TIMES HAVE CHANGED!

Times Have Changed…Or Have They?

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving to an early morning appointment, when I happened upon a group of elementary aged students waiting for the school bus on one of those last days of school.  What struck me in that moment was that there were three moms waiting there with a group of 6-8 children.

Fast forward to the events of this month where that precious child was attacked by the alligator in Orlando, or even to the toddler who fell into the gorilla enclosure at the zoo.  What disturbs me most is the rant on social media against the parents of these children – a sort of social media piling on, blaming the parents for not paying close enough attention to their kids.

Now I am anticipating the typical backlash from those who will point out that I’m nobody’s mommy, but my head just wants to scream out…

It was an accident, people!
Accidents happen…

Horrible, terrible, accidents that these poor parents have had to endure – the worst imaginable moments of their lives…and instead of finding support from other parents, they are attacked from all sides.

And now here’s where it gets dicey –

I really hope that this doesn’t cause parents to keep an even closer grip on their children.  There has always been danger of one type or another.  Remember when Baby Jessica fell in the well and a nation held its breath during her rescue?  When I was in elementary school, we would practice drop and cover drills, all climbing under our desks as if that was going to save us from the pending nuclear attack.  And there have always been perverts out there.  I can remember my friends and I running home from the park to tell my mom that there was a creepy guy in the bushes.  Talk to any senior in Europe, and they will tell you how horrible it was to live during World War II. If that’s not enough to make you grab your child and hold on tight, I don’t know what is.

Dangers have always, unfortunately, existed.  What has changed significantly is our immediate and unrelenting access to media coverage of every.single.horrible.event.  And it’s got parents scared.  So scared that they are afraid to let little Johnny or Susie out of their sight for even a minute, for fear that the terrible things might happen to them.

And that, I believe, is doing a tremendous disservice to this nation’s children.  It saddens me that kids no longer play “kick the can” in the middle of the street.  While I’m fairly certain that they are smart enough to yell, “CAR!” (remember, how everyone scattered?) – they won’t ever get the chance to test those independence skills.  Or to just take off on their bikes with a bunch of friends and hang out in the neighborhood because mom said, “Go play outside!”  Or to be able to start a pick-up game of baseball without adult assistance, coaches, refs and umpires. You know, just kids with a ball and a bat in a vacant lot.  Or how about walking along that split rail fence – Yes, I know, they could fall and break their arm.  But shouldn’t they be allowed to try???

Not really a retirement post, I know.  And I’m pretty sure I’ll get blasted from well-meaning younger parents in defense of keeping their children safe.  But I’m curious about your opinion…

Lynn

Thunderbird End Facade

The Thunderbird Lodge at Lake Tahoe

While visiting the north shore of Lake Tahoe, we had the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Thunderbird Lodge.  This property was built in 1936 as the private residence of George Whittell.  George Whittell originally purchased 40,000 acres on the east shore of Lake Tahoe and possessed 26 miles of its shoreline.  It seems that George was quite a colorful character, and developed a love of wild animals, booze, poker and women.  He built a separate enclosure for his pet Sumatran elephant, Mingo, and kept a full grown lion, Bill, as a pet.

Thunderbird Living Room

Living area in Thunderbird Lodge

His Thunderbird Lodge home is fascinating to tour, primarily because of its situation among enormous granite boulders on the property, along with its 600-foot underground tunnel which connects his boathouse to the residence.

Thunderbird giant boulders

Giant granite boulders surround the lodge

During the home’s construction, Whittell hired Native American boys to construct a series of intricate stone paths, which later became known as “the Dragon’s Tail.”

Dragons Tail

Dragon’s Tail Walk

Thunderbird Beach

Private beach, surrounded by huge boulders.

Whittell summered at Thunderbird, and while there commissioned the building of Lake Tahoe’s most recognizable speedboat, The Thunderbird.  It’s mahogany hull and huge twin V-12 engines are currently in restoration in Incline Village, and will be returned to the Lodge in the near future.

Thunderbird Poker Table

This poker room had a door through which he could sneak away when he wanted privacy!

While Whittell’s original plan was to build a resort and condominium complex, along with a ski resort, his later lifestyle altered those plans.  He became more and more reclusive and his privacy was highly valued.  Ultimately, he sold off vast pieces of his property to the Nevada State Parks Department and other agencies.  After his death, Wall Street maven Jack Dreyfus purchased the remaining estate and ultimately sold most of it to the U.S Forest service.

