Tribune staff report

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November 21, 2012
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South Shore residents give thanks

Last week, Tahoe Daily Tribune asked readers what they were thankful for this year. Readers sent in their responses via email and Facebook. Staff voted on submissions, and Kelly Smith Johnson was named the winner. She won an 18- to 20-pound turkey from Overland Meat & Seafood Co. Winner:I’m thankful for the lessons I have learned being a mother to the two most amazing boys in the world! Especially to my Bailey, who has taught me to live each day to the fullest because it could be your last! Never knew I would learn this from my first born at 9 months old, when he was diagnosed with cancer and not expected to live through the night. Now, almost 13 years since his original diagnosis and three relapses later, he is here to celebrate Thanksgiving and every other day with me! He is my hero.Kelly Smith Johnson

I am thankful for the simple things in life. I know it’s clich but, as I’ve grown older, I have realized the true importance of family. I am very thankful for my family, pets included, and the close friends that I have. I have learned how the little moments often taken for granted should be the ones we cherish. Also, knowing that a small gesture and a simple smile can go a long way is important — these actions have had great impact in my daily life, whether I’ve been the provider or recipient. I am thankful to have another Thanksgiving with my family, and I would certainly be thankful for a turkey to share our small gestures and simple smiles over. Happy Turkey Day.Allison SmithI’m thankful this year for the oppurtunity to participate in deciding the future of our great country by voting. This year I went to the polls here in South Lake Tahoe with my 18-year-old granddaughter who was very excited to cast her first ballots in local, state and national elections. She was born here and studied the local candidates’ positions, the state propositions and party platforms of all the Presidential parties including Greens and Libertarians. She was a well-informed voter and I was very proud, and thankful, to be an American.Kevin C. MooreI am very thankful for my son who served in the military and survived as well as my son-in-law who serves and has served many missions in afganistan. Also, my family, friends and brotherswho are very supportive of my endeavors in my life. I am eternally grateful.Gary HimesI am thankful for my husband and daughter and our loved ones. I feel very blessed to be living in beautiful Lake Tahoe (for many years I’ve dreamed of living here). Life does not get any better than this. Happy holidays!Liana WhittingtonI am thankful for family, friends, good health and for having landed a job in Lake Tahoe, where our backyard is a nature lover’s paradise. I’m grateful to have been welcomed so warmly by such a fun-loving and tight-knit community. Teaching second grade in Bijou’s Two Way Immersion program, I am surrounded by positive energy, talented students and families that understand the value of bilingualism. Felz Da de Accin de Gracias! Happy Thanksgiving!Alana Cayabyab I moved to South Lake Tahoe in August — just three short months ago. I am thankful for a lot of things this year. I was out of work for two years in the Bay Area and unhappy with my life. Today, I live in such a beautiful place, I have a full-time job, I have great family and great friends old and new supporting me. I feel like I am where I am supposed to be. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!Jaime ProfitThis Thanksgiving, my family and I are thankful to be able to welcome our first child into this world. We are thankful to be having our daughter in one of the most amazing places in the entire country. We look forward to raising her here among loving locals and vibrant visitors. Riley Olivia was due on Friday, Nov. 16, but has decided to hold off a couple more days. We are always thankful for the wonderful care we have received at Tahoe Women’s Care and look forward to a comfortable stay at Barton Hospital as soon as the baby decides to be born. I’m sure she is just waiting for the right white day to say “hello.”Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!Michelle WeathersbyI am very thankful for many things, especially my new baby. We are also very sad because my father was diagnosed with cancer; but together — I and my family — we are helping my dad to recover someday.Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.Santos PonceI am most thankful for my children. All three play very special important roles, but one, Brandy Beers, was a Failure to Thrive Baby and was diagnosed with CMV, Deaf and Microcephaly at 6 months. I was told that she would most like not make it, and if she did, she would never walk, talk and play like other children. She was given a 5-year life span due to the severity of CMV in her body. Every birthday I treat her like my other two children, but deep inside, I thank God for another year.Brandy celebrated her 21st birthday this year and attends Fremont School for the Deaf and has turned into a beautiful young lady. She did learn to walk, sign to communicate with the world, and has a heart larger than life itself! If you met Brandy today, she wouldn’t let you leave without giving you a hug goodbye. She is truly a gem. Danell CassettaI’m thankful for having family in my life. Also, I’m thankful for the friends I’ve found in South Lake Tahoe throughout the summer since I’ve moved here this past June. I’ll be eating with these very nice friends on Thanksgiving.Michael Baker III am thankful for everything and everyone that is in my life. No matter if people have more than us, my family is grateful for what we do have. I am thankful that Raley’s employees finally are able to go back to work and that my kids have had a great year playing football and cheer this year. A lot of time and effort and lack of sleep, but we made it through as a family and family is the most important in life. I will always be thankful for the years I have left with my love.Misty Reed I am thankful for my job and great boss! Also for having such great friends also to be experiencing life which, in 1993 I died two times on the table. Guess I’m supposed to be here.Jc Miskell I am thankful to say that I live in South Lake Tahoe, to have a family that I love, and that I love as much as they love me if not more. I am thankful for the friends I have met here, I will never forget you! I am thankful that I had the opportunity to change my life here, and I am even more thankful that you — my family, my friends — were a huge part of my new way of life!Brian Jeffery I’m thankful for my large motley crew of Tahoe friends. They make my life fun and adventure-filled.Lauren Lindley