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Geyserville Grapevine - December 2014

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Geyserville Grapevine - December 2014

The seasons are spinning right along as we approach the holidays. My burgeoning love affair with Geyser Peak continues as the cooler weather brings a different look to the mountain. The other morning it was chilly and great swaths of mist were covering the hills between me and the mountain – and in my southern California silliness, I immediately thought that the white stuff on the hillside was snow. Whoops. But I’m slowly catching on – I realized that snow here wasn’t too likely and that it was the mist that had momentarily deceived me. 

Taking the first northbound exit into Geyserville, I’ve been delighted by a pair of tall flame-shaped trees on the left side of the highway which are turning an increasingly vivid yellow. They contrast beautifully against the deeper colors of the evergreens behind them. I know that practically everyone reading this column is going, “Oh, she must mean the ____ trees.”  Not knowing the name of these lovely trees brought home to me that I don’t know the plants and trees here very well at all.  Has any Geyservillian with a botanical bent ever made a list of all of our most common local flora and fauna? If so, I’d certainly love to see it and learn more about the natural wonders surrounding us here. It might also help as I rush out with newspapers to cover up the most tender-looking plants in advance of the unseasonably cold, near-freezing temperatures (34!) predicted for the pre-dawn hours tonight as I write this. 

Geyserville was busy in late October with the Fall Colors, which this year featured an incredible selection of over fifty vintage cars, the biggest turn-out in years. It was a fun fall day for everyone.

Next up will be a very different collection of vehicles as the Illuminated Tractor Parade dominates downtown Geyserville on November 29th. This growing event is in its fourth year. Unlike many carefully-planned civic events, the first Illuminated Tractor Parade was a surprise for the town from a group of youths with tractors, a few strings of Christmas bulbs, and a determination to light up the night. It has grown substantially since then and the original organizers have now formed an official non-profit organization.  There will be cookie and hot chocolate booths open from 5pm, with Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus arriving at 6pm and the parade itself beginning at 7pm.  

On the same night we’ll all thrill to the lighting of the Geyserville Municipal Christmas Tree, officially starting the holiday season. Need to squeeze in some holiday shopping? Many of the downtown Geyserville merchants will be keeping their shops open during and after the parade. And anonymous insiders have informed me that that this year, the Illuminated Tractor Parade participants may turn around and come back up the main street a second time.  If so, you read it here first! 

The local festivities will continue later in the month with our annual Holiday Harp  Concert on Saturday, December 20th at 7pm in the Grand Temple Theatre here at the Isis Oasis Sanctuary. Once again, Diana Stork will lead many accomplished young harpists from the Bay Area Youth Harp Ensemble, playing ancient Celtic music and other traditional songs.  There will be some carol sing-alongs as well. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and children – more information is available by calling 707 857 4747. 

Foodie Moment of the Month  

While I have been squeezing in visits to my favorite local restaurants,  Catelli’s, Diavola, Geyserville Grille and our local coffeehouse Geyserville Mud, I’ve also enjoyed picking up packages of fair-trade coffee from the nearby Salvation Army Center at Lytton Springs. It’s available in the thrift shops there, but there is nothing recycled about this coffee. It’s top-quality, imported from Vietnam in a self-sustaining program that directly benefits local coffee bean farmers and sold at a reasonable price to consumers. It’s good coffee in all senses. Want a stock of handy go-to gifts for those holiday baskets and last minute “I didn’t realize I had to bring a gift!” moments? This could be it! For that matter, you can pick up some delightful empty gift baskets and other Christmas adornments right there at Lytton Springs as well.