The Golden K sits on five acres surrounded by natural rolling terrain with plentiful cedars, pines, and oak trees. Most of the parcels in our area are also five or 10 acres so there is plenty of room between neighbors. Standing on the edge of our property and peering around trees and shrubs we can see a couple of our neighbor’s homes. What a contrast to the suburban San Francisco Bay Area where we relocated from. Back there, even in upper middle class neighborhoods, houses are tightly packed on small lots with second story windows having a clear view of next door neighbors back yards. Or in some cases a view directly across into the neighbor’s second story bedrooms. There is certainly nothing wrong with living so close and I am a believer that home is where you hang your hat and one should be grateful for what they have. But after so many years in that environment Holly and I were looking for something different. That is one of several reasons for moving to the mountains two years ago.
Paradoxically, I also cherish community. I like seeing my neighbors regularly, being available to help them out, or just “running into them” and hearing about their lives. Although it’s taken a little longer we’ve come to know most of them thanks in part to the girls, our two golden retrievers Kali and Kloe. Shortly after we moved in while out walking the girls neighbors driving by would stop to admire them and we would strike up a conversation. Over the weeks and months we got to know many of our neighbors especially those nearest to us. I’ve always like knowing a little bit about my neighbors and them to know a little bit about me so that we can be helpful and watch out for each other.
I love my new community and it is everything I had envisioned as a young man who spent a night at a friend’s parents house in the mountains and dreamed about living in a similar community one day. A community where people are rarely too busy to spend a few minutes to talk with you. Where neighbors and visitors take time to stop in the middle of a gravel road and meet your dogs. Where there is a natural effort create an intimate community and slightly slower pace of life. And yes, that means that the repair person may be a little late getting to your home because he or she chatted for a few minutes with the previous customer after that job was completed. It may mean that the line at the grocery store moves just a little slower because the cashier is finishing up a story with the person who just checked out. Or your handyman can’t get to you until tomorrow because the weather was just too awesome not to take their kid to the lake to fish.
The mountains are a place where everyone seems to have just a little bit more time than down the hill in Suburbia. It’s called “mountain time” and what a great time it is!
And I call it a romantic perspective of life at 3100 feet.
The Golden K at dusk