We have so much to be thankful for. We have been blessed with a free country and a wonderful place to live. Newcomers often comment on how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place that is so abundant with natural resources.
A few tables down from mine at the holiday bazaar this year was a dazzling display of belt buckles and jewelry made from cut and polished rocks and semiprecious stones. I introduced myself to the artisans, Warren and Pat Togni, and learned that they moved here in 2005 from Santa Rosa, Calif. For several years, they spent their summers in a trailer at the Alaska Angler campground and fell in love with our small community. After they decided to move here permanently, they went home and put their house on the market, bought a house on the bluff and moved here all within a few months.
"We have a killer view," said Pat. "Our view would cost a million dollars back in California!"
The couple agreed there was no comparison with living here versus the fast-paced city life in California.
Warren is a finish carpenter and cabinet installer, and now that he is retired enjoys his lapidary hobby and sport fishing.
Pat worked for a title company and was in real estate until she couldn't stand the viciousness of the competition.
"It was too cut-throat for me," she said. "Now I have time to do things that I enjoy doing."
She especially enjoys canning, gourmet cooking and entertaining. She also likes to get together with women in the community and is currently the vice-president of the Domestic Engineers. She said being involved with the Domestic Engineers promotes a sense of community and supports good causes such as Close-Up, Christmas care packages, the Easter Basket program and the Ninilchik Community Library.
She told me one event coming up is the Santa's Store that opens at Ninilchik School where children can buy presents for their parents for 50 cents. If anyone is interested in joining the Domestic Engineers or donating items for Santa's Store, call Pat at 567-7323.
One table near the Togni's was the Domestic Engineer's table selling homemade jams and jellies to help support Ninilchik School. The group raffled a quilted wall hanging made by Barb Lamont that was won by Richard Digel.
Ninilchik School music teacher Lisa Nissley, reported that the annual holiday bazaar and rummage sale was a success. She said with proceeds from the bazaar and the band members' rummage sale, the band had met 50 percent of its goal of paying for new uniforms. Lisa mentioned that she was proud of the 27-member band who poured over catalogs and made a wise choice for their uniforms.
Happy birthday to Carolyn Leman, Daniel Self and Abi Daniels today, Nov. 19; Dan Leman on Nov. 20; Jesse Leman on Nov. 21; Willie Morris on Nov. 23; and Delores Lindeman and Brad Drake on Nov. 25.
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