I remember when I was a kid, I used to play outside until it was so dark that if I would go inside to get something to eat and quickly come back outside, I would not be able to see anything as my eyes could not adjust fast enough.

I used to play and play and the best tasting water was the one from the water hose, which I would drink until my thirst was quenched, and belly was full.

I used to ride in the car with my mom driving and I would jump from front seat to back seat along with my sister as my mother listened to Simon and Garfunkel while smoking a cigarette. Seatbelts were something that we never really used and as babies we would be carried in our mom’s arms while dad drove 80mph from one part of California to another.

Yet we made it through alive!

Thank God things have changed in many ways, some for the good, like seatbelts and car seats, and some for the bad as society has progressively gotten worse in so many ways.

Yet living in Scotts Valley, I have always felt safe, and still do because it really is a great place surrounded by wonderful neighbors. I remember telling my friends how I once left on a trip and came home realizing that my garage was left opened for 4 days, and yet it never concerned me. Many nights I would go in and out of the garage while I worked on the back yard and countless times I forgot to close the garage door and the next morning all my things were still there, our bikes, tools, etc.

But something happened about a year ago when our cars were broken into and things were taken when we made the mistake of not locking our cars that were not in the garage. Taken were personal items along with our garage door openers and who knows what else. About a month later, one of our friends came to visit and left her car unlocked and all her personal belongings were taken.

While it may seem trivial, it is not. It is a disturbing feeling to find out someone took something from you like that. You feel violated and unsafe, and can lay awake many nights wondering if they will be back.

Luckily, they never did. And in all honesty, this happens everywhere, in all towns and cities throughout the country. A recent report by the FBI identified Scotts Valley as the city with the lowest crime rate in all of Santa Cruz County, but it does not mean it can’t happen even in our little town. It’s just a part of life. Click here to read my article Secrets of Scotts Valley’s Success.

But as someone who tries to find lessons in life’s events, I found a few of them from that night.

The first was that I needed to be more careful and not be so oblivious to today’s world. As much as I want to see the good in everything and everyone, the fact is that society has changed and as much as I hate the change, it is what it is and I need to be more careful and responsible when it comes to my things. Leaving my cars unlocked at night and leaving the garage door open is just not smart in any neighborhood and I need to take a certain amount of responsibility if something goes missing while I was being careless.

The second lesson I learned was that we need to all as neighbors be more in touch with each other, we need to develop a more open line of communication with each other and need to be more connected. We need to look out for each other more and inform each other of things like this so that we are all prepared and take steps necessary to avoid this from happening to us in the future. Simple things like locking up your things and cars, and doors to your home at night are a must in today’s world and society.

That is one of the main reasons why I created www.MyScottsValley.com and also the Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/myscottsvalley, to get us all together to share information like this, and also share things like important events, lost pets, announcements and other neighborhood issues. If you have a moment, visit our sites and chime in and contribute some of your own content, ideas and thoughts. We would all love to hear them!

I invite you to join our online community here at MSV and get to know your neighbor. I have been here since 1996 and I can honestly say that I need to get to know more of you personally.

Thank you for visiting our our sites, as in yours and my sites. They exist because of you and your participation. Looking forward to hearing from you and reading your posts, seeing pictures of your family and whatever you want to share with the commUNITY.

As a side note: I spoke to the SVPD and they informed me that there was a group of individuals from out of the area that were caught raiding unlocked cars and stealing from homes in our neighborhood. It appears they were arrested and confessed to their crimes and hopefully they have, or will serve the much deserved jail time. Thank You to our wonderful Police Department for their efforts and work to keep our neighborhoods safe! 🙂