Snow is the bond that binds Tahoans
On Tuesday, we said “goodbye” to our garbage cans. Buried under 8 feet of snow, I will be surprised if they are accessible again before spring. It took throwing a snow shovel into a wall of powder multiple times to locate our mailbox E then a half hour to dig it out and move it to a more accessible place.
We work hard. We pull together. We have as much fun as possible. That’s the character of Tahoe.
With the electricity out, “What do we do?” was the operative question as my partner and I looked into each other’s increasingly attractive visage E the next question was, “Then what?”
My housemates were coming up with goofy suggestions — multiple games of rock, paper, scissors E tick-tack-toe E dirty Scrabble.
Happily, I have a whole jar of pennies for a game of poker. I live with five male housemates. I have observed for some time now that the amount of pennies found on the floor is directly proportional to the number of men in a household. I save them up for use in a house penny poker game in just such emergencies.
Soups, chili, and coffee or tea can be warmed up on top of a gas heater or wood stove. Fireplaces can serve as campfires for toasting everything from marshmallows to steaks. Candles and hurricane lamps add a beautiful twinkle to the rooms.
It’s almost a shame when the lights come back on.
Of course, if a household is relying on electricity for heat, it’s best to have friends to lean on. It’s times like these that lend themselves to building strong friendships.
The challenges inherent in this mountain community — where the sky can dump tons of immobilizing snow or the winds can bring the choking smoke of wildfires, or crushing tree limbs, there can be avalanches, mudslides or disasters of many sorts — can weed out the faint of heart. What remains is the core of locals who have proven themselves to be worthy of respect.
I am grateful to live in a town full of people whom I respect.
Pam Cosmo is an account executive at the Tahoe Daily Tribune. Off-Beat is a column written by Tribune employees when the get around to it.
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