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I missed most of the Christmas events I usually attend so I was determined to get to my Elks Club Open House. The food was excellent.

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The bar was suitably busy. The bartender is a member volunteer, and he had his hands full.

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Everyone seemed happy and full of Christmas spirit. The guy with the smile is just recently engaged to be married. His fiance is not in the picture.

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Our club is lucky to have Lynn, a piano player who always provides music for every event, every dinner. Any club would be lucky to have a guy like him.  A fairly new member revealed her exceptional voice and sang beautifully.

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Because I travel so much, I forget peoples names. I recognize faces and people who have been welcoming and nice to me.

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Our club is very active and you look around and figure, someone put a lot of time and effort into decorating our hall.

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And, while I forget names, I never forget my sponsor, he goes by the honiker “Skip Ahoy”. Also an officer of the club. He and his wife contribute a great amount of time and effort to Elks, and I admire them both.

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My table mate is also a newer member and an officer. He used to be a computer tech. He said “I got tired of fixing people’s computer problems, so now I teach at Columbia College and show people how to fix their own.”  His wife and daughter left early. He stayed for the clean-up.

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It had been awhile since I drove over the river to Tuolumne County.  The reservoir is shockingly low, down below the foundation attachment to the bridge.

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Visible is the straight line of the old road that took the driver to a small bridge over the river then the road climbed back up to the other side. The canyon was flooded by Melones Dam under protest from the locals who liked their wild and scenic river. I enjoyed the twisty road and the canyon, and most of all river rafting. Those things are gone, but the reservoir certainly provided valuable water to communities below us with water they wouldn’t have had.

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The tops of once live trees stick up above the surface of the water and the whole canyon is now unsafe for boating. We do complain about the rain because it is wet and cold, but we don’t complain too hard. We need that rain for the snow pack and hope we have a normal year.

Today, I’m planning to hunker down and get some Christmas cards out. I know-it is last minute but this has been one of the busiest times at home, with friends in need, and more on my plate than normal. We are promised a non-rain day, with some clouds and a bit of sun. Nice.

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