Cambrian: Opinion

Muse’s pencil set hasn’t made Steinbeck out of me this week

Dianne Brooke, right, receives an honorary Water Department T-shirt from Cambria Community Services District board President Amanda Rice, as Water Supervisor Jason Buhl looks on.
Dianne Brooke, right, receives an honorary Water Department T-shirt from Cambria Community Services District board President Amanda Rice, as Water Supervisor Jason Buhl looks on.

Energy-saving tip: Only heat as much water as you need to make one cup for tea or coffee (or, however many cups you intend to make at one time). You will use less energy than for heating up something you’re not going to use.

This is one of the random thoughts floating in my head for a book, a how-to, as it were, on life in this technological world. But, I’ve stalled. One of my “muses,” Shay, gave me a beautiful set of pencils and a sharpener, exactly the kind John Steinbeck used to write some of my favorite books with, to inspire me. She does so in other ways, but … I’m still stalled. Like now.

What do I write about? Right now. This morning. Sigh.

I’ve done this column for almost 19 years. Why do I torture myself so? Because I can.

“Hmmm, that new piece of furniture next to my computer could use some felt pads on its feet. Oh, I know where those are. I should do that right now!”

“Maybe I’ll just rinse off those dishes (even though they’ve been sitting there three days).”

“Hmmm, what will I do with my new daughter-in-law for a week before my Woodstock party? Oh, perhaps she’d like to go help out on the farm with my girlfriend. I’ll do a total Cambria tourist thing — go to the Historical Museum, look for moonstones, get inspired in the galleries, talk to people. (“When you go to visit Dianne, you don’t just meet people — you meet the village!” she declared the first time she came for a short visit.) And more people. Eat out in one of the many wonderful restaurants here. Walk the Lodge steps. Look at the cemeteries. Take the Lighthouse Tour.

What was I writing about again?

Wow, it is so amazing how nice things look through clean windows! Thank you, Andy. I know some pretty amazing people. Actually, that subject comes up almost every day. That, and how grateful we all are for living here full time.

Where was I …?

I had the opportunity to attend the last Cambria Community Services District meeting. My dear friends and I were being recognized for finding a big water leak. Hey, we were just exploring and got lucky. But it was sweet. Thanks, Jason Buhl, for the lovely Water Department-Blue tie dyed T-shirts with our names on them and everything. Honorary water crew, hahahaha.

I didn’t have any work lined up so I stayed for the meeting. Been a long time since I’d been able to. Very interesting. I reconfirmed the votes I’d cast for board members. There was much good discussion. I’m not happy with the outcome of the item about purchasing the old library (if it was such a great deal, why hadn’t someone else grabbed it before now?) when it was obvious after budget reports that we don’t have the money to buy anything like that? My opinion. And obviously that of two of the five members. Thanks, Harry and Amanda. And thanks to them all for being in a thankless job.

When I was the director of the Community Center, there came a time when I realized I could not persuade my board to not spend so much money. I stepped down. It went under a year and a half later and they dissolved their 501c3. Good folks. It just didn’t work any more. Sigh. You can’t do that so easily with a CCSD. Curious to see how this all resolves.

Well, golly. I’m exhausted from following my imagination around this morning. Think I’ll take a break and make a cup of tea. Just one cup at a time …

Dianne Brooke’s column appears weekly and is special to The Cambrian. Visit her website at Email her at