I am a fourth generation Reno-ite. Like a typical small-town kid, I grew up thinking the first order of business was to get out of here! Although, there was so much fun to be had in the Sierras during my adolescence. For example; I found mountain biking and snowboarding in my late teens. You might think that sounds obvious but what I mean by “find” is deeply personal. In this area ski lessons when you are growing up is just like “piano lessons”; I was told I had to take them. “Finding” mountain biking and snowboarding were self-chosen, making them a spiritual endeavor too. Our great outdoors quietly guided me along, keeping me striving, all while I was convinced I needed to move somewhere “cool”, in order to be “cool”. That dissatisfaction was waylaid for a moment when I “found” music. I began to pursue it vigorously. I found the music of other cultures to be a source of inspiration; insatiably so for the next 15 years. My musical pursuits required I leave Reno, often. There was a great benefit in coming back to a “small pond” through that era for me. I brought “water back to the desert” for years. Reno was a place for me to grow as a practitioner, performer, teacher etc. But it was still not the place I gave credit to for inspiring me. In hindsight Reno was in fact inspiring me throughout that time on very deep levels. However, I continued to feel I needed to travel away to find “coolness”. I took Reno for granted. It wasn’t until I poured my heart and soul in to teaching at UNR (in the music department), joined the family business and started a family of my own that I “realized” Reno. I acknowledged I had fallen in love about 5 years ago when I started to mountain bike again. It got me back on Peavine, back outside, exerting, breathing in all that fresh mountain air- (filled with its glorious terpenes) and just generally feeling grateful to be here. It seems like every week I find something, ‘new to me’ about my hometown! More on that later! What to be thankful for today? Our fresh air, our access to mother nature (just a 10min drive to Peavine for me), our relatively safe place to raise children, our budding art scene, the formation of Midtown (where I live and work) and above all, to myself for coming back here and allowing my roots to take hold!! What a great spring board our town is! Launch in to the great unknown, to national parks, hop on a plane, plunge in to the lakes, walk with the family at dusk and soak up our stellar sunsets…the list continues to grow for me and that makes all the difference in the world!