Shirl Mendonca
Special to The Union

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October 1, 2012
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Why live in Lake Wildwood? Why not?

I am often asked why I live in Lake Wildwood with the “gates” and all the rules.

That tells me many locals don’t know much about our community. There are a lot more reasons to live here besides the 18-hole golf course that just gets better every year and the 300-acre lake with five beaches beckoning you to relax and have fun.

First, we are a community; no fancy wrought-iron gates … just fencing and a couple of attractive entry stations for added security. The operative word is “community”; everyone helps each other. You can have as much privacy as you want … but walk out past your driveway and folks are walking around with a ready smile and a helping hand.

For me, that camaraderie and caring is as important as fresh air.

LWW is very pretty. With thousands of native trees and an 800-foot elevation change, the contours of the wooded landscape add interest and dimension while the absence of sidewalks and streetlights keeps the environment as natural as possible. And let’s not forget the free roaming deer, turkeys, raccoons, mountain lions and even bears. Returning from a trip, I am always hit by the natural peace and beauty of the place which makes coming home feel as rewarding as the start of a vacation.

Besides the natural beauty, the golf, and the lake, there is tennis, pickle ball, swimming, and bocce ball.

LWW also has its own TV station; anyone interested can learn to star in, produce, edit or market their own programs. If you are interested in theatre, the LWW Theatre puts on a couple of large productions each year providing opportunities to act, direct, or get involved with set design, lighting, sound, props, make-up and/or publicity. For those interested in music, there is a series of Jazz concerts every year and a choral group as well as occasional concerts in the parks and Karaoke in the clubhouse.

The art club is active with lots of local and national talent and there is a garden club, a woman’s club, a men’s club, two computer clubs, many book clubs, walking groups, exercise classes, and lots of bridge teams, card groups, Bunko, Collectabelles, Osher adult education classes, a writers workshop, and an endless array of community support groups.

Exhausted from all the activities? Treat yourself to a delicious, affordable lunch or dinner at the clubhouse, a drink in the bar, or just relax on the deck overlooking the lake at the new community center.

It takes a village ... When I moved here in 2001, I was raising my son alone and traveling back to my business in Walnut Creek one day a week. Everyone on the block looked out for my son if I was late getting home.

When the time came, there were neighbors there to help us through teen challenges, another to teach him to tie a tie, another to give him small jobs to keep him occupied, and another to help him learn to drive a stick shift. I had an entire neighborhood behind me and am truly grateful.

LWW is a great place for children. Local schools are good and there is a small branch library right across the street with computer access. There is a wide variety of outdoor activities and kids can join the LWW swim team and/or the junior golf program. There is also a children’s theater group, basketball and volleyball courts, and nearby nature hikes.

When asked about the rules in LWW, I explain that if you keep your property as natural and as open as possible and don’t do things that offend the peace and enjoyment of others, you’ll be fine.

Many of us live here because we appreciate the extra order and neatness of our surroundings; I do know that I am far more productive without clutter. With a little patience and creativity, one can usually find ways to work within the rules without inconveniencing others ... it took a while, but I found ways to grow a lot of my own food even with fencing restrictions, wild deer and turkeys.

The opportunities in LWW are limited only by the imagination of the residents. Next time I am asked why I live in LWW my answer will be, “Why not?”

Got a tip about someone or something in Lake Wildwood or Penn Valley? Contact Shirl Mendonca at shirlmendonca@gv.net.

I had an entire neighborhood behind me and am truly grateful.


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The Union Updated Oct 1, 2012 02:04PM Published Oct 17, 2012 01:42PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.