My son asked me an interesting question the other day. “How many people, percentage wise, do you see that you know while driving from one end of town to the other?” asked Nathan.
This got me thinking….a lot. I would say that I know about 25% of the people that I drive past in this town. I might not be friends with them or even ‘Facebook Friends’ for that matter, but I know who they are and often I know where they live. That is about one in every 4 people that I pass on the road, excluding Fridays and Sundays when the tourists are coming and going.
Because I live in Meyers and do business where I live, I know a lot of people out here. I work out at the Crossfit, shop at Lira’s for the quick onion or gallon of milk and get my bike fixed at Whattabike. I know that Cece at the post office loves classic rock as she is blasting the Scorpions when I go in to buy my postage stamps. The sense of community is strong out in the county.
There is something about Tahoe that keeps us here and keeps us tight. No, it is not the fabulous shopping. No, it is not the conveinience or even the affordable cost of living (ha!). It is a sense of community and belonging. It is the great outdoors and all that it has to offer! For me, there is no place that my spirit man is more content than out on the trails with the peek-a-boo lake view in the back ground.
I have had to fight to stay here. When the economy took a swift blow a few years ago we watched many families pack up and move away because they couldn’t make a living. Now that things have improved, we are seeing healing as the families are returning and making Tahoe their home again. Hooray! Many people will agree that this is the best place on Earth to raise children! People coming from a major city like San Francisco are attracted to the small town feel of Tahoe for a plethora of reasons. Maybe they crave intimacy? Simplicity? Or an opportunity to slow down and reflect?
I think about the 80’s tv show, Cheers when describing our life in this town. Often when I go skiing with my boyfriend Blair, it is hard to get many runs in because it is like a huge reunion every time we get to the lift line. Although I love seeing old friends, it can really slow you down if your intention is to do hot laps on chair 6.
The community spirit in this town is the most generous outpouring of love and selflessness that I have ever seen. We have had people face great tragedy and loss only to be met by kindness, provision and support of a caring community that really has your back. I have been on both the giving and the recieving end and it truly is different here than anywhere I have ever been. Strangers become like family when the need arises.
You might be in the market for a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage…but what you will ulitmately be getting by becoming part of the South Lake Tahoe community can not be bought. It is priceless. Although there are times when I am looking like a hurricane just hoping to be invisible as I slip into the grocery…please God, don’t let me run into anybody I know…those times are few. I truly appreciate being a local, being known as a local and being a part of something special.