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Bodega Bay Beat - January 2016

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Bodega Bay Beat - January 2016

by Joan Poulos

Thank you, and thank you, to the Coast Guard Auxiliary for putting up the little holiday tree at the end of the breakwater again this year. We hold our breath each year, hoping no tragedy will befall it. We have had years with no tree (electricity failure; personnel change, etc.) and it just isn’t the holiday season without it. Normally it stays up until Epiphany (January 6) but those of us who simply admire and don’t perspire love whatever we can get.

We have had a little precipitation. The hills are greening up on Bodega Highway and the beautiful sight of the black and white cows happily grazing on actual green vegetation is worth taking a drive. The autumn trees in Sonoma County are vastly underrated. The green, the yellow, the red—all predictors of winter put Vermont to shame. The only thing we don’t have is the maple (the ones with sugar in them too). But we don’t have icy roads, either, so the trade off is not all bad.

New Year’s resolutions baffle me—maybe because I make the same ones every year. At the urging of my doctor, and heightened by my own good sense, every year I vow to lose weight. I actually did in 2015 but I don’t recommend surgery and six-day hospital stays as the method. Nevertheless, I will make the resolution again. Does it help to write resolutions down? We’re trained to make all our charitable contributions by year end, but most of us wait to face our resolutions until now, after the new year has begun.

It’s very frustrating trying to guess what Congress will do and what they won’t. For those of us who work hard for charities, we urged those seniors who face required IRA distributions to make them to charities by year’s end. Most of us went ahead, still not knowing whether or not Congress will renew the tax benefits that accrued last year. Oh well, we still will get our charitable deduction—and we believe in the causes the charities are working for or we would not be considering the monetary commitment.

Fisherman’s Chapel has selected a new minister. His name is Neale Miller from Healdsburg. He has an interesting history of working in New Orleans after the disaster. He is a Presbyterian minister who will be confronted with a Methodist musician, UCC council members, a Catholic moderator, several Baptist parishioners and Methodist hymnals. When we say we are interdenominational, we are serious. Our other minister (it’s a shared post) is female and a member of the Disciples of Christ from Napa. We work closely with the Bodega Bay church and help fund their youth program and share music on holidays like Christmas. We welcome Rev. Miller and extend our welcome to any wayfarers passing by at 10 a.m. on Sundays—at the Grange Hall (where there are sometimes book sales by the School PTA, NOAA meetings or some other function deemed for the community benefit who signed up first—except on Sunday at 10). The Grange Hall is easy to find. Look for the ATM sign. (Even Santa makes a stop there—and listens to what the children want Santa to bring. Fortunately we have a bilingual Santa. The December 19 appearance was joyful as usual. Santa promises only “to see what he can do.” If we could truly “see what we can do” and work hard to try for Peace on Earth and Good Will to All—we will have made a major step forward.

The Chamber of Commerce has been active. The afterwork meetings sponsored by the various businesses are well attended and the local merchants hope for a very busy holiday season. The December one at the Community Center was very jovial. Pot lucks really work out here. 

A suggestion: the Chambers of Commerce for Healdsburg, Cloverdale, and Windsor are all listed in the phone book but I couldn’t find Bodega Bay. This might be an avenue of information worth pursuing­—at least get a phone number. Some tourists still use the phone book and although the Information bureau is well staffed and very helpful, sometimes potential customers use the old fashioned phone book (of course, for ultimate data retrieval, there is nothing like the newspaper). The want ads tell you a lot about who is moving; the obituaries laud the dead. An overlooked source of data is the legal listings. For example, no one I talked to knew the Chanslor Ranch had sold but the legal notices reflect one. Hopefully Alicia and Patty will still be involved (along with running Sonoma Concierge and Ginochio Kitchens).

 January is likely to be the same varied weather as December. January is the month of new beginnings. Look for new ways to celebrate our blessings.(Some blessings are, at times mixed—like teenage children and rescue dogs—but they all contribute to the joy of being alive in a country where we can feel safe and happy. (If only children everywhere could be safe and healthy.) Now the ball has dropped and we are starting over. We must work hard to remain inspired to share what we have with others; when we consciously make peace a personal goal, and when we take time to listen to the wind in the trees and look at the incredible waves. It’s a new year. Take time to be mindful of blessings— and may 2016 be a Year of Peace.