Filled with frivolity
Despite the empirical evidence that we’re deep in the dry throes of summer – hot days, cool evenings as the fog moves in, and grasses already a golden yellow – we had a little rain last week, an early morning, brief shower, a blessing that was over too soon. Today already, I bring you news for October. So what’s special about October? For the past 23 years (or more, depending upon whom you consult) our Glen Ellen Village Fair has arrived on the Sunday of Columbus weekend, generally around the 12th of October. That is the exact date for this year, and all afternoon the streets of Glen Ellen, our town, will be filled with frivolity and pleasure.
Prepare for a grand party
Shannon Lee, the fair’s official press person has sent out the news: prepare for a grand party this coming Oct. 12. Here is Shannon’s good news:
We are officially announcing the 24th annual Glen Ellen Village Fair, to be held this year on Sunday, Oct. 12, noon to 5 p.m., on Arnold Drive between London Ranch Road and Warm Springs Road. Vendor applications are available and booth space fills fast, so email firstname.lastname@example.org to request yours. The quilt raffle is ongoing. Find this year’s beautiful “Flowers of Wild Glen Ellen” quilt outside the Glen Ellen Village Market on Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and Oct. 4, where tickets will be on sale individually for $2 or in bunches of three tickets for $5; seven tickets for $10, and 15 tickets for $20. Proceeds of past raffle ticket sales have benefited the Glen Ellen and Mayacamas fire departments, Dunbar School and other local charities.
Who are the 2015 quilters?
Other fair news arrived this week from Margie Foster who has been co-ordinating the Glen Ellen Village Fair quilt for the past many years (we guess at least 20). The Glen Ellen Quilters (a loosely formed group of folks who love to stitch and chatter) have begun the search for local quilters to participate in making the 2015 quilt. Yep, that year is correct. The 2014 quilt is finally finished and happily being displayed at the market, where raffle tickets are hot as hot cakes, flying off the grill.
The 2015 quilt will have a star theme, with each participant being asked to make two identical star squares, pieced from dark blues and gold fabrics. The overall design is by master crafts artist, Pamela Wiley, with a little help from another master crafts artist, Mary Ann Carr.
Well known for her many years of soccer coaching, Pamela is now retired and devoting her extra time (besides that which she spends with her two lovely grandbabies) to stitchery, piecing, appliqué and quilting.
For more information and specific instructions for making your star square, call Margie Foster at 996-8864 and tell her you’d like to be one of the quilters. Marge hopes to accumulate enough star squares for the quilt plus a smaller wall hanging, with the theme of “Out of this World” (which certainly typifies our town).
Margie says, “Even if you think you might be interested, give me a call. It is already shaping up to be a lovely and fun quilt. The deadline for finished squares is Sept. 15.”
A sentimental song
Meanwhile, Margie’s other good news is the wedding she and husband Ritch Foster attended this past month. Yes, Marge and Ritch’s younger son, Evan Foster, was married to his sweetheart Krystal in Crockett where the couple makes their home.
Margie said the highlight of the ceremony for her was when she sang for Evan and Krystal.
Margie had confessed to me earlier that she wasn’t sure she could get through the sentimental song, “Love and Happiness” (famously recorded by Emmy Lou Harris), but she did. With perfection and happiness, at that, and with lots of love directed at her dear son and beloved, brand new daughter-in-law. Margie told me her composure was entirely due to the support she had from her fine friends, all members of the Carrtunes. Singing along with Margie were Cynthia Carr, Sandy Everett and Ed Davis. They made the task easy and Margie said she was able to concentrate on Evan and Krystal and send out the good feelings to them.
After the big wedding ceremony and reception, the newlyweds left for a honeymoon in Hawaii. They are now returned home to their good life in Crockett. We wish them years of happiness and love, of course, as Evan’s momma sang.
Posh joint with traditions
Meanwhile, things have been quiet here at Creekbottom as Sweetie and I slipped away for an adventure. First we flew to Philadelphia where we visited Sweetie’s former elementary school. What a posh joint. I was duly impressed, all dark wood, marble stairs and pervaded with traditions. Walls lined with little boys pretending to be men, navy blazered, with striped polos and khakis. The library alone was massive with a carved marble fireplace that rivals any I’ve seen, replete with angels and gargoyles. A brief visit to the school’s chapel was inspiring with stained glass windows that provided a golden and rosy glow to the warm oak pews. No penciled graffiti was apparent, but I could easily image spider races of the kind described by Mark Twain.
While Sweetie toured the grounds and buildings, I sat happily reading an architectural tome near another carved and decorated fireplace, seated on a soft leather couch with a gorgeous Persian rug at my feet. Above the fireplace, a painting that sure looked like an original Winslow Homer brightened the space. A scene of boys planning an adventure, inspired by their reading.
