"And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home,
The snow turned into rain."
Dan Fogelberg's song played as I painted one of the guest cabins, new beetle-kill pine, tongue and groove ceilings and freshly painted walls. Every time I hear those words, I acknowledge the pain, feel it.
Snow turning into rain, in the literal sense, brings more meaning to me now that I live near Steamboat Springs. The Mountain relies on its snow, and when the weather brings rain in the winter, we get ice. Nasty ice. January has been unseasonably warm and dry. Some are thankful for no plowing, and some need snow desperately to make their living.
But, the more I listened to the song (I have a hard time playing it only once), the more I remembered that I'll be rejoicing once that snow consistently turns to rain. Dude ranch season will be among us. That means warm days and cool starry nights, it means line dancing to the tune of Boot Scootin' Boogie, exploring trail rides, and most importantly, it means doing what I love most. Giving people the gift of dude ranching, helping folks to relax, step back and enjoy the beauty that's around us. Giving people a place to call their home-away-from home.