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Grassroots Graton - February 2015

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Grassroots Graton - February 2015

by Heather Granahan

Love it

Last year I asked Gratonians what they loved about Graton, and happily shared the sometimes effusive responses. I “resembled those remarks” and another year under the belt here has not eroded the affection for neighbors and community here. Some neighbors have shifted over the years, and I continue to know most of them, some by sight or the sight of their dogs, some more.

This time I asked myself what I love about this little berg, which led me to some small snapshots: The flock of wild turkeys that coexists at a relaxed distance with walkers – bikers and dog walkers cruising by the big cluckers out strutting in the finally-emerald fields by the path. At least three kinds of frog calls from the other side in the seasonal pond-lets. The many, many layers and colors of ever-flaking paint on the side of the old Baker building. The box of ever changing books and magazines in the post office, for swapping or taking. The amazing-smelling huge quinces that fill the gutters on Hicks every year, waiting to perfume my table. The fact that my Ceres Community Project liaison for their amazing meal service happens to be another wonderful Gratonite neighbor.

Share the Love

You may have some snapshots like mine, or some real ones. I offer you a new place to share some of these with us – a shiny new FaceBook page: just point to Grassroots Graton and post away! And speaking of social media, which can truly be social and not just a way to hide in your house typing, the site that gives neighborhoods platforms across the country, Nextdoor.com, now has a brand new Graton page. It’s kind of crunchy to sign up on but interesting; I have seen other communities make great use of these. Of course, you must be an actual resident. What do you think? Handy or superfluous here?

The Greying Heart of Graton

As we should all know thanks to lavish promotional campaigns, February is American Heart Health Month. Though the West has lowest rates of CVD (cardiovascular disease) in the nation, we ain’t scott free here. Sonoma County high blood pressure rates decreased in 2013, however 57% of those between the ages 65-79 are diagnosed with high blood pressure, which is still a high rate. Graton’s population is over 55% older than the average California population (much more than the 4% age edge on over-65’s held by Sonoma County in general), which means our town’s overall risk is that much higher. 

So my projected snapshots for our berg include seeing more elders on our easy flat walking trail. There are other things aside from medication that can help. We know, more exercise, less salt, higher potassium food. They say to drink – a little; stick to no more than one drink a day, really no more than 3 a week ideally (especially for women can pop into a higher-risk for breast cancer with more). But the best part: make merry – having friends reduces your risk, as does reducing stress, which friends help with. See where I’m going with this? Smell what I’m steppin in?  Just have a regular friendly walk with a friend or seasoned neighbor, have a nice salad together and maybe do a little wine tasting or tea sipping downtown. And post your favorite snapshots on FaceBook at Grassroots Graton. See you on the trail!