El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

I keep picking up the phone to call her, but then I remember she is gone.

No, I have not been jilted by a friend. Rather, my mother up and died.

Suddenly, two months ago.

She got sick with pneumonia and sepsis, but she had done that before and rallied. She was always surprising the doctors and nurses, nearly driving them out of their minds with her demands to go home. They would finally let her go when she proved she was just fine. She just did not like the hospital food.

This time, though, she never came back around.

I’ve been a little loony over the moon for the past several years. I follow its stages and path every month, becoming almost giddy when it’s time for the full moon, finding a perfect vantage point to photograph its appearance. Just a few months ago, I discovered Wright’s Field out in Alpine, a pleasant wide, open field with trails leading out to big boulders and shrubby trees with views of the mountains. I kept that place in mind for future full moons.   

Something funny is happening in La Mesa once a month at SPACEBAR Café in La Mesa. The Internet café hosts a monthly night of music and comedy. Ten dollars gets you admission to the show and includes a free beer or wine, no drink minimum or donations expected. This month on November 13, Gene Levin was the host of the show. 

The 23rd annual Holiday Open House, hosted by proprietors Marshall and Sheryl Lozier, was held at Sheryl Lozier hosted their Holiday Open House at Summers Past Farms in Flinn Springs. Over the years, the event has become so popular that guests bring platters of cookies to share. The result is a lavish cookie buffet set up next to the pots of fragrant wassail.

New owners of a long-time restaurant can be a dicey matter, but at the Lemon Grove Deli & Grill, Tom and Lynne Roberto are making everyone’s favorite place even better. The Robertos have made food their business for more than 45 years.

“So it’s only fitting that we buy a restaurant about the same age,” joked Lynne Roberto.

When Penelope Quirk steps inside a classroom, she gets a host of kids coming up to her to give hugs. All ages from 5 to 12 look forward to class time with her. That’s because Quirk gives them lots of smile-time with her lessons in Art Smarts.

Quin Crosley, 8, came up to Quirk to whisper her a secret, which earned her a hug. The loud, excited noise of everyone talking at once began building in the classroom. 

Members of La Mesa Beautiful could be called die-hard green thumbs for their commitment to attend the annual meeting last Sunday at the Nan Couts Cottage in spite of the pouring rain. The trees outside the cottage were bright green, soaking in all the moisture.

The members cozied up in the cottage to listen to a presentation by Robin Rivet, an arborist of San Diego County Trees.

Gloria Chadwick, a conservation artist of El Cajon, does not let the grass grow under her feet as she treks the globe to draw and paint wildlife.

In April, Chadwick travels to a plein air painting convention in Monterey. “Plein air is standing outdoors and painting what you see. It’s landscape in one setting,” Chadwick said. But painting is rarely just a standing around for Chadwick, who won the Artist for Conservation award in January.

Under a banner “Chaldeans are the Cradle of Civilization,” people began the traditional hand-in-hand Khiga dance circling the promenade. Hundreds of people gathered at El Cajon’s Prescott Promenade on Sunday to celebrate the

New Year. For the Chaldeans, April 1 marks the beginning of the year 7313.

El Cajon is home to more than 40,000 Chaldeans making East County the second largest Iraqi population in the nation.

Pageant Director Alex Kuty’s hard work at the “Night of Talent and Fashion” at Steele Canyon High School Theater in Spring Valley paid off. The fundraiser raised money for the Miss San Diego Cities, Miss La Mesa, Miss Santee and Miss Rancho Jamul pageants.
After a silent auction and opportunity drawing, the lights dimmed and the show began. Seventeen pageant titleholders modeled clothes from Fashion Kiss of La Mesa and the Old Navy store in Santee. The models were former contestants and titleholders in the various pageant programs.