December 24, 2001

THE TREE IS ALL AGLITTER, and there are only a few presents left to wrap. It's Christmas Eve and Sunol, like every other town in America is celebrating the warmth and safety of our homes and families. As we all offer prayers and send loving thoughts to the soldiers and refugees caught up in the war against terrorism, we mourn those lost and wish for peace.

One more week of 2001 to go. My family and I are trying to take some time this week to recognize that we are uniquely blessed. The hills we love are turning green, our town is still friendly and full of spirit, and we have the precious gift of connection to each other and all of those dear to us. It's been a challenge to create a cheerful holiday season this year, and there were many days I just couldn't sign up to "getting back on track."

So, I went for the twinkly lights big time to brighten my mood and get in a festive mood. They're everywhere - icicle lights on the porch and deck, strings along our back retaining wall, strung on bookcases, plants, doorways and all around the family room ceiling. The magic of the Hanukkah candles lit earlier this month seems recaptured in all these little lights bouncing off the ornaments on our tree and reflecting in the windows.

There is so much beauty around us, so many caring and special people, I can only believe that peace will come to our world and we will once again feel safe and whole. If you're looking for a place to say a prayer, share hot chocolate and treats with some good folks, and lift your voice in a carol or two, the Christmas Eve service at the Little Brown Church of Sunol welcomes you tonight at 7 p.m.

A SPECIAL THANK-YOU: People who volunteer their time and talents make hard times easier to get through and good times all the better. Sunol Glen School has been the beneficiary of just such a person in Helen Eberle, an interdistrict transfer parent from Dublin. Helen and her husband John enrolled their twins John and Athena in Sunol Glen's second grade this year and Helen jumped in to school volunteering with great enthusiasm.

Her efforts helped make the school's recent holiday program one of the best ever. She worked many, many hours with the students and music teacher Mary Ann Butler, creating costumes and props, coming in for lunchtime rehearsals and serving as show photographer. Welcome to the Sunol Glen family, Helen. We're privileged to have you among us.

HIGH-TECH SUNOL NEWS: The Sunol Community News is now on-line at www.Sunol.net. The paper version of SCN ceased publication last spring and publisher Derek Johnson and I (editor and co-founder) have finally put a new issue on the Sunol.net site. We will update the site with new material around once a month, and would appreciate submissions of stories and pictures of Sunol events.

Tales of Sunol history, personal milestones such as birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc., travel stories, animal antics, business updates and anything else relating to Sunol or Sunolians will be considered for publication, as well as happily covered in this column. Please send material to djohnson@sunol.net. If you would like to be notified via e-mail of future editions of SCN, please send your e-mail address to: scnmail@sunol.net.

Merry Christmas, with hugs from Sunol.


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