We are headed to Tahoe tomorrow night, for a week. I’m very fortunate: a week spent sharing a house with most of my wife’s extended family is a pleasure. Furthermore, it’s something we do every year. Last year we missed it, since we couldn’t convince everyone to put the annual vacation in Mexico and we couldn’t afford to fly back to the Russian River just for a week.

We’re packing a bathing suit and mittens for the munchkin. Bathing suits for the lake and pool, mittens for what, if my plans pan out, will be her first experience of snow. There was a lot of snow in the Sierras this year, and I’m hoping that a fairly short drive up from the lakeside will take us to some. I grew up in New England, and it just seems wrong to me to be four years old and never have played in the snow. She is excited.

While there, I’ll celebrate my birthday, which means it’s probably time to review my 43 goals for year 43. Some I achieved, some I didn’t, some I still want to keep on the life-goals list (maybe even the “year 44” list), some I can let go. Making the list had its desired effect, which was to get me to align my life more closely to the things I care about. I haven’t read so much good fiction in years.

So, I am almost done with 42, and I’m still not sure of the meaning of life, the universe, and everything. Although it has been a year of growing awareness of mortality. That’s polite minister-speak for “I’ve thought a lot about the fact that I’m going to die one day.”