Lake Tahoe

By Kimber Annie

Lake Tahoe, oh my gosh, I love Lake Tahoe! Feels like a forever ago I would ski on the water and ski on the snow . . . then just go home.   

Home was right down the road, right down Mt. Rose highway. Home was the Biggest Little City in the World, and the whole world knew it.  

Home was a prostitute on one corner and a Jesus preacher on the other.  

Home was slot machines and mine had one in it! Growing up with a slot machine is probably like growing up with a gumball machine. Colorful, full of round things and always spitting them out! Home was a mixture of noisy neon nights and crystal-clear blue skies.  Black crap tables and grassy green-yellow dandelions. Tree-topped mountain peaks and 23rd Psalm valleys. Home was a mixture of light and dark and neither hid from the other. No reason to. Side by side both seemed just fine living together.

I think that’s what I loved most about home.

I’d watch shiny cars and golden people embrace tarnished hearts. I’d watch goodness shelter a neverending line of those who had no shelter. Steeples were built to weather the rain and stained glass windows seemed to welcome the stains. I remember Mama would give away our winter coats ’cause we were already warm and I remember always feeling warmer.  

Speaking of warmth, home was a beautifully warm contradiction. 

Scorching heat stealing your breath while fresh sage calmly gave you more. Bare sun-kissed feet freezing up as a lizard jaggedly jolted over them. Itchy pinecone scratches because of freshly stolen pine nuts. There was cactus and then, there was cactus juice. The contradictions were constant. I would sleep out under the Weeping Willow as it slept out under the stars. I would eagerly try not to fall asleep until I saw one fall. I’d watch it burn then I’d watch it burn out. The sky was my ceiling so I saw I didn’t have one. 

Lake Tahoe, oh my gosh, I love Lake Tahoe!  

Feels like a forever ago I would ski on the water and ski on the snow . . . then just go home. 

Kimber Annie is a published poet and contributing author in over 30+ books, including Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now, and the author of the self-published inspirational book, 3TRUTHS. She is the producer of two published musical children’s albums, Into My Heart and How Sweet the Sound. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee.

Image: “Virginia Cascades,” Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 2003, acrylic on canvas, Brianna Keeper