I have lived in Toluca Lake for almost 30 years. My children were born and raised here. Unlike other places I’ve lived, I felt the need to get involved in my community. This incredible neighborhood makes it easy to give your time and support in ways I never thought possible. Over the years I have helped plan events; joined the Garden Club, Neighborhood Watch, Public Safety Committee, Beautification Partners and GTLNC; and organized block parties and numerous other wonderful community events.
Toluca Lake is quite different from other neighborhoods. It feels strong and stable because many people begin their lives here, grow up and buy homes near their loved ones, raising a generation that can remember its rich history. Most people take pride in knowing their neighbors. There is a warmth in the community that feels joyous and welcoming. I truly love this city and feel great pride to be even a small part of it.
Right now, like everyone else around me, I feel blessed to have a roof over my head and food to eat. So much of the news on TV feels threatening and dire. In Toluca Lake, on any given day, people are out walking their dogs, riding bikes and being together but apart. I have seen an abundance of families spending time together, more than ever — moms and dads throwing a ball in the front yard, or showing their kids how to ride a bike. It touches my heart to pass a family of four walking together and discussing the idea of making hamburgers for dinner that evening. Or the dad who has his toddler daughter perched upon his massive shoulders, holding a takeaway coffee from Sweetsalt and walking slowly home as the little girl reaches up to touch a nearby leaf in the tree. Whenever I feel lost or sad about our current situation, I just need to look outside my window and see how wonderful the world still is. I hope this family connection remains long after COVID-19 is over.
The biggest challenge for me is going to the market. It feels scary, nerve-wracking and unfriendly. I feel for the grocery store workers, who, like the medical profession, put themselves in harm’s way to help us in these uncertain times, and for that I am grateful. I try to limit my shopping to once a week, and I smile behind my mask and thank people for their help and service. I look forward to the day when we can laugh about that time we waited in line just to buy bread and toilet paper.
I stay in touch with my neighbors and friends by just walking in my neighborhood. Unlike any other time in my almost 30 years of living in Toluca Lake, my neighbors are home, not working or traveling, and may be feeling the freedom to just go for a walk. I have seen more of my friends in the last month on the street than at any event in Toluca Lake. I hope this feeling remains when we can all go out into the world again. Maybe people will take this as an opportunity to slow down just a bit and enjoy a simpler life.
Return to The State of the Village.