I am thankful for being alive.Kathy Compton I am thankful for my beautiful family, and that we all have our health and a nice place to live. Also very thankful that we get to live in this beautiful city in the mountains by the most beautiful lake in the country.Linda Anderson I’m thankful to be alive, and for that I am most thankful for my therapist, Michele Happe. My downward spiral of alcohol abuse ended with a crash on May 12. I could have easily perished, but actually escaped with relatively minor injuries. Michele’s unwavering and unconditional support has allowed me to not only achieve complete sobriety, but also work with me in many other ways. Out of a hellish experience a phoenix has risen. I’ve been finally able to identify the true internal source of my lifelong pain and look forward to the rest of my life with hope and energy by just allowing myself to be me. All thanks to Michele.Steve Wilson I am thankful for a roof over my head and heat — it sounds simple, but I drive down the boulevard and see little children with no gloves or coats and realize just how fortunate I am. I am truly blessed.Lisa WoodstockI am thankful for my two beautiful children, they make everyday worth waking up in the morning. I am also thankful for Lake Tahoe, it truly is amazing to be able to live here! People come to Tahoe to vacation and I actually live here! God has blessed me. JoAnna GutierrezI am thankful for animals! They are something I don’t think I could live without. God’s way of showing us we are never alone.Brooke SmithI’m thankful for my 95-year-old grandmother! She has always kept this family together. She’s our rock. I remember such great times on holidays like this. She has this old piano that she would play and sing and of course we would all sing along. I have so many great memories of her. She’s a very special person. Love you grandma.Janise HawthorneI’m so thankful for finding Lake Tahoe. Every day I look around and think what a place I have chosen to be at, and could not imagine taking staycations anywhere else. Thank you Lake Tahoe for being so diverse with people that it feels like one has traveled the world without leaving the basin.Aaron SylvestreI would like to say huge “thank you” to all the businesses and the whole community of South Lake Tahoe that came out and helped the strikers of Raley’s while the they were all walking the line in the bitter cold. Just goes to show all of us what a wonderful community we live in. They brought them food and water and hot coffee during their difficult time. Thank you for all the honks and the thumbs up as people were driving by. Mark ZduniakI am thankful to live in this beautiful country which has been defended by our brave men and women in uniform. Thanks to them, we have been able to live in a country which allows us to work, get educated, worship and raise a family as we choose. Thank you to our military personnel today and every day. You totallly rock! Julie NoldI am thankful I am here. I have multiple health issues that many doctors have told me multiple times I’m not going to make it. I’ve been told I will loose my feet but I’m still walking today albeit slowly and painfully. If I am able to watch my two amazing teenagers graduate I’ll be happy. I’m on SSI and fighting for my checks back, happy to have a family to take my kids in as I sleep on a friend’s couch. I’d love to be able to cook them and my friend dinner but unless I get a miracle child support payment that’s not happening but I’ll still be with them and that’s what I need. Thank you.Michelle KezerI am thankful for being able to live in such a beautiful place such as Lake Tahoe and be able to have such great stores around the South Shore.Paul VosburgWhat do I, Toogee Sielsch, have to be thankful for?I will start by saying that the list of things I’m not thankful for is basically nonexistent. So, in other words, I’m pretty much thankful for everything I have in my life! I’m very blessed to have two sons who have rocketed past my highest expectations in who they are as students, members of the community, caring, loving individuals who have a positive outlook on life, far and away my two best friends, and in the case of my oldest, a person who has achieved an excellent career in his field of study. And since I’m on the subject of my boys, I can’t leave out how thankful I am for the fact that both of my sons’ respective mothers have been so accommodating in working together with me to make it a priority to raise healthy, well-adjusted and caring human beings.I’m also quite thankful that I have reached a point in my life where I am comfortable with who I am and how I relate to the rest of the world after having gone through eight years of emotional, psychological, and financial, well for lack of a better description, speed bumps — and who hasn’t?And last, but surely not least, I’m thankful that for the 30 years I have lived in a place that is arguably the most beautiful and energy-filled piece of real estate on the planet, that has an extraordinary community, in the greatest country in the world!I’ll just finish off by screaming, “Life rocks!”Toogee SielschI would like to expresses my thankfulness to all the small businesses in South Lake Tahoe! One in particular at this time: Lake Tahoe Orthopedics and Dr. Banner and his staff! Doc Banner’s mom is ill back east and he and his staff have all scrambled to accommodate us pending surgery. Before Thanksgiving no less! Talk about taking care of his community. I am eternally grateful to Doc B, for I would not be able to walk without him!Kirsten DuaneI am thankful this year for being healthy, for being able to visit my parents and enjoy my time with baby niece Ruta. I am thankful that my brother honored me to be a godmother for his daughter. I am thankful for having the best parents in the world. I am thankful for great experiences and new friends this year. Thank you!Edith S.Im thankful for the breath in our air, the children that are put out of despair, the ever fresh water in our hair, and the skys blue-so not rare, and thankful for the places where my loves of life are near, and for the ability to go anywhere, thankful for the beauty of a one of a kind care when im injured on a mountain and my friends help the pain be spare, thankful for the laughter in my ears and the blessings of my belly full and my not hungry fare, thankful for the chance to live without fear, and when I’m running out of things to be thankful for this is where ... I’m thankful for for the stairs that climb me to a thankful tower, so I can run to the top and throw confetti and blare out to you to have been thankful for the chance to be thankful here.Jennifer Cryan


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 21, 2012 05:19PM Published Nov 21, 2012 05:13PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.