Glass Half Full: Storms bring about unique experiences |

Glass Half Full: Storms bring about unique experiences

In the wake of a truly spectacular storm, with the very real possibility of significant amounts of additional snow in the forecast, I have three distinct reflections to share:

1. We live in a place of extraordinary beauty

One where nature is in charge, not us. We are not used to that, are we? We tend to believe that we have the capacity to make things happen our way.

The last two weeks have reminded us of the contrary. The challenge for many has been letting go of control, accepting what is, and reminding ourselves that we moved here to be close to nature.

Close, we have been! The fact that we have left behind the complications and annoyances of city life does not mean that life will always be hassle free here. Perhaps the past several winters made many of us forget that.

2. Our community is filled with generous people

During a 50-hour period when many homes were without power, hence without heat, light, or cooking facilities, the open invitations extended over social media were phenomenal.

Residents literally opened their doors (if they could manage to shovel their way out) and homes to strangers. The concepts of neighbors and community were redefined by many.

Folks shoveled others’ driveways, picked up and delivered groceries, helped dig out cars. We were all reminded that such acts of generosity carry far more value than they actually cost. Many of us reconnected to our community. We should all be stronger because of that.

3. We are indebted to those who worked astoundingly long hours to clear our roads and reestablish power

They did so uncomplainingly, often foregoing the needs of their own homes and families to take care of the rest of us. It is easy to forget, when we wonder where that guy with the plow is or why the power is still off, that the men and women slogging through freezing temperatures and impossible drifts to restore our accessibility and services in the middle of the night may well still be without those services at their own homes.

Regardless of our ages and life histories, the recent storm should have been a unique and unforgettable learning experiences. One family with children at Lake Tahoe School cheerfully shared with me that they had pretended they were pioneers for the days they were without power.

What a great attitude — and what a great opportunity for their children to develop the kinds of problem solving skills not normally required in their established lives.

With those come increased curiosity and self-confidence. I am grateful, as I hope all of you are, to live in this marvelous region where I am forced to learn new skills, appreciate people in new ways, and have the daily privilege of experiencing such beauty.

Ruth Glass is headmaster at Lake Tahoe School. She can be reached for comment through her blog at

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