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Guerneville Groove - November 2015 - Beth Rudometkin

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Guerneville Groove - November 2015 - Valerie Munthe, guest writer

by Beth Rudometkin

By Valerie Munthe, guest writer

Greetings and Happy Fall to my fellow Guerne-villans. I was thrilled to step in for this month’s “Groovin’ Guerneville” column as Beth is off to some far away land having the time of her life. It’s been an interesting process getting my chops back, but I tell ya there’s SO much going on in this little town I didn’t have to look too hard.

In keeping with this month’s theme of “Thankfulness” I wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on this concept. I often find myself reflecting on a quote I read by Lao Tzu: “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” This often resonates with me when I live in the moment and reflect on the people and things I have in my life. Living in 21st Century America means you are caught up in the rat race and there is always some newer, smellier cheese just around the corner. But what if we were to stop and reflect on our current situations? What if we stopped adding the “new” to our piles? Would you find that as you sit in the present moment, you’d be at peace? Are there still things to be thankful for? I optimistically would like to think so. This concept begins to dissolve as we travel into the oncoming winter/holiday months, where spending, consumerism and waste come to the forefront of our attention. Would it be so terrible to ditch these time-honored “traditions” and break the cycle, where an exchange of smiles, laughter and hugs is valued more than brightly colored packages? Still like packages, eh? Me too. So instead, take an old sweater and give it an awesome update at the hands of talented seamstresses such as Coco Johnson of Shakedown Street. Or buy a print from a local photography like Suzy Kuhr instead of buying cheap “Made In China” décor from Ross. Explore the local craft fairs instead of participating in the psychosis that is Black Friday. Just a thought.

Overall, though, our community has been rich with tradition, consumerist or not, and I am especially proud of a particular group of people. September 12th began what will historically be known as the Valley Fire, destroying over 1000 homes, killing at least 4 people and displacing thousands, humans and animals alike. What astonished me as I read through my Facebook Newsfeed for SEVERAL DAYS was the ongoing outpouring of support from those who dared not stand idly by. Then came the Valley Fire benefits, a Give-Back Thursday and Friday Night collaboration of epic proportions; administered by R3’s bartender extraordinaire Rodger Jensen and Russian River Sisters Viv Acious and Scarlett Billows (and please forgive me for neglecting to list everybody!), the curators of the Facebook Group “Guerneville Cares”, the grand total raised in just 48 hours by our small community: $16,000! This money was gifted to the organization North Coast Opportunities, which assisted 10 families with rental deposits. It’s not difficult to imagination just how easily the Valley Fire could have happened to a small town like Guerneville, which is why I believe so many of us sprang into action. Small towns, near and far, have the same “I got your back” mentality, the very same one that helped countless neighbors through floods and fires of our own. It’s one of the reasons why I’m proud of my home at 95446.

And speaking of Give-Backs, every Tuesday the Rainbow Cattle Co. has a cause that’s burning for your patronage! For November, the slate is: 11/3 – Sonoma County Animal Control; 11/10 – Mama’s Family Toy Drive; 11/17 – Guerneville Community Church; 11/24 – Community Holiday Dinner. 10% of bar proceeds go to the beneficiary and there’s ALWAYS delicious food and amazing raffle prizes. Get out, have fun, eat good food, help local charities.

And last but not least, brilliantly titled the “Game of Crones” Bingo, a beneficiary for the Senior Center, is set for Saturday, November 14th at the Guerneville Vet’s Hall. Doors open at 6pm, Game starts at 7pm. Get your tickets online at rrsisters.org.

Well, my little town of freaks, geeks, rednecks and tweaks, how I have missed penning my inner thoughts for your amusement. And before I close this insanely long column I’d like to know what YOU are thankful for. For you savvy computer types, throw it out there on Facebook with the hashtag #thankfulfor and post it to My Gal Val’s page. I wish everybody a safe and warm holiday/winter/El Nino season.