Greetings, fellow Avilones. Now that October is behind us, and the “kiddies” are loaded up with candy from Halloween, we shift our lives in preparation for the November Thanksgiving festivities. This means lavish turkey meals with all the fixings for many of us, and perhaps ham or family favorites for others. 

Out of curiosity, I visited the internet to acquire some history about the origins of Thanksgiving and found endless online representations. But for the sake of brevity, I copied the following description from the History Channel website, which informs us that “Thanksgiving became an annual custom throughout New England in the 17th century, and in 1777 the Continental Congress declared the first national American Thanksgiving following the Patriot victory at Saratoga. In 1789, President George Washington became the first president to proclaim a Thanksgiving holiday when, at the request of Congress, he proclaimed Nov. 26, a Thursday, as a day of national Thanksgiving for the U.S. Constitution. However, it was not until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving to officially fall on the last Thursday of November, that the modern holiday was celebrated nationally.” There is soooo much more online on this topic, but I leave that for you to research.

Let’s face it. Nearly two full years into the Pandemic, it is not always easy to think of the things we are thankful for, but mental health professionals tell us that doing so is one of the best ways to deal with the “funk” looming over the lives of many. 

While our freedoms have been re-defined, at least temporarily, we are again able to enjoy a lot of the things we took for granted in the past, though with a tweak here and there. Perhaps we never fully appreciated those things until they were taken away from us. One day this health crisis will be behind us, and I hope we will have learned some valuable lessons that can be filed away for future benefit.

Turning to something more uplifting, have you stopped by for a visit to the Central Coast Aquarium lately? In addition to other exciting things going on there, a new occupant arrived and set up home in the Octopus tank. 

According to the newsletter I received from the Aquarium, “Octopuses are highly intelligent invertebrates, and we are lucky enough to have a very special Pacific Red Octopus (Octopus rubescens) named Ruby, right here at CCA! Small octopuses, like Ruby, are believed to have the intelligence level of a house cat while others, like the Giant Pacific Octopus, can be even more intelligent!” This tank was vacant for quite a while, even though the Avila Beach Community Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to the Aquarium in 2019 to complete the habitat. Unforeseen circumstances – including the Pandemic – caused a delay in acquiring a new resident, but no longer. Stop by and meet “Ruby.” Do you know how many tentacles “Ruby” has?

In case you are wondering about the latest news regarding progress on the Avila Community Plan, SLO County Planning Manager Arlin Singelwald recently sent a communication. We are told that due to the many comments, questions, and concerns about the Avila Plan draft, since it was released in May 2021, the matter is being put on pause until the County can conduct another round of in-person workshops. The recommendation to take this action will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 16. So, the clock continues to run while this long-awaited project plods forward. The reason for the delay is not necessarily a bad thing, but it would be nice to see more forward progress.

With the December holidays fast approaching, I once again invite you to consider a special gift for one or more of your Avila Beach family members or friends. Yes, this is an unabashed “commercial moment,” but worth your attention. Acquire this limited-edition License Plate Holder when you make a contribution in any amount to the “Avila Beach Public Art Development & Preservation Fund.”

Send your check to: 

Avila Beach Community Foundation

P.O. Box 297, Avila Beach, CA 93424

Be sure to include your contact information so we can arrange the delivery of your frame(s).

That’s it for now, fellow Avilones. I wish you an enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration. See you at the beach!