Grasshopper Soup: keeping it real in Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Grasshopper Soup: keeping it real in Tahoe

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Culture shock didnand#8217;t stop Becky and Jim White from making a go of Tahoe life. The Whitesand#8217; sojourn to Tahoe was a little shaky at first; the familiar yo-yo move. No, they are not yo-yoand#8217;s. They are a hard working couple from the Bay Area with what sounds like the good old pioneer spirit and a great sense of humor. Becky said they had to spend a few months here and there and#8220;and#8230; on a part time basis to bolster our savings.and#8221;

Becky says, and#8220;Here is what we have learned as middle age Beginner Locals: Yikes! Squirrels and chipmunks can indeed eat a Jeep Cherokee if left in your driveway for any length of time in early spring.and#8221; Donand#8217;t underestimate local rodents in Fall either, Becky.

And, she said, and#8220;Whoops! Donand#8217;t leave your front and back doors open in the summer time if you are puttering around upstairs. That is, unless you want to play Goldilocks to a visiting bear!and#8221;

And, on the medical expense frontier, she says, and#8220;Surprise! There are no HMO services in the Tahoe Basin. The higher cost of medical insurance is a big extra expense we should have calculated ahead of time.and#8221;

I wish I could help you there Becky, but I didnand#8217;t vote for that guy.

Becky also included a well-deserved compliment to a local Tahoe City business many of us have learned we can depend on. She said, and#8220;And a tip of the hat to the Tahoe City Chevron for alerting us to this phenomenon and repairing all the gnawed parts to our AC.and#8221; She was, of course, referring to the leftovers from the Jeep-eating rodents.

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As Becky puts it, they and#8220;and#8230; have lived on the West Shore in fits and starts (thanks to the economy) since the summer of 2006 … But, weand#8217;re pretty much done with that.and#8221;

No more yo-yo back and forth from the Bay Area. Welcome, Jim and Becky. It sounds to me like you are well on your way to Intermediate Local Status, if you arenand#8217;t there already.

Becky didnand#8217;t go into any detail about playing Goldilocks, so I assume that she and the bear dined well together without incident, that Becky is blonde, and the cops or the Bear League did not have to be called.

Whatever the fate of the world is, in the cradle of the Tahoe Basin we can watch our cares fade away, at least for awhile, on the bright blaze of the sky sizzling on the smooth surface of the lake, as we keep on the right road to forever.

We are easily inspired in our little paradise, and our sublime surroundings encourage us to look out for each other when the going gets rough. But, in Tennessee, a man lost his home because of bureaucratic apathy. The fire department showed up prepared to extinguish the house fire, but only if it threatened the property of the next door neighbor, who was current with his $75 annual fee. Because the man who owned the burning home forgot to pay his fee that year, the firemen just let it burn. 75 bucks? Are you for real? A fireman, with the power to stop a house fire, refusing to assist? What a fine example to set for the children.

If there is a legal risk in putting out a fire, we, as a society are USCWAP! If you donand#8217;t know what that means, try SNAFU. A snafu is one of the worse things that can happen to a community of people. USCWAP has to do with being up a certain creek without a paddle, and snafu, well, someone in the military should know.

We should all be held responsible for our actions, and our inaction. But itand#8217;s a strange world we live in. Destroy an eagle egg and you go to jail. Abort a human fetus, no crime. Killing beavers rightfully has locals completely stunned by the culture we still live in.

Does human life and beaver life only have value if they are native to the area?

The answer, apparently, is still blowing in the wind. At least some of us can hear it.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.