Remembering home means Nevada to me |

Remembering home means Nevada to me

On this same date 25 years ago, my husband, Scott, and I rolled into town in a U-Haul crammed with clothing, college furniture, and wedding crystal. We were giddy with excitement as we descended into the Carson Valley, happily anticipating the start of our newly-married life together in Gardnerville.

It was early afternoon when we pulled through the middle of town. I recall being mystified by how quiet everything felt; businesses appeared closed and there seemed to be no one out and about. We’d seen an impressive array of spooky decorations on display once we’d crossed the state line and we wondered, does Nevada shut down for Halloween?

When we arrived at the real estate office to retrieve keys to our rental unit, the skeleton crew on hand greeted us eagerly and said they’d been waiting for us.

“Where is everyone?” we asked. “Why does it look like everything is closed?”

“It’s Nevada Day!” they announced. “Everyone is up in Carson City for the parade.”

And that was our introduction to the jubilant annual commemoration of Nevada’s admission into the Union as the 36th state back in 1864.

Our Carson Valley arrival happened in the mid-1990s, several years before Nevada voters expressed their preference that the statewide observance of Nevada Day be held the last Friday in October instead of its actual date of Oct. 31. Up until that change took place, Nevada children would trick or treat on Oct. 30 so that Nevada Day could be celebrated without interruption.

So yes; today is Halloween, a day of jack o’lanterns alight on welcoming porches as trick or treaters dash from door to door in search of goodies. It is also the official date of Nevada Day, a day to celebrate the state’s rich history and look ahead to its ever-evolving future, a day to pause in gratitude for the good fortune of living in such a special place.

The years we’ve spent in Nevada have been the most stable and comforting of my life. By the time I was 12 years old, I’d lived in seven homes across five different states. In contrast, our house in Gardnerville is the only home our two sons have ever known.

There is a cherished groundedness here for me, a soothing constancy to the dramatic mountain ranges and vast open skies that both frame and form the backdrop to this beautiful valley. It’s a unique experience compared to any other place I’ve ever lived, and grateful isn’t a strong enough word to express what it means to have had this foundation for my family.

May everyone enjoy Nevada Day and a festive Halloween filled with sweet fun.

Fall book sale

The Friends of the Douglas County Public Library host their fall book sale Nov. 8-10 at the CVIC Hall, 1602 Esmeralda in Minden. Gently used books, children’s books, audio books, DVDs, and music CDs will be available.

The Friends-only preview sale happens 4-7 p.m. Nov. 8 Anyone can join the Friends at the door and enjoy a 10 percent discount. The sale opens to the public on 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and continues 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday.

Book sale proceeds support the and its many programs that serve our community. For information, call 782-9841.

Amy Roby can be reached at