny Guy has been in this room. She's been gone 30 years.
The first year I invited Chris to join me here, he asked, "What would I do up there all week?" I laughed and told him to pack his bags. In 24 years he’s never needed coaxing again. We picked a Week 40 wedding date so we'd have a place to house out-of-town family. We didn't yet realize an awesome byproduct of this: Each year we celebrate our wedding anniversary here.
I’ve only been here once when it wasn’t October. After high school graduation, my folks gave me use of the condo for a week. I came to 609 in June with my dear girlfriend Cindy and we listened to records on my stereo, sunbathed, threw the baseball around, wore our cowboy hats and drank tequila.
Once, as a 20-something, I threw a party here and invited friends from both radio stations where I was a disc jockey.
Chris and I came down the canyon at the end of Week 40 once, straight to the hospital to hold a 2-hour-old newborn, the son of our friends Julie and Travis. Now Garrett is a fine young man, having his 15th birthday. He came to 609 a few days ago to spend some time with us.
The year after my dad died, my mom bravely came back to 609. She opened the curtains that cloak this immense two-story window, and as the familiar mountain view revealed itself, this vista she had never seen without my dad, my mom cried her eyes out, a tradition I continued the first time Chris and I came here after she died and left the place to us.
I don't know if altitude and chemo don't mix well or what, but in 2007, miserable and sick with a dramatic fever, I laid my bald head on the couch and tried not to imagine Chris opening the curtains alone.
Both of us feeling well again last year, we volunteered at a get-out-the-vote phone bank before driving up the canyon to spend Week 40 amped up on election coverage.
Unit 609 has now seen an African American U.S. president, thank heavens. That stereo, speakers, and LP records that Cindy and I schlepped up the canyon have been replaced by an iPod with 5,000 songs on it and a tiny player. The 50-year eternity is slowly but ineluctably coming to an end. With luck, I'll outlive my privileges at the condo, but then where will we go during Week 40 and how will I mark the passage of time?
Barb Guy is a regular contributor to these pages.