Merry Christmas Sonoma peeps!

And yes, I am still using that apparently-almost-cancelled phrase because Christmas magic will always be Christmas magic regardless of your religious beliefs or level of wokeness.

So, long time no write. At least, long time no write this blog, no real reason, too busy, languishing, nothing to say, needing a different focus, whatever.  I’m sure if I thought about it I could discover some deep psychological deficiency but you don’t care about that and frankly neither do I so let’s move on to the important stuff like Thursday at the Rez.

Oh, all right, cliff note version of the last few months. School is good, the new History and English teachers are great and we just graduated 9 kids this semester from Creekside plus the 8% teacher raise finally brings our pay level closer to surrounding districts. I’m focused on art, community collaboration and riding my little Schwinn cruiser to and from class each day.

I’m also upset that we lost Dr. P but happy that we now have Elizabeth Kaufman at the helm. And can someone please explain how and why we are paying out 115K when he will also be getting 115K from his new gig with Sonoma County? And last time I checked, SVUSD was a part of Sonoma County so aren’t we all in this together? Transparency please.

Golf season was a little rough but I have some new freshman girls who are going to inspire the next few years. And, with resurfaced courts, I’m looking forward to an awesome boys tennis season (practice starts Feburary 8, all levels welcome).

Plus, the world seems to be caring a little more about unjust wars and science and honest leadership which is nice. Although how about working together to solve the immigration problem instead of bussing people into freezing locals.

“You’re only as happy as your least happy child.”

Thursday morning Kate and I were ecstatic that both kids had scheduled their flights home for the holiday, landing two hours apart at the same airport. At 10 am, my daughter texts a picture of all Southwest flights being cancelled out of Portland, the city she now calls home. By the time we pick up our son at 5 (who now lives on the North Shore of Hawaii-yes, I’m totes jelly too), she had determined that flying wasn’t an option, Greyhound was too expensive and inconvenient and Amtrack only had seats available on Christmas eve.

Friday morning she had decided to rent a car and drive home which meant I had to swallow all my dad anxiety around snow and ice and chains and all that (I am still the 5 year-old boy from 1970 in the back of my parent’s Cougar watching my dad run behind the car in heavy snow yelling at my mom to keep going while I ball my head off in the backseat thinking it’s the end of my dad. It obviously was not).

But, that’s where life is right now, you can’t encourage independence and growth without a little danger of the unknown. But, when you have kids, you just want to hold on to them, especially now. And yes, Kate did wonder out loud if we should drive up to Portland to pick her up.

“No” I replied, “she’ll figure it out or not” This has been my mantra for the last few years.

So, after obsessively clicking on the highway 5 cameras showing snowy but not too snowy roads from Portland, I head to my happy place at the Rez, knowing that I just need to keep active, keep busy and soon things will work out.

Which, of course, they do and by 10:00 pm the band is back together and the kids are meeting up with friends at Steiners in that kids-returning-to-Sonoma Christmas ritual the day before all the family obligations.

And I don’t know about you but for me, this year seems to be just a little different. People are reaching out more, stuff that seemed important before COVID seem less so now and there are new babies and marriages and accomplishments to celebrate. My simple advice, reconnect with family and old roommates and anyone who once was important to you because as my friend Rob told me the other day, life is a one way street.

Which brings me back to the Rez where even though the water is low and no one has any idea what the next chapter will be for the SDC, the birds and the trees and the grass and the hills are all as beautiful as ever.

Sure, we need to do something about the homeless and global warming and war and injustice and all that but for the next few days let’s just come together and share the holiday magic. Reach out, get out, make a new friend at the Swiss hotel like I did the other day.

You know, live the great life you’ve created here in Sonoma, and have a Merry Christmas.

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