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Sonoma County Gazette
Forestville the Good Life by Lucy Hardcastle

Living in a Small Town

Sep 30, 2019
by Lucy Hardcastle


Have you noticed the new town signs? 

We have Dan Northern to thank for designing it, getting Brian Frazee of BCF Heritage to build it andDW Enterprises and Canyon Rock for getting it in the ground.  The simple, but elegant redwood and stainless-steel structure was a long time in coming but worth the wait. Dan hopes to get solar lighting installed for an even more dramatic look at night. Appreciation to theCounty of Sonoma for helping to fund the sign and to the Forestville Chamber for supporting Dan’s efforts on our behalf.

Brand new Forestville signs at both ends of downtown thanks to Dan Northern and his friends

“I calm myself and check in.”  “Awareness of breathing brings immediate calm. It is a bridge to self- reflection that guides us to effective choices.”  Boy, that’s for sure!  I learned that as a Crisis Counselor to those who lost everything in the wildfires two years go. It was the best tool we could suggest. When we calm down we make better decisions.

But guess where I got that quote and description? On the Forestville Schools website under the weekly bulletin.  I checked out the week of 9-16 to 9-20 since that’s when I’m writing this column. I found those words to live by under the Toolbox Tools section, and it’s called the Breathing Tool. 

Right below that Toolbox Tool is another called  Use Your Words Tool.  It recommends repeating “I let things go” explaining “Careful words encourage understanding, connection and closeness.  Careless words divide and offend…”  From there it reminds us it takes practice, practice, practice, but worth it. Profound coming from our Elementary School and so needed in the world today.

I found those “Toolbox Tools” when I was actually looking for when to attend their fall play “Curiosity Cat”. Auditions took place last month for 6-8th graders and by the time you read this they are busy doing their own practicing no doubt. Noelle Huberty and her team, including the props department, work miracles for sure.  Look for announcements to come.

Next I get to report about something about our high school, El Molino. Again, while researching what I might add to this column I came across a very entertaining and informative section on their website.  I noticed they had their own YouTube Channel, so I clicked on one of their daily blogs, (most are about 4 minutes long.)  The one I clicked on was from last spring. It was hysterical, informative and engaging. One student was letting other students know how to request songs for the prom.  Awwwww. Another reported on sports.  Another read off the cafeteria menu.  They were funny, serious, trying to be serious, some stone-faced, some expressive. Watching these students perform, get experience in front of a camera and finding their confidence was again one more reason I love living in a small town!  There was even a piece where a teacher was encouraging students to speak at graduation letting them know all ideas and perspectives were welcome.  I really admire our high school.  If you are reading this and have a student about to go to high school, El Mo has so much to offer.  We are lucky.

Apple on a string, bottle ring toss, Ducks in a Pond, Large Jenga, Pin the Face on the Pumpkin, Pumpkin can bowling, guess the weight of a pumpkin and the number of candy corns in a jar.  When I read what’s up at the local Methodist Church’s’ fall festival, I knew again why I love living in a small town.  Doesn’t that sound like a ton of fun?  They’ll have free popcorn and apple juice.  Sit down with a piece of pumpkin pie and coffee. The Fall Festival is happening on Saturday, October 26 from 2-5 pm.  They know how to throw a party with their. Movie Nights and Soul Café music and soup gatherings. 

In fact, once again their Food Closet was given a grant from the  Forestville Planning Association to help purchase perishables for their twice a month food give away for Forestville residents in need.  In turn, volunteers from the Food Closet go around town and pick up trash those mornings the Food Closet is open.  A wonderful win-win for the Food Closet and the town.

Other projects funded this year was; a donation to Project Graduation; a grant to the  Fire Department to purchase two water-proof two way radios to help support them during water rescues; a contribution to Barbara Friedman at Cottage Massage to create two more 3’ by 4’ metal signs depicting historical Forestville (she has a great one outside Cottage Massage showing the railroad station); funds to help refurbish El Mo’s tennis courts and money to rent the equipment and decorations for our annual holiday tree in November.

Thanks to Robby from the Ideal Hardware store for putting together “Go Buckets” for emergencies.  He has three tiers from Economy to Deluxe or go in and build your own.  You can find what you need there. Robbie has everything from radios to space blankets! 

Being a regular shopper at Speers Market, the Forestville Pharmacy and Ideal Hardware store makes me happy to be in a small town.How about you?



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