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Sonoma County Gazette
North Coast Winds by Robin Joy Wellman

Life on the Coast...

Aug 1, 2017
by Robin Joy Wellman


Lately, I have been reflecting back on the earliest days of my life on the coast as a young impressionable adult finding a ‘new life’ as I left the city. This reflection comes from looking at my old book collection that I have held on to for many a moon thinking one day I will get back to them and these ideas. Well – now is the time as retirement sets in. Titles such as ‘Grateful Dead – The Story’,‘ Be Here Now’ by the Lama Foundation, ‘Earthstewards” by Danaan Perry,‘Reflections of a Year’ by Brother Tolbert, Living on the Earth’ by Alicia Bay Laurel, ‘Laurel’s Kitchen’, Massage in the Woods’,‘What is Worth While’ and many more. Oh, Annapolis how I love you! It was a time when we lived truly simple. We had potlucks that we set up on the neighborhood dirt road called ‘the loop’. Most of the food was from what we grew in our well-attended gardens. The rest came from our community coop order that one of us would pick up from Mountain People’s Warehouse in Santa Rosa, return to our community building owned by George Mandell, then hang out together while dividing up the good and healthy food. We were organic before it was a ‘thing’. We would all know that Saturdays and Sundays (and many other days during the heat of the day) were creek days where we swam with little or nothing on in Brushy Creek. We built our own houses or repaired what we lived in. Mine was a three story tree house and later a dome where my two oldest boys were born. We watched each other’s kids and took good care of each other in helping with big house projects, or little garden tasks. I love those times. I am not sure when things started to change for most of us but I think it had to do with paying the bills and getting jobs ‘off the mountain’. These books are everything and a true treasure. What are your earliest memories living on the coast?

I have been blessed to have my granddaughter, Makyla, here for a few weeks this summer. We made a ‘charm’ quilt with many of my old hippie Guatemalan clothing and tye dyed clothes from those ‘old times’. We also have old doilies from her great great grandmother which we have added, as well as favorite pieces from all her family. Every piece tells a story. What we have in our life are treasured memories, as well as the ‘Be Here Now’ moments. I hope you all find treasures in the ‘then and now’ of our individual lives. Our community has a wonderful quilting group, Pacific Piecemakers Quilt Guild, if you ever want to learn more. This group of folks is very active offering comfort quilts to the sick and those needing some home town comfort as well as classes and simple days of getting together. I was thrilled to join them a few weeks back. Everyone brings their own sewing machines, and projects. They share and offer ideas to each other. Thank you,Joyce Gaudet for inviting me. For more info visit

This month Gualala Arts celebrates the many arts in our community with the Arts in the Redwoods August 10-13. This is one of the most amazing art shows in Sonoma-Mendocino Counties. For full details and times visit their web at

Music by the Estero… In lovely Jenner,Fish Stock 2017is gearing up. This is a fun, family friendly celebration of the sea and community. Good food from the sea, good music, beer and wine and plenty of activities. The web is not fully updated but this event generally takes place Labor Day weekend on Sunday. Visit them at 

The readership on the coast is growing. Lovin’ you and lovin’ the treasures this coast brings. 


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