Family vs. 'family'
This season of coming together brings into focus those things, memories, and people we hold most dear. It can at once feel joyfully celebratory and semi-sweetly melancholy. Unpacking the decorations, the recipes, and the old photo albums as the days get short and the shadows get long.
For our Thanksgiving weekend, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and grandparents convened, having traveled to Sonoma Valley from Wyoming, Los Angeles, and Humboldt County. These blood, in-law, step, half, adopted and foster relatives could perhaps be labeled family with a capital F: Family - history, circumstance, baggage, the good, bad, and the ugly all in tow, and at the end of it all a bond of unconditional love. Managed chaos. Beautiful noise. Babies. Family.
And then there is 'family.' The folks we gather in close when able, and hold close to the heart when far away. The friends from all stages of life, our co-workers, our neighbors, our village. This past year my 'family' rooted deep into this community and was forged with fire. Some new members that I connected with via social media and have yet still to meet in person, others I've finally met, and a few who traveled the trauma/evacuation roads with me and whom I will always be tied to in spirit. I'm deeply grateful for this 'family' made up of folks we find, folks who find us, or those folks that the universe drops in our lap.
Merry and Happy Glen Ellen. Here's to our 'family.'
A mystery of Christmas PastA true story written by Marge Everidge and Archie Horton:
The stockings were hung on the mantle with care…
Our home burned down on Oct. 9, 2017. All that was left was our brick and stone fireplace chimney, so we hung up stockings and put up the outdoor Christmas tree with lights (got electricity from neighbor Pat). It brought a smile…
After Christmas, we took down the stockings and tree and stored them, along with other burnt and rusted treasures, in “Grandma's garage,” what was left of it. Fast forward to November 2018. Time to get the Christmas stuff out of storage.
The stockings were a bit worse for wear. Arch was brushing off one and felt something inside the stocking.
Lo and behold! A $20 bill and two $2 bills!
Another stocking - a $20 bill and two $2 bills!
And yet another stocking - a $20 bill and two $2 bills!
Thank you to our mystery Santa! We always felt that people are kind and loving - Thanks again. - Arch & Marg
P.S. Sometimes it 'pays' to keep things.
Motivated by the love…In early November the Sonoma Land Trust together with the Parent Hospital Association and the Glen Ellen Forum hosted a closing celebration for the Sonoma Developmental Center. The event drew several hundred people and featured the results from The Eldridge Portraits Project, a lovely reception and social reunion for many. A panel of speakers led the audience on a journey from history to future, humor to profound sadness and everything in between. I feel honored to have attended the event so that I could bear witness to yet another step in this transition process. A closing blessing was provided by the Reverend Katherine Speaks and it feels fitting to share a portion of her words here:
“And nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone. So we must be made whole by love. We go forward from here, motivated by the love for the land that has been our sanctuary, and love for all of the men and women whose unique histories brought us to this point. We go forward sustained by our faith in each other and in all who will be part of shaping the future. We go forward filled with hope of the awesome potential of all that this landscape and its people can become.”
May our community hold that 'hope of the awesome potential' as we pass into this evolving next chapter for the land and campus we know as Eldridge.
The buzz from around the bendThe Glen Ellen Forum applied for and received a United Way Wildfire Recovery Grant to support the community in the wake of last year's fire. The award totaled $12,500 with $1,000 going to several committees, $1,500 to fund an upcoming community event, and $10,000 to individuals who lost homes in the fire. The monies are to be spent on sheds and back-flow devices. If you would like to apply for one of those items you must email firstname.lastname@example.org, ask for a form to be emailed to you, and turn it in no later than Monday, Dec. 3, by 10 p.m. Forms may be handed in, in person, at the monthly meeting on Dec. 3, 7 p.m. at the Garden Court Café. If you have questions about the meetings or the forum in general, please email email@example.com, go to the website glenellenca.org, or follow the Glen Ellen Forum Facebook page.
Our Friends of Dunbar School invite you all to a Dine and Donate at Mary's Pizza Shack on Tuesday, Dec. 4. You must bring a flier to have your tab count toward the fundraiser. Check out their Facebook page.
Transcendence Theater Company is once again celebrating the season with their grand yet homey Broadway Holiday Spectacular. Performances began this weekend at the Luther Burbank Center - Nov. 30-Dec. 2 - and will continue next weekend at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville on Dec. 6 and 7. Tickets can be purchased via their website or by calling the box office: LBC: 546-3600, Lincoln Theater: 944-9900.
Yes, it's on! I have word from Mary Guerrazzi that the annual Glen Ellen Caroling & Sleigh Ride with Santa is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 16, noon-2 p.m., in the parking lot of the Jack London Lodge.
Save the date for a Community Dinner at the Valley of the Moon Winery on Dec. 9, sponsored by the Glen Ellen Forum.
As always, if you have any Glen Ellen-related news to announce, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 996-3352.