The Star-News


A tree for thee, love

Sat, Sep 22 2012 12:00 PM Posted By: Richard Pena

The other day I was reminded of a song that was popular back in the 1940s shortly after the war. Part of the lyrics asked the question, “What do they do on a rainy night in Rio?” It went on to muse, “What do they do when they can’t go for a walk, Do they stay home and talk or do they sit and sigh, aye aye?”

Applying similar lyrics here, nowadays, we would have to say, “What do they do on a torrid day in Bonita?”  Anyone setting foot in the outdoors would recall all those old clichés that begin with  “It is hot enough to…” and then supply an appropriate punch line, corny or otherwise. It would fit the bill.

To qualify me as an expert on weather conditions I would have to explain my working space.  For want of a better word I’ll refer to it as my “office.”  It is an add on to the main part of the house that we built some 40 years ago.  It is a sturdy, spacious structure constructed of cement blocks.  To insert a bit of the romantic I call them adobe blocks.  Blocks, of any kind, were probably a big mistake.  They are probably what causes that strange malady, writer’s block, that is occurring more frequently than in the past. But this has nothing to do with the heat.

It would appear that these building blocks have two characteristics: to retain heat in the summertime and to dissipate

it in the winter. But even though the temperature may soar to astronomical heights it does not excuse anyone, meaning me, from the task at hand, that is, adhere to my deadline. To raise the ire of one’s editor is not the best contribution to one’s well being.

As we reported last week we spent a pleasant luncheon afternoon with the ladies of the Sweetwater Woman’s Club. 

We were informed, just the other day that the Chula Vista Woman’s Club will be observing a century of existence early next year.  We recall that we attended a similar celebration at the Sweetwater Unit last year. It is truly amazing, and, of course, highly laudable that the women from the South Bay could exist for these many years, doing their utmost to help other members of the community who might need a helping hand.

One of the club members, Penny Bjornstad, has furnished me with some literature that explains the club’s principal fund raiser that is quickly coming upon us.  This is the club’s  annual art/craft show and home tour. For the 45th time the ladies of the unit will decorate and put on exhibit three homes in the area with items depicting the Christmas Season. Most of these decorations are the work of club members — and, of course their spouses — items that are of a professional quality and that can be used for many years. An example of this is an embroidered Christmas Angel that my late wife, Zula, purchased at one of these events many years ago, and still, annually, graces the apex of the Christmas Tree that we traditionally display.

The monies raised at this event, along with other funds that are raised through the years are — as we stated earlier — used in the ladies’ philanthropic acts. Those include various scholarships that are dispensed to needy students as well as objects of life-saving that have been gifts to the Bonita/Sunnside Fire Protection District. Funds are also supplied to many independent units, particularly those that benefit women and children.

One outstanding plus for the Sweetwater Club is that they seldom forget their own members.  My wife, Zula, had been part of the club for close to 50 years. She was a faithful member, that is, one who attended meetings and functions and she regularly adhered to these responsibilities until her health failed.

I have recently been given a certificate from the U.S. Forest Service via the Sweetwater Woman’s Club, stating that trees have been planted in her honor in a portion of the Cleveland National Park.  Zula was, basically an outdoors girl.  She would have loved this honor.


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