El Cajon, CA
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Articles by Cynthia Robertson

It’s difficult to describe the Salton Sea to someone who has never seen the gigantic sinkhole of water in the Imperial Valley. At 35 miles long, 15 miles wide and 332 feet below sea level, the Salton Sea is basically a landlocked extension of the Gulf of California. Yet it is so much more, and worth making a day’s drive out.

Chollas Lake Park is a hidden treasure nestled in a luscious grove of trees just minutes from downtown Lemon Grove. Located on College Grove Drive off the CA 94 highway, the lake provides a variety of activities for the whole family. The lake and surrounding trails are open each day from 6:30 a.m. until a half hour before sunset. 

An afternoon to remember is what most people at the Lemon Grove Library would call Louise Mathews’ lecture and story telling about her experiences as a cook for jails. On February 6, attendees were treated to a luscious helping of stories based on her book, “Jail House Cuisine: From the Right Side of the Bars.”

Kathy Nida puts a different face on quilts. Instead of the usual cozy, comfy covers with geometric or other designs, Nida’s quilts are pieces of art telling stories of women. Her quilts are currently in the Contemporary Crafts exhibit at the Grossmont College Hyde Gallery through March 3.

“It’s a very personal set of stories,” said Nida, an El Cajon resident. “When stuff happens to me, it shows up in my work, although sometimes in an allegory of sorts.”

When the house becomes too much to take care of, when the children are all wrapped up in their own lives, when aches and pains are something to contend with every hour, then it’s time to look around for someplace where others can care for you and encircle you into a new family. The Good Samaritan Retirement Center, located in the foothills of rural El Cajon, is just the place for that.

With 2016 as the year for inclement weather, the mountains of San Diego County are sure to be a destination spot for revelers in the snow. After snowman building, a big appetite for comfort food and hot cider kick in. Getting something wonderful to eat and drink at the Pine House Café and Tavern is worth the journey to the mountains for both kids and adults. 

Have no fear, book-lovers and authors. Lowell and Diane Lindsay, owners of Sunbelt Publications in El Cajon, know that you missed their annual holiday party with its famous chili bar, but they have not disappeared from the book-publishing scene. Instead, they have made some winning changes for the coming New Year.

Moving just next door from their old unit, from 1256 to 1250 Fayette Street, the company will have half the space but twice the efficiency.

Jack Frost was still hanging around from the near-freezing night before as people made their way down La Mesa Boulevard on the morning of December 15. Ladies in their prettiest Christmas sweaters and men dressed in their best were headed to the annual Holiday Open House at the La Mesa Adult Enrichment Center.

Susan Phillips’ job can be difficult. As the teacher liaison between Grossmont Union High School District and Mission Trails Regional Park, she must choose among the hundreds of students’ artwork to exhibit at MTRP. This year, she chose the work of dozens of eight students from each high school for the current exhibit of Natural Views.

The art is displayed on the walls of the MTRP Visitor’s Center. The students were honored with a reception on Dec. 12, 2015.

Tucked away in La Mesa’s light industrial district on Center Avenue is Get Centered Clay, a working pottery studio. On Dec. 5, owner Elly Dotseth opened her studio to the public in a holiday show and sale.

Customers admired the design and detail of the jars and mugs, bowls and plates lining the shelves. Laurel Bernstein chose a leaf platter that her friend Michele Palmer had made.

Palmer said that the platter was made with a leaf that dropped from a tree in Balboa Park.