I remember it well. It was April, 1977 when I would make extreme NorCal my forever-home. We left the hustle and bustle of the East Bay Area in search of a quiet mountain lifestyle in a world of adventure. We ended up loving the town, the people and the fun we found in Westwood. Fortunately, family followed too. 

   It was quiet at first with the highlight of each day being my walk to the post office and grocery store, always a frienldy experience. I enjoyed baking cookies and sending them home to family. Soon my sister followed us up the mountain with her family and Buffalo Chip’s Pizza was born. Our parents moved up too. 

   The small-town mountain life has always included plenty of potlucks, parties and sharing time with friends, neighbors and family. 

   It has also included a little more work, like bringing in firewood to keep the house warm and shoveling snow. Sometimes lots of it! We were young and excited to be part of this new rugged, adventurous life.

   When I first arrived I met a couple of gals (both named Sue) through my brother-in-law, Chuck, who moved up shortly before us. They decided they would throw a party so I could meet other ladies in town. It would be at the home of Sue and Jerry Jesse in Pinetown. I had never expected such a warm welcome or the pleasant sight I will never forget. The snow was still falling lightly and could be seen through the many large windows surrounding the warm, winter wood stove heating the home. In the living room there must have been 30 or more ladies there to welcome me to town. Many are still friends today more than four decades later. I would also leave that party with a new best friend. Joanne and I spent most of every weekday together after that and our husbands ended up working together and becoming friends too.

   I have always cherished the memories and the friends made that day, as well as the grand introduction to the new friendly community I had become a part of. I am so thankful to the Sues who made it happen.

   It is exciting to see many new families moving to town. Some have discovered work-from-home can mean work from anywhere. Others have come as a result of losing homes in the California forest fires. Others just discovered our way of life. Everyone is eager to welcome them to town.

   As restrictions lift and life becomes normal again, I hope to host a welcome party myself. How about you?