Moving to the ‘real’ Carson City
I’ve lived “here” (referring to the Greater Reno-Tahoe sense of the word) for a little over a year, but I’ve lived in Carson City for exactly one week.
In fact, I can still feel and see the scratches, bruises and sore muscles that come from moving boxes, appliances, canoes and years of accumulated junk to the house I purchased recently.
Prior to that, I lived in Douglas County in a house I rented sight unseen over the phone after reading a classified ad. I was even able to go on the Internet and see a satellite photo of the house and yard. All of that sounded and looked good from hundreds of miles away in Washington, especially the back yard that backed up to seemingly endless public land.
But in all honesty, I thought I’d rented a house in Carson City, based on the mailing address. It was surprising to drive through the city upon arriving, and then continue to drive south several more miles to reach the house.
Apparently, I’m not the only one subject to some initial confusion about exactly where Carson City begins and ends. I’ve heard that when the Trader Joe’s opened in Douglas County, they actually invited Carson City’s mayor to the ribbon cutting, not realizing they don’t own a store in a city of that name.
As for the home I lived in the past year, it was a good house. I could step out my door and walk my dog over miles of trails with sweeping views of the Carson Valley. From there, I made the same drive to work in Carson City every morning, and then made the same drive out of Carson City every night, along with thousands of other commuters.
But I can tell you one thing, even though my letters came to a Carson City address, I sure didn’t feel like a part of Carson City, just like all those other people who work in the city and live elsewhere. Nearly all my work hours were spent here at this desk and once I drove home, it took a gargantuan effort to turn around and make the trip back into town for anything resembling a social life.
Frankly, the editor of the Appeal should probably live in Carson City, rather than nearby. Sure, this paper covers all of the outlying areas, but much of that coverage is written by nearby papers working for the same company. Douglas County, for example, is covered by the very capable staff of The Record-Courier, and we run those stories nearly every day. But the Appeal staff is the expert on what happens in Carson City. The real Carson City, rather than the areas using the name in their postmark.
So, despite the heavy lifting and endless unpacking, I was smiling for most of the past six days.
And when the cable guy came by, I was able to do something else I was unable to do for the past year … watch Access Carson City and the local government meetings. Now, that’s nothing I intend to do often – watching the Parks and Rec Board hash over line items in the city budget hardly qualifies as excitement. But I was giddy listening to it on Wednesday night as I unpacked boxes. It made me feel a little more a part of Carson City.
As for the house, the third I’ve owned, it’s just nice to have a place to spread out and not have to worry about a security deposit, even if the reality is that the bank is the landlord.
It’s a home with plenty of quail, a peach tree, a few feral cats (which keep the dog occupied) and the rustle of the aspens in the front yard at the slightest breeze. And, as far as I can tell, fantastic neighbors who should be ready for some peaches left on their doorsteps.
It was also nice to be without Internet access for four days. Or so I thought until I was back online Wednesday night checking e-mail at the end of the days I’d taken off work. There were hundreds of them, and now, at the end of the first day back, there are still hundreds.
I think I’ll get through most of them tonight at home. It doesn’t seem like work when the wind in the aspens is the background music.
• Barry Ginter is editor of the Appeal. You can reach him at email@example.com or 881-1221.