The Kenwood Press
: 10/01/2018

Falling into another year

Shannon Lee

Here I sit struggling to write this on my 49th birthday. It's not that I'm almost 50. It's not that I'd rather just take the day off. I'm having a hard time because many of us are.

Fall has always been my favorite season. The feeling of back to school. The change of the weather. My own personal transition into the next year. Fall has always felt like both an ending and a beginning. The passage of time marked in the colors of nature and turning of the season. Moving to Sonoma Valley only cemented this love of fall deeper into my soul. My goodness, we live in an extraordinarily beautiful place, in all seasons, but autumn is spectacular.

And yet, here we are, not feeling particularly settled as we come into October 2018. I'm starting to brace for the range of emotions I'm certain will unfold over the next several weeks. So important to remember and honor what happened here. So important to thank all the heroes among us. So important to take stock of our future preparedness. And, afraid of the inevitable triggers.

For myself, this time of year is extraordinarily busy and that's helping me ignore a bit. Besides my work at the university, I am volunteer treasurer for the Village Fair and thus that singular event is big on my mind - both a welcome focus but also a poignant linkage to last year's chaos and tragedy. I'm terribly thankful that the fair will happen nearly a week after the actual anniversary - hopefully we will all be ready for a community party by then.

So, my strategy? Talk about the firestorm and my experience when I'm able and when others ask to hear it. Reach out to friends and neighbors but honor their process and see their needs (understanding that they may be different from my own). Give love and receive love. Open my heart to this season I've always loved. Breathe. Hike. Eat. Drink. Sleep. Repeat.

The buzz from around the bend

Jack London State Park will hold its Saturday free morning fitness walks (two-mile or seven-mile options) on Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and, also on that day, there is an event for all ages called the High Five Hike and Meadow Play Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The House of Happy Walls will have its grand re-opening on Saturday, Nov. 10, with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. For all park related event information visit

The next Glen Ellen Forum town meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. at the Garden Court Café. The Forum is teaming up with the Sonoma Ecology Center on Saturday, Oct. 20, 9 a.m.-noon, for a stream clean up in Glen Ellen. If you have questions about these meetings or the forum in general, please email, go to the website, or follow the Glen Ellen Forum Facebook page.

Glen Ellen Village Fair 2018 “#GlenEllenStrong” kicks off at noon on Sunday, Oct, 14, with the best small-town parade you've ever seen. The theme is “All Our Town Heroes” and there may be still be room for you to put in an entry, but don't delay because there is a limit. After the parade, the vendor, non-profit, and food booths will open for business, Kids' Alley will rev up, and the music begins on the main stage, managed by fair volunteer and Glen Ellen local Pat Carlin. This year the bands, in order, are Rich Little and the Mighty Creatures of Habit, Long Story Short, and The Poyntlyss Sistars Rockin' Show Band. A second stage will feature younger local acts and is managed by fair volunteer John LemMon. Please remember that Arnold Drive between London Ranch Road and Warm Springs Road will be closed from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on the day of the fair. Do you own or help manage vacation rentals? The committee asks you to inform any renters about not only the fair, but this street closure. The final monthly planning meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 8, at the Jack London Lodge. For more information on helping, or with any fair questions the committee asks you to email

As always, if you have any Glen Ellen-related news to announce, please email or call 996-3352.