I am a third generation Nevadan raised in Smoky Valley. My mother was raised on a ranch here and my father was raised in Fallon. My children and grandchildren all live in Nevada.

Our history is a reflection of the self sufficient, hardy (and stubborn?) reputation for which Nevadans have been noted. My mother, who is 82 years old and raised five daughters, says we’re adaptable. I think that’s a good trait. As children, we learned real quick not to say, “I’m bored.” Mom would find us something to do and it wasn’t something we liked. We roamed the mountains, camped, explored, fished, hunted and basically, had a great life! Well, things haven’t changed much. We still have a great life out here in the middle of everywhere. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Living in rural Nevada, approximately the center of the State, traveling to “town” (Elko, Fallon, Reno or Vegas) is a huge production. All doctors appointments, Costco runs, clothes shopping, and even picking things up for your neighbors is coordinated to take the least amount of time and usually in one or two days, trying to throw some fun in there somewhere. It’s always nice to get home to no stop lights, long lines and traffic.

In November, we’ll help my Aunt Rene celebrate her 100th birthday. I think her longevity has something to do with living in Smoky Valley most of her life.

Our family has a museum here housed in the school built in 1936. We all went to school in the building and the displays show the tightly woven history of our valley and Nevada in general. Our community choir is celebrating the Star Spangled Banner, Nevada and our great country by performing a patriotic concert on stage at the museum on September 25 and 26. Of course, we’ll be singing “Home Means Nevada.”

Happy birthday, Nevada!