I was offered tea or water, but was happy just to sit and contemplate how different Sweetie’s experience at Chestnut Hill Academy was from my own experience at Lafayette public school in Eureka. I am satisfied that our educational experiences were vastly different, but in the end, more or less equal.
All-day drive to Ithaca, NY
Our friend Ann Peden, who knows about these things, insisted that we stop at the famous Philadelphia Art Museum, one of the best in the world, she claims. And we would have, but the day got away from us. From Philadelphia, we drove all day to Ithaca, New York, through green and glowing farmland, rich with crops of corn, wheat, vegetables and fruit. Arriving in Ithaca more or less near dinnertime, we joined our second son Gabriel and his beautiful bride (of three years now) Hilary, for a Glen Ellen style beans and rice meal, satisfying in every way. I loved sitting at their simple kitchen table in their upstairs apartment, heat invading the second story, and catching up. A pleasant meal, shared with folks we dearly love. Our Ithaca stay was too short and the four days flew by before we were ready to depart.
A pool under a waterfall
One of my goals for this trip was to swim in a natural environment. Sure, I love my laps at the Agua Caliente Aquatic Center, but I so crave a truly natural swimming hole, the only kind I knew as a child. Treman State Park provided the opportunity. For the first several days of our visit, the park was closed because of heavy rains that had contaminated the water, from nearby livestock farms.
On the third day, we were rewarded: the pool below the waterfall was open. Gabe marinated some chicken to grill at the park, Hilary made the best potato salad I’ve had in years (even surpassing Cafe Citti’s version). Soon we trotted off to check out the water.
Of course it was cold. The sign at the entrance kiosk to the park said 66 degrees. Too cold for this momma who has become accustomed to 90 degree indoor pool at ACAC? No way, I jumped in, rather more slowly than “jumping” might imply, and didn’t come out until the chicken was ready and the meal was served. What a delightful experience. The roar of the waterfall behind me, the rocky ledges that made good resting places throughout the deep pool and the gentle toe-nibbling fish made for an awesome experience. I was stoked.
Later that week, Gabe, Hilary, Sweetie and I celebrated my 67th birthday at a cozy Italian restaurant that was excellent, exotically New York-style and appropriately celebratory.
Home to bed, early enough to catch an early morning flight to Chicago out of Rochester. From there, we flew to Portland where son Sky, sweet daughter-in-law Amy and excellent grandson Shiloh awaited us.
Swimming with gilled relatives
Again, my goal was to find a place for an exhilarating and natural swim. That was easily accomplished. On a sunny, bright Saturday, all five of us jumped into the car and headed out to Sauvie Island, a large strip of land bordered by the Willamette and Columbia rivers. Green and lush with berries, fruits, veggies and cows, the island is a popular beach spot for Portlanders. After a more-than-filling lunch at a fruit stand, we headed out a dirt road to a beach on the Columbia side. A quick jaunt down a forested path led us to a sandy sloping beach, peopled with happy weekenders.
Babies, kids, adults and swimmers of all ages congregated at the riverside. Again, chilly water, but oh-so-refreshing. Once in above my tummy, it was difficult to lure me out of the water.
Little Shiloh entered the water with some mild trepidation, mitigated by his Papa, who was practically born in the water (true story: salty spray at Salmon Creek guided Schuyler’s entrance into this world). The following week, just when we were leaving, 5-1/2-month-old Shiloh began his swim lessons at a public pool in Portland. We hope he’ll become as enthusiastic a swimmer someday as his Grammy and Grandpa, Papa and other gilled relatives.
Talking to his dog, his toys, his books
Of course, the best part of our trip was spending time with our delightful and charming grandson, Shiloh Robert Crawford, one of the happiest babies I’ve ever known. He reaches his arms out to anyone he sees and smiles and laughs the whole time you hold him. He constantly talks (in his own baby language, that none of us can quite understand) to the dog, to his toys, to his books, even to his grandparents.
As I’ve repeatedly shared with my friends, being a grandmamma is far richer than I’d expected, a blessing of advancing age, that makes it all worth while.
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The Folks in Glen Ellen column also appears online. Look for it at sonomanews.com/category/lifestyle-history. Or look for my name, way at the bottom on the home page at sonomanews.com. Want to see your own name in the news? Share your stories with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call or write me at 996-5995 or P.O. Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me at Creekbottom@earthlink.net. Glen Ellen chatter rarely requires timeliness; however, if your news does, please be sure to contact me at least two weeks before your desired publication date.