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Bodega Bulletin - December 2014


Bodega Bulletin - December 2014

My intention for this month was to talk about the ways in which the holiday season brings a nice, carefree element to the cold weathered months. Though in years before it rang true, this is the first holiday season I’ve felt to be more challenging than years before. At the day’s end, I have more questions than answers. Questions I have for you, fellow Bodega neighbors and Sonoma County alike.

Is it the cold weather? Have you noticed the flies dwindling?  Is that the last one on the ceiling? Was the St. Teresa of Avila church really built from one Redwood tree? Or is that legend the church in Santa Rosa - the Church of One Tree. Why were there fewer swallows in Bodega this year? Why are frogs finding ways into houses? Do the ranchers have a favorite cow or do they all rank the same? 

When are we going to run out of clean water? What about that storm we never had? Did El Nino affect our shoreline as strongly as we anticipated? Will Peter Stull be able to finish priming the Surf Shop before the rain is here for good? Did you know that Surf Shop Sarah has cows this year? Did Yeunny get a haircut? Doesn’t it seem like people get haircuts like dominoes fall? But not Yeunny! When she cuts her hair it’s NEWS in Bodega!

Hey, what about that locally made Apple a Day apple juice mixed with fresh ground ginger? Did you know that is one of Jim Irving’s specials if you visit Roadhouse Coffee in Bodega Bay? Did you know that the baked goodies there are all baked by Jim’s family? 

What about the diligence of the Bodega post office employees...memories like elephants, working quietly behind boxes to bring us messages from loved ones or owed ones? Could one hold so many valuable envelopes without wondering just a little bit more about that single life? How fortunate we are to have people we know and care about at our post office, and who care about us!

If you stand in the one crosswalk late on a quiet night and hold a conversation at a normal decibel level for conversation (normal being 70 dB, raised voice, 76 dB) will your secrets really be safe? Are secrets here ever safe, for that matter? Why have voices been louder at night? Is it because the “hop blockage” on Casino’s patio has been cut?  Or is it because more of us are congregating? Have you heard the Mack trucks piled with crab pots squeal through Bodega on to the Bay in the dead of night?  

Why, this time of year, when every one of us should be grateful, does it seem more challenging to give? Is it right that charity ends upon arrival of Black Friday? Is it really healthy for us to hibernate as it grows colder, or is it just a reaction?  Why is there a surplus of tennis rackets at the thrift shop? Was it ever a “fad”?  Or is it easy to give up on because it can’t be played alone? 

How about crab season, anyway? How do those crabs reproduce enough to feed all hungry people at benefit crab feeds! That’s a LOT of crabs! Did it really take only one season of not harvesting them to bring their numbers back or do they need another respite from our fund raising dinners?

Is patience really a virtue when it comes to fishing? Why do young deck hands tend to have the same attitude? Why can’t we all have that much gusto? 

Is home where the heart is, or where the hearth is? 

Are we really prepared for this season, down to our car tires and dry wood? Are you practicing fire safety?  Or conserving enough water? Did you thank a veteran?  

Did you buy locally? And are you planning on buying locally for holiday gifts?  

Seriously, what is this really about? Being prepared for the holidays?  Or  making it through Christmas/Hanukkah alive? Or allowing ourselves to be swept up into the whirlwind of it all until we find peace with the cold and uncertainty in the eyes of those who surround us?


I wish all fisherman/women the best of luck on the tumultuous waters of the Pacific. I wish for the ranchers a heavy yield in dairy and meat. And to the rest of us local workers, a similarly fair return for all of our hard work this past year.  Most of all, I hope we have a chance to take a true break from whatever wears on us! Happy Holidays!