Magical moments this holiday season, The Book Cellar and an important mission

If you could go back in time and be a child again, would you? I have often heard others ponder their childhood with many warm-hearted memories. What was it about being young that seems elusive to us as we find ourselves in a wide open field in the midst of our lives? Could it be that we understand time better or rather that we recognize with age as we gaze back and remember who we once were? During the holiday season my childhood memories always come back to me, like flickering images from a movie reel.
I grew up on a farm near Springfield, Mo. The winters were cold. The pond froze over and we would skate across it in our cowboy boots. Then we would watch our breath rise up to the white sky and blend in with the blanket of snow falling down on us below.
The “us” would be my brother, sister and me. We were pretty tight as kids. We built massive forts in the snow and played a tag game called chicken and fox over the icy pond. I never believed in Santa because we lived on a farm and I knew there was no way he could really fit inside a wood burning stove.
We always watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Scrooge.” We had taffy pulls. Live moved slowly when I was young, and I didn’t know as a child that wishes and dreams can sometimes take you away from what you love the most. So now each season, after the turkey has been served and as families are decorating their homes with mistletoe, I find myself remembering the young girl I was and my beginnings. This holiday season, remember to look back, count your blessings and be thankful for each season. Sometimes we never know how magical our moments are until they are gone.
Around Town
CORRECTION: Well, my favorite bookstore in the whole wide world must hate me. I realized my serious gaffe of naming the wrong bookstore in a previous column after someone pointed out the name on my coffee cup, Book Tales, which most of you probably know is in Encinitas. That is a wonderful bookstore, too. However, my favorite bookstore that I try to frequent at least once a week exists just around the corner from the Rancho Santa Fe Library and is The Book Cellar. Please forgive!
My only excuse is I write late night into the early hours of the morning and sometimes mistakes happen when you do this. So for the record, if you would like to read and buy books in Rancho Santa Fe, The Book Cellar is a gem of place. What I do is always donate the books back when my room starts to take on too many stacks against the wall or they start falling of my night stand. Make sure you stop in this holiday season for a book as a gift. They have fabulous prices. And the quiet, still space between the rows of bookshelves just warms your soul.
During the first week of November, Dr. Michael and Lynne Skyhar stopped in at the Lemon Twist Gift & Produce Shop in Rancho Santa Fe. Lynne and Dr. Mike live in the area and were just so wonderful to meet right as dusk was setting across the valley behind the shop. We shared some quick conversation and they were kind enough to let me share a photo in my column from that evening. I love meeting new people. Mike and Lynne were very gracious and kind. Thanks for stopping in at Lemon Twist and for reading the column Mike and Lynne. Happy holidays!
On Nov. 13, I attended Esther Wong’s charity fundraising party in Cielo with my best friend Jill Sorge. The party was hosted by Esther, Taylor and Diane Wong and the Santa Fe Christian India Mission’s team. Part of the proceeds from this event will be included in a check they are presenting in person in India at the Grace Home Orphanage and school. My favorite part of this party was watching the video clip from their trip over to India last year. If you are interested in donating to this charity, visit I have included a beautiful photo of Esther and Taylor Wong from that day.
On Nov. 15, many beautiful blondes and brunettes from Rancho Santa Fe made it to Mission Valley to attend Bloomingdale’s Shopping Event, which benefited Rady Children’s Hospital here in San Diego. Look at the fabulous shot I included from the event. In the lineup, we have Kim Smart from Smart Interiors, Elaine Gallagher, Ally Wise, Candace Sears and Jan Doyle-Wehlag. All of these lovely, smart women are business professionals, friends and most of all, they are shopping to benefit Rady Children’s Hospital. Well done. Make sure you shop this Christmas or donate extra items that you don’t need to charity.
On Nov. 19th, it rained all day in Rancho Santa Fe. But that didn’t stop the Sassy Santa Event that my gal pal Krista Lafferty organized with the Garden Club. When I stopped by that Saturday there was a massive food truck feeding the shoppers out front, a Santa listening to children’s wish lists, and a plethora of local businesses beating the Black Friday date by one week. Inside the Garden Club felt festive and warm. I enjoyed strolling the aisles and seeing all of the merchandise. Here is a photo from that day, too. Congrats to Krista, the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary and to all of those that came out to support local businesses this holiday season. Please continue to “Shop Small” this season. I have included a photo of those three important gals behind Sassy Santa.
Save the mission: I received an e-mail from Renee, a Ranch resident, alerting me to some important news. The Old Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in Oceanside is facing closure if enough money is not raised to save this landmark. Here is the link you must check out,
Known as the “King of Missions,” it is a famous natural historic landmark in Southern California. Founded in 1798, San Luis Rey’s historic church predates California even as state by 52 years. Open seven days a week to the public, take time and visit this landmark with your family, but more importantly, donate if you can before we lose a valuable part of California history!
Thank you, Renee, for alerting the community about this important information.


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