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Monte Rio Musings - December 2014


Monte Rio Musings - December 2014


Winter should arrive soon, I’m pretty sure. The trees along the river will be nothing but bare gray trunks swaying against the green forest backdrop. Smoke from wood burning fireplaces and stoves will hover in the morning light, lovely to look at but sometimes harsh on the lungs.  Ornaments and lights will go up in the neighborhoods and shops, with the transition from the autumnal orange and black to the red and green of Christmas.

Some of the homeless have wandered on, and some have just headed for higher ground. The river backing up from the Jenner sandbar has already sent some folks packing from the willows on the beach behind Bartlett’s Market and the auto shop. When the gravel bar becomes an island, it’s time to move on. As I wander on some of the trails above the town, I see the signs of habitation in the woods, the tarps, tents, litter. I look down at the deserted River Gem resort, with its poor former residents evicted after a septic system failure, and I look up at the camps on the hill across the highway. There but for fortune.

Can those of us with homes still find comfort in them, with our families so fractured and scattered about the nation? Does it seem like the entertainment news media have us whipped up into such a fearful state that we can’t appreciate the holiday season? Should it take an active mental exertion to put aside the seeming threats of the world so that one can bask carelessly in the warmth of one’s own home and thank God for a roof over one’s head, especially if the roof doesn’t leak?

I hope such peace finds you, and that is my Christmas wish for us all…enjoy what you can. Enjoy the simple things. The days get longer and brighter soon.  Rain will come again some day; a little here and a little there will do just fine. It’s a little scary thinking about all the water from those melting glaciers evaporated and floating around as clouds, waiting to dump somewhere sometime. We don’t really need it all at once. A steady stream will do, one filled with fish would be even better.

Decades ago at this time of year, fishermen would be lining up along Monte Rio Beach to catch steelhead trout and coho and chinook salmon. Not just a few folks, like now. Back when California only had 10 million people and the planet had several billion fewer people, there would be a hundred people shoulder to shoulder with rods and reels. It was the winter tourist attraction.  

Water and fish. Peace and prosperity. Those are my grown up wishes for the new year. Peace within, and peace out there where it’s a lot nuttier than it is here in Monte Rio.

Upcoming Events, etc.

On Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 6 and 7th, the Holiday Wonderland Craft Faire will be held at the Community Center. Get your holiday shopping done early and buy from local crafts folk. The play A Table by the Window continues at the Curtain Call Theater through Dec. 13th. 

Monday, Dec. 8, the Monte Rio Recreation and Park District Board meets at the Community Center. The fire district board meets December 9 at the Community Center. The school board meets Dec. 11 at the school, and Dec. 12 is the school’s Winter Concert.  

Members of the Chamber of Commerce will gather on Dec. 11th for their annual holiday luncheon, to be followed by assembly of the holiday gift baskets for the low-income kids at Monte Rio School. The gift baskets filled with food and goodies are to be delivered on the 12th.

There will be a free introductory session of a new “Chair Yoga” class for seniors on the Friday the 12th at the Community Center; there’s also a continuing yoga class on Saturday morning.

Friends of Monte Rio hold their monthly supper club on the 15th at the Community Center. To mark the winter solstice, there will be live guitar music (by me) at the Saturday, Dec. 20th yoga class at the Community Center taught by Kathleen Hardy. Monte Rio School takes a holiday break starting Dec. 22 with classes resuming Monday, Jan. 5th.