Lately, gratitude has been pouring into the small spaces of my day. While visiting Mendocino on business, I stole a moment to walk along the headlands and down to a cove where I could dip my toes in the icy water. An osprey cry drew my attention as it plunged into the surf, coming up with a fish in its talons. I have to pinch myself—I live here.
Winding along highway 128 through the deep end of Anderson Valley, the redwoods tower overhead casting the road in deep shade. A beam of sun spotlights a trillium growing in the duff. Once I see one, many more catch my eye. Yes, I live here, where trilliums bloom.
As we are pulled into the full swing of summer, my list of priorities includes being outside and eating ice cream (not necessarily in that order). The Blue Wing Saloon in Clearlake has a charming porch and patio where you can relax over their scrumptious brunch, and Frankie’s in Mendocino is the go-to place for a scoop of Cowlick’s ice cream, hand made in Fort Bragg. True to their love of community and fun, Frankie’s hosts a dance party for the whole community outside their pizza and ice cream parlor on July 4th. You will see all ages busting moves on their deck as we celebrate our nation’s birthday. Local secret: taste the candy-cap mushroom ice cream—so delicious.
I “never don’t stop” at the Peg House (page 39) to grab a burger and sip their weekly special hard cider on the patio. It takes me back to my youth, when I used to babysit the owners’children, Anna and Austin. Remembering those days fills me with nostalgic love, and I never visit the Peg House without grabbing one of Diana’s coveted chocolate brownies (last one subject to auction!).
As the temperature heats up, we should all take the opportunity to get outside and appreciate why we live here. Visitors from around the globe get a taste of what is so wonderful about Mendocino County, but those of us who call it home should never take it for granted. Clean air, cool water, fresh ice cream, a vast ocean, delicious food, and genuinely kind people are at our doorstep. This summer I hope you take a step back from the wonderful moments that fill your days and join me in thinking … I live here!
Yours in gratitude,