It is the result of George Whittell’s reclusive nature that the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe remains largely undeveloped today.  Hubs and I were fascinated by the careful siting of the original home, and the use of materials to marry the residence to its site.  If you happen to visit the Lake Tahoe area, it’s worth it to take a tour of this historical home.

Lynn

12 The mid-life crisis is just those times

Encore Quotes – Random Reflections

Think about it for a while.  Are the things that were important to you when you were younger really the same things that are important today?  Do we finally figure out that the most important things in life are not things?  I hope you have a wonderful weekend collecting experiences!

Lynn

Beyond the midlife crisis (1)

Beyond the Midlife Crisis

Not too many years ago, hubs told me he wanted to purchase a Corvette.  Of course, the first thought that blasted into my head was

Oh good Lord, he’s having a Midlife Crisis!

I feared that the next thing you knew, he would be running around with the top two buttons of his shirt undone, and would be wearing gold chains.  Yikes!  I didn’t think I’d be able to stand it.  Furthermore, we joined the local Corvette Club, and I was just certain that I was going to be surrounded by them – middle aged men, all going through a special sort of Midlife Hell – all hairy and trying to act waaayyyyy too young for their ages.

But you know what?  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  As it turns out, the members of the club were all just working folks like us, who had dreamed of owning a Corvette in their younger years, and now, finally, were in a position to purchase one.  And they were still just working stiffs, making payments on their dream cars while polishing the paint off.  Some of the nicest, most humble people you’d ever hope to meet, just enjoying driving and being together.

I am reminded of this because Jeremy had a beautiful diamond ring made for our 35th wedding anniversary this month.  It’s quite a blingy thing, one any woman would be proud to wear.  Back in the day, I can remember being envious of women who, at the time, appeared to be dripping in diamonds.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my new ring and all that it stands for.  It touches my heart that it is custom made to represent our 3+ decades together.  But I don’t give a S*#T who sees it, really.  I have absolutely no need to impress anyone with bigger, better, more expensive “stuff!”

These days, we’re finding that we’ve moved beyond the Midlife Crisis.  When we were younger, I think we were intent on climbing – on impressing others with our home, our accomplishments, our possessions.  Now, we’ve reached an age where we’ve reevaluated, and all of that posturing just doesn’t matter anymore.  Finally, we understand what is
TRULY IMPORTANT!

The crisis, if there was one, is OVER!

Once again, I keep having those “if only we’d known then what we know now” moments.  I hope we weren’t total jerks in our younger years – I don’t think we were, but ya never know!  So how about it.  Has anyone else successfully navigated the coming and going of the Midlife Crisis?  I’d love it if you’d tell me your story!

Lynn

11. Traveling It leaves you speechless

Encore Quotes – Random Reflections

We just returned from a trip to Northern California and Lake Tahoe.  One of my favorite things about travel is that you get to share the adventure!  There are a couple more posts to come.  Maybe the upcoming weekend will provide you with stories to tell…

Lynn

Photo credit: Jacob Nolan ~ Freeimages
Tahoe Overview

The Other Tahoe

Hubs and I have traveled to a conference last week at Lake Tahoe.  Not the Lake Tahoe that everyone thinks about when they say they are going to Tahoe.  That would be the community of South Lake Tahoe that sits right on the Nevada-California border.

This conference was at the north shore of Lake Tahoe at Incline Village.  While it is still as exorbitant and expensive as the other Tahoe, it does not have quite the level of commercialism that reigns supreme on the south shore.

Tahoe Beach

While we were there, the weather fluctuated from sunny and calm, to downright windy, and even included some snow flurries.  When it’s windy like that, the lake looks more like the ocean than an inland lake at 6200 feet.

Tahoe Waves

Our stay brought us to the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino in Incline Village, NV.  We were greeted by these three bears and a glass of champagne.  What could be bad about that?

Tahoe Bears

And the resort has all of the high end amenities you’d expect of a Four Diamond Resort.  Heated pools and hot tubs, fancy schmancy spa, fire pit, gift shop and sports shop, and several restaurants and cafes where I spent too much money and ate too much. And because you are in Nevada, you can also indulge in games of chance in a well-appointed casino, um, and have a cocktail or two (or three) in one of several lounge areas.

Tahoe from Window

I’d have to say that if you are going to hang out with a spouse at a conference, overall, this was not a bad place at which to do it!

 

Lynn