Apr 24, 2020
by Eva Granahan
Happily cocooning with my three-month-old girl, I’m also taking advantage of online platforms for music, song, prayer, comedic news and socializing. I go to choir, sing-alongs and bible study on zoom and “church-hopped” for Easter on facebook live. I watch YouTube “at home” TV shows, often produced by their family members. I enjoy video chatting with friends and family. I love going to virtual concerts with my baby and being able to contribute tips online. I’ve become a patron for musicians on patreon.com, supported local restaurants, been more generous overall and created a fundraiser through facebook for West County Community Services, as they have a great crisis response program. We all need love, especially now. So I asked some important women how they’re faring in this.
Patty Karlin is going through corners of her house and digging out cabinets at the Bodega Goat Ranch. By downsizing, she’s “done a total life review.” In ordinary life, she says there was never time to do so. At the same time, she’s taking it easy by sleeping more and not being hard on herself. She has been in touch with old friends more than before. She uses zoom for yoga twice a week and to talk with her grandsons, whom she used to see regularly. She is also enjoying Tai Chi DVDs by Jane Golden a local teacher who has been serving our community for 40 + years. I checked http://goldenjane.com/pages/DVDs.html and she has eight TaiChi and Qigong DVDs available also on USB flash drives. Check out her classes for a healthy start after the pandemic, Jane has built a strong, close and loving community of as many as 60 if not more Tai Chiers, join them. You can justdrop in to see if its for you.
Evelyn Casini has been staying safe at home, away from the Casino. She misses people, “the workers, neighbors, the people who come in...everyone.” She doesn’t use technology, so she’s doing a lot of gardening, bookwork and reading.
Ariel Coddington is enjoying her new baby and socially-distanced walks down Salmon Creek Road with friends. She is rarely out in public, loving time at home with little Dov - who’s quickly growing. The Bodega Country Store will open the Deli after the necessary inspection, once non-essential jobs resume, we may see it in May.
Hazel Flett says not much has changed at the Bodega Pastures, except for the lack of the traditional Easter party on the hill. She’s grateful for her natural lifestyle. More residents are home to help on the land, but Easter passed by as just another day on the farm.
Lesley Brabyn goes into town once a week for home and farm essentials. “It’s weird out there...you feel like a leper...it’s really hard.” Nobody knows how to interact, and people avoid eye contact. There are definite mental health worries. She feels bad for those who are all cooped up.
She and her husband John have 400 acres of land on Salmon Creek Ranch to enjoy. She invites customers to hike and enjoy the property when they come to the. “mercantile” farmstand. I took her up on the offer and couldn’t be happier with my experience, social-distance hiking and stocking up on amazing meats. I’m so grateful they share these treasures. Happy animals abound in lush green pastures, a quaint shop with great products and fun trails to explore - you can even see down to Bodega...and beyond!
Agro-tourism has halted, along with all “non-essential” businesses. It’s important for us to support our neighbors during these times and keep small businesses afloat. It’s really a no-lose situation.We win by minimizing public exposure, our friends win by being supported, our family wins by staying healthy, the community wins by maintaining its identity, the county wins by keeping money local, the land wins by surviving and thriving, the animals win on so many levels by claiming their worth, the environment wins by bearing a lesser burden with decreasing carbon footprints...need I say more?
New technology has its advantages. Brabyn feels we may have been “dragged into it kicking and screaming,” but it’s needed. She appreciates how far we’ve progressed since the introduction of computers, when it was a much more challenging experience in school. It’s a whole different ball park these days. Lesley sees John more since he commutes via the internet now instead of traveling to and from San Francisco. He also still does the farmer’s market on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, which is apparently busier than usual. He reflects it’s because “people want to know the farmers and where their food is coming from.”
The Brabyn’s are doing mostly direct to consumer sales at this time. They offer grass fed and finished beef from beautiful Scottish Highland and Angus cows, organic duck eggs, goat meat and other treats. They even have scrumptious snacks for furry family members that any carnivorous friend would enjoy. Open for business at 1400 Bay Hill Rd. Contact email@example.com or 707-876-1808 to tell them you’re coming. Be sure to close the gates behind you as you drive up to keep the cattle in.
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