Guest column: Forget the negativity — there’s no place like Lake Tahoe (opinion)
I have heard so many negative comments about our town lately that I want to share a different perspective — maybe just to get it off my chest or maybe because I am one of those annoyingly glass-is-half-full types.
South Lake Tahoe is a great place to live and I would not want to live anywhere else.
I lived here as a single person, moved away, got married and then moved back 14 years later with my family — two years ago. When I moved back, I was home.
In San Diego, we didn’t let our son ride his bike far. The map of pedophiles and sexual offenders in our city was enormous. Our cars were broken into regularly at night and our house was also broken into. In San Diego, we were the dreaded “helicopter parents.” Playing outside was always supervised.
I compare our life there to the first year we moved to Tahoe. Our son picked up whittling sticks with a pocketknife. He built forts with logs and pine boughs. He came home with muddy shoes (YAY!). He’s learned how to rock climb, kayak, paddleboard, mountain bike and downhill ski. He knows what a snow plant is. He learned how to catch little snakes along the Truckee River.
The only break-ins we’ve experienced in Tahoe are bear paw prints on our truck in the morning when we forgot to lock the doors.
I have met good people in Tahoe — “mamma raised them right” people.
Like the math tutors over at Lake Tahoe Community College who volunteer their time to help the community (saviors for parents like me who can’t remember middle school math), teachers and principals who are out in the community supporting their students after hours at concerts and fundraisers even though they put in full days at school.
People like the fire department teams who light up a truck for the kids over the holidays and ride up and down the streets handing out candy canes.
I was moved by EMTs who came to our house on a few occasions quickly and showed respect, dedication and kindness to my husband during his not-so-smooth recovery from a stroke.
I am thankful for the many volunteer coaches giving their time to our son and the kids’ sports leagues here in town — giving up a ton of their time to have a positive impact on Tahoe’s kids.
Most of all, this is the only place I’d want to live because it is unmatched in its raw beauty. I love being part of a community of people that chose Tahoe.
If you are feeling down on politics, roadwork, tourists , whatever has you frustrated … I urge you to just take a few minutes and go smell the pine needles outside as they bake in the sun and listen for a Cheeseburger bird.
It can change your day. It can re-fill your cup.
Jenny Butterfass is a South Lake Tahoe resident.