Easter, 2012 revisited

Happy Easter! May we be able to celebrate with friends again next year. Also, note the meditation below:

Many of us in the Big Sur community are asking you to join on Sunday at 3PM. Will you?

“We invite you to join the Big Sur community in silent meditation to send out prayers of health, healing, and transformation across the planet, and keeping our Beloved Big Sur safe and pristine. As we can enhance our own well being, spiritually, psychologically, and physically through meditation, doing this together can create a synergistic effect for healing in our community and the world.

In whatever way is meaningful to you, send energies of love, healing, health, compassion, unity, joy, acceptance and any other creative inspirations outward and connect with the other prayers abounding.

We have the power to love as a way of life, and to unite as a community at this time of crisis, and let’s use that power now, for renewal, together.

At 3 PM on this Sunday, April 12, and every Sunday at 3 PM until this crisis passes, let’s join together in this healing meditation. Be well and God Bless.”

And so mote it be…

Happy Thanksgiving, 2019

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”

– John Henry Jowett (1864-1923)

I may not have time to blog for the next few days, and in case that turns out to be true, I wanted to take this moment in time to wish all of you a blessed Thanksgiving Day. May it be filled with love, joy, friends and family. Take a few moments each day to fill your soul with the gratitude you truly feel. Blessed be.

Jo-Ann always put together such a beautiful Thanksgiving table. I miss this
Thanksgiving Morning on top of the World by Brendon Shave

STRs in Big Sur

I have covered this issue before — last month before the end of the public comment period here: https://bigsurkate.blog/2019/05/16/vacation-rentals-tourism-and-big-sur/ but it comes before the Planning Commission next Wednesday, and I wrote an article for the Voices of Monterey Bay website published today.

Here is part of what I wrote:

“The special characteristic of the Big Sur Coast should also be recognized as a primary resource. Man’s presence along this coast continues to reflect a pioneering attitude of independence and resourcefulness; and the environment has been a special nurturing ground for individual and creative fulfillment. The community itself, and its traditional way of life are resources that can help protect the environment and enhance the visitor experience.”
— Big Sur Land Use Plan

By Kate Woods Novoa

Big Sur is raw, rugged, and humbling. It has been said that she can — and will — spit you out, if you don’t belong here. Longtime locals speak of her as if she is an entity. Visitors think of Big Sur as idyllic, and it is in many ways. But this romance does not have a place for short-term rentals.

Those who live here know the difficulties that are a part of the life here: the instability of the road, town trips and school days that must be canceled due to the ever-changing road conditions of Highway 1; storms that take out power lines and telephone lines; slides that take out our main artery, water systems and private roads, not to mention critical bridges; the isolation and the lack of any of the amenities most people have come to not just expect, but need. Get away from the highway, and you may see no services, except what landowners or neighborhoods provide. Here, it is still possible to live up close and personal with Mother Nature. That is why it is humbling. Those who survive the lessons that she has to teach become a community with shared values and a love for this place and one’s place in it.

Fabian Pfortmüller, a Swiss community builder and entrepreneur, defines community “as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” But community, to me, is more than that. We care about each other, help each other, and care about the places where we live. “This is where the magic of a community happens,” Pfortmüller said. “When people care about each other, they develop trust. And trust unlocks collaboration, sharing, support, hope, safety and much more. While most organizations in the world optimize their performance towards external goals, communities optimize for trust.”

Tales of collaboration, sharing, support, hope and trust are legendary in Big Sur. From the early settlers to the last fire, road closure, or bridge collapse, tales of neighbor helping neighbor abound.

For the rest of my article, please see: https://voicesofmontereybay.org/2019/06/20/big-surs-str-problem/

Weston Call Memorial Fund

Hi Kate – soo very sorry for Big Sur’s huge loss. Here’s a link to the Fund for Big Sur Weston’s family set up: https://www.cfmco.org/2018/08/in-memory-of-weston-call/

Cristina Medina Dirksen

Communications Associate

Community Foundation for Monterey County

2354 Garden Road

Monterey, CA  93940

831.375.9712 x138 / Fax: 831.375.4731

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Throw back Thursday & my Weekend

When I was in law school, I was a single mom with 2 young children. I often studied after I put them to bed, usually until midnight. I went to school all day, 5 days a week, and studied all the friggin’ time. The only time I could carve out for myself was when I was taking a hot bath. They were 7 and 2.  I would tell them I did not want to be disturbed unless there was blood. They were very good about that. I didn’t get disturbed.

Today, I get to meet up with some of my original Big Sur Ladies birthday group for breakfast at Deetjen’s. Many of my favorite ladies will be there and here throughout the weekend. I only get to see some of them once or twice a year, and one of them I haven’t seen in something like 5 years. I am taking the entire weekend off from my blog (gasp!) so I can spend some of it with friends.

Back on Monday…unless there is blood, fire, or road closures. Then you can email/FB/twitter me.

I’ll take photos.

Happy Thanksgiving

Most years, I have gone to my friend Jo-Anne’s for Thanksgiving. Today is her last, due to new adventures on her horizon. I am honored to share her friendship. This is how she decorates her table.


May your day be filled with love, laughter, friends and family. Mine is. Blessings to one and all.

On the storm front – Watch the weather reports, while timing and amounts change, all reports indicate this could be fun. Enjoy, but be safe!

Tribute to Honey Jack

I don’t like doing death announcements on my blog, but by now, most people know that Honey Jack (Koch) left us on Tuesday, the 16th. He went off the road going up to Pfeiffer Ridge.

I did not know Jack, other than seeing him around. But after his passing, I wish I had. Everyone I have spoken with has told me what a valuable, sweet, open hearted member of the community he was. I heard story after story about his contributions to his landlords, neighbors, and friends. Most of Big Sur Valley has benefitted by his presence in our midst, and he will be greatly missed by the community that loved him.

Photo by Trey Kropp.

photo from the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook.

Blessings on your journey, Jack. May you reunite with friends and loved ones.