A smile

Ahh, Summer in Tahoe! It lasts for two months. If we are lucky! 

And yes, it can get hot. Lately many have been complaining how it has been way to hot. Really people!? Tahoe rarely gets over 90 degrees and we don't even have humidity here. We have lakes and rivers to cool off in. If you stay in a shade, you have to put your sweatshirt on for crying out loud! I live for hot days here because I know we are going to have dinner on the deck without having to put a down jacket on. 

Oh and traffic! Well, instead of 10 minute drive to work, you now have to leave 20 minutes earlier. Yeepee! 20 extra minutes to listen to your favorite book or another episode of Fresh Air.

And smoke! Yes, it has been awful! There have been days we can't see the lake and air has been difficult to breathe. But just think of all those poor people and animals who lost their lives and their homes. We still have homes to go to. I am incredibly grateful for that. I can skip a bike ride for a day or two.

And then there are lines at the grocery store. I admit I dreaded to go to Safeway in Kings Beach yesterday. I was mad at myself for not buying more food before the weekend. Then I thought to myself:” Just enjoy yourself. Observe. Look at the diversity of people Tahoe attracts. And we get to live here! We can share this beautiful place with others for a while. There is plenty of room, the sun shines down on all of us, the beaches are beautiful- we are on a very pretty one just now. And don’t forget, it’s because of all the tourists, many of us get to put food on the table. It always amazes me when I hear people especially younger ones complain about crowds. 

As I walked around the store, I spotted an older gentleman shuffling after his very determined wife. He did not look happy at all. I smiled at him and said:” Hi there! Having fun yet?” with a big genuine smile. His expression changed instantly. He grinned back and just shrugged his shoulders. I turned around to catch a glimpse of him, his posture straightened, his step quickened, he caught up with his wife and put his arm on her shoulder. 

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.
— Mark Twain

I smiled at a few more people and everyone, I mean everyone smiled back. 

As I was leaving the store passing Starbucks, I noticed a petite Asian lady sitting by herself. She looked up and I threw a big-hearted smile her way. I wish I could capture her facial expression and share it with you right now. She lifted halfway out of her chair and threw me a kiss with a wave of a hand and the warmest of smiles. Well, we both made each others day. 

That's all it takes folks! A simple smile and you don't just make someone else happy and welcome, you feel good about yourself. Instead of bitching about this and that, be happy- you control your own life! On a broader scale of things, this land is big enough and wealthy enough to accept more people. What are we but a bunch of immigrants in this country and unless you have Native American blood flowing in your vanes, you have no right to claim this land just for yourself. Let's open up our hearts and embrace each other and yes, SMILE! 


Alenka Vrecek