We sat around the room at the Guthrie –Bianchini House, more formally known as the Cambria Historical Society Museum. It was a celebration for the new members of University Women of Cambria (UWC). We each shared how long we had been in town, and from where. Our time here ranged from one year as a full-timer to someone who had been in town off and on since 1971. All of us had spent our working lives somewhere else, and most of us had left family back at the farm. We all shared how much our friends and family love to visit.
We took the time to talk about movies we’d seen, the latest plays and performances, and to update each other about the news in our lives. What was remarkable was how involved we all are. I serve as president of UWC. Our host for the party is an active docent for the historical society. We work or have worked at Hearst Castle. Nearly every one of us serve actively in at least two volunteer endeavors. I know this takes place in many communities, but this high level of involvement seems unique to Cambria.
Because we are a small community, does it mean that we need so many to be hands-on? I am amazed and delighted by the strong involvement of my friends and acquaintances. One of our members is active as a Friends of the Cambria Library member, works as an actor for Hearst Castle night tours, helps out in choosing our scholarship students and is always available to visit a sick friend. And she looks younger every year.
Yes, I love the natural beauty here, and the sun sparkling off the ocean, the cool weather with wispy fog, and the staggeringly blue skies. I feel and breathe healthier, I exercise more, and I take nearly daily walks either on the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve or Moonstone Beach.
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But what intrigues me more is the feeling of being so connected here — of being an important part of the whole. My contribution matters, and I can make a difference. That is a wonderful feeling.
Diann DePasquale is a resident of Cambria.