Guest Column: What makes Incline a village?
January 29, 2014
I love it here in Incline Village. The label "village" conjures up visions of cottages, livestock, well-behaved children and general serenity.
Forget that our thatched roofs adorn multimillion dollar cottages and that our "cattle" are peculiarly difficult to milk. How shall we take the bucolic image of a village and make it Incline? What makes Incline a village? Most importantly, what makes Incline Village home?
First, a little about myself. I grew up near the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, and spent 20 years in Nashville before coming out here. It's quite beautiful there; a predominance of hardwood trees creates an explosion of color in the fall that rivals the Sierra Nevada in sheer spectacularness.
There is less snow (current winter notwithstanding) more rain, and a curious condition called humidity. I had no concept of 10 percent humidity until I arrived here. It was fascinating that the air didn't spontaneously burst into flames.
I came out here on vacation in '08. I had no idea at the time that I was about to make a major change of venue, but as the overwhelming vistas of the mountains and lake began to seep in, I started to gnaw on the bone of my life situation.
My stagnant career and an ominous undercurrent of general dissatisfaction had me as worn out as a rented mule. It only took a couple of months to conclude that here is where I should be.
Why, then, do I call The Village home? I haven't bought a house here. That takes enough money to burn a wet moose, and I remain a handful of 20s and a couple of gallons of gasoline short.
Besides, I've owned houses back East. It ain't that big of a deal. Owning the house doesn't necessarily make one at home. A lavish dwelling doesn't automatically make me feel sheltered and secure any more than stuffing myself with Hagen Dazs makes me feel well nourished.
There are some key components that go into making anyplace home, and they can't be found on Craigslist or in any galleria. The Village provides these. All I have to do is be willing to go out and gather them.
A home must nourish my spirit, and The Village does. The indescribable natural beauty of the mountains, Lake Tahoe, and a rich variety of wildlife are my companions. This must be accentuated with people, and The Village offers me them as well.
Friends have opened their hearts and homes to me in ways I never dreamed would be possible or necessary. Some of these friends are included in the wonderful people I work with. I participate fully in my jobs with IVGID, and they seem to appreciate what I do.
The money is handy in addition to my other stipends, but the warmth of the people is more important. A smaller town atmosphere exists here that I am used to.
As a result, I feel more a part of my community that I ever have anywhere. A feeling of belonging here envelopes me. This place belongs to me, all of it, from the pinecone at my feet to the vast expanse beyond the mountains west of the lake. I equally belong to it.
The Village is my home. I like it here.
Yogi Thompson is an Incline Village resident.