By Cal Orey
I wasn't going to write about this coming Fourth of July but I'm thinking why the heck not? Welcome. Usually I am a quiet, balanced author-intuitive who writes articles and books. Three days ago, my life changed as I knew it...
As an intuitive, I sensed chaos was on its way. I prepared as I do before forecasting a mega quake swarm (2008 Reno-Tahoe) and the Angora Fire (2007) or thunderstorms (through the summer). I've done Northern California floods and blizzards before the Tahoe drought, and rough air when I choose to fly away to Canada and escape. But this Fourth of the July--is a piece of work.
On the upside, I've lost those three pesky pounds thanks to the Fourth of July Diet. Blame it on the vacationers here at the Lake. My street no longer looks like it once did. It is an Old-Tahoe-style neighborhood but the locals have managed to keep their homes clean and neat. Not so right now.
A Scene Out of Twister
Last night it looked like a scene out of "Twister"--and I was waiting for a flying cow to pay me a visit. Dogs, young and old, were running loose up and down the street day and night. Cars, cars, cars everywhere. Clothes and towels, chairs, people galore were everywhere. And the noise factor? Hot tubs bubbling, screaming, laughing, sirens...
Ugh, I feel sick to my stomach. Sure, I get it. I live in a "tourist town"--get used to it. But you see, the intensity of holiday events never comes inland to the neighborhood as much as it is this year. Well, we do hear fireworks and live music concerts but I and my companion animals have become desensitized to it. Sorta.
I've learned to stock up on food and water, have a low profile, and wait until the storm is over. This time the storm of unruly pets and their people overflowed into my world. RVs, flood lights (night and day. see "Lakeview Terrace" and how irate neighbors become when there's big balls of sunshine in their bedroom), tacky picnic table umbrellas, one flag, and a car lot is what I see when I peek outside the windows.
Tourist Town Needs Tourists’ Money
So you may be thinking: "The town needs tourists' money"--but I do not get paid from the tourists. It's locals, like me, who are the bread and butter for the locals who offer services year-round during off-season. Meanwhile, as I sit here working at home (feeling captive, love to swim or walk the dog but I'm intimidated so I will not do either) I am done fighting. It is out of my control.
As I look at photos of trips I've taken I think: "I didn't trash the city or town or do insensitive things." I do not get drunk, let my dog run loose, scream and party all day and night (however I wish I did at this moment). So my Aussie chews his bones in between chaos and I try to finish the book that is due in less than two months but I cannot lie. I'm feeling frustrated and unbalanced. The town has been invaded and tourists to vacation homeowners are acting selfish and insensitive to people who live here. But, but, but...
It's eerie out there (almost feeling like Will Smith's character in "I Am Legend" and sense "dark seekers" (mean zombie people and dogs are outside when it gets dark at night). Ready to board of all the windows. Besides one local's dog who jumped the fence (I felt so sorry for her--the shepherd's blue eyes met mine--she was scared) and her concerned owner rescued the dog. I feel for these pets and their people. Tonight we get 25 minutes of loud fireworks, after all, it's the time when we celebrate and our sensitive dogs and cats flee. And that's what I should have done. One more thing: My Aussie is barking out in the living room. I am allowing it because it's an insensitive tourist walking by my cabin with a wayward off-leash canine and ignoring our town laws. Live and let live? What else can I do. “Go ahead, boy bark!” I say and turn up the volume to the stereo.
Summer Fun…Join Them—Or Not
A few days ago, I read an article online about how a popular town in Europe, Venice, doesn’t want any more tourists. After all, too many people create traffic congestion, air pollution, lines in stores, and a quiet, quaint town of paradise can turn into a nightmare.
After 20 years of living at Lake Tahoe I became a “clacker”—refer to the film “The Devil Wears Prada”. No, I don’t wear heels but I’ve joined the fun-loving vacation homeowners. That means on weekends I stop writing. Why bother? I take time to chill: garden, swim, sun, and play with my furry friends.
I purchased those silly patio umbrellas with solar lights, faux ivy, lavender flowers, river rock, patio stones, tall trees, and solar lights. I created an oasis to make my time in season chaos, well, bliss. Oh, this year it arrived! I purchased earphones to plug into the TV and computer like being on an airplane. Pondering if I should order a pair for the dog. My cat, Zen? He’s chill.
And there is the ongoing feud of locals and vacation home rentals. But that is another story. My mantra: This too shall pass. Autumn.