Village Matters

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Time to Be With Family

ann christoph
By Ann Christoph

This is when I miss my mom especially. I always knew that I could come to her house. There would be a cozy place to stay. Even though this wasn’t my home here in Laguna, she made me feel that her home would always be my home, too. It was my childhood home still in my heart.

I could dress as sloppy as I wanted. We’d chat as we made the menu she’d planned come into reality. Set the table, get ready for the rest of the family and guests. Change into more festive clothes. Make it all seem effortless. Add the dishes others bring. A beautiful table, gracious gratitude. All sharing food and making memories.

(I want to leave out the part about the football games, the excuse the male contingent always had to avoid helping with the dishes.) But from my perspective, our female camaraderie, as we scrubbed and soaked and put away the remains of the dinner, was way better than the shouts and groans going on in the living room.

Now I don’t have that familiar home to visit. My mom is gone, except for these memories and the ways I am that come from her. In a million subtle ways she molded my character. Art, writing, networking skills, persistence came from her. Her advice echoes at important moments. But I don’t have mom’s place to go, to curl up and feel so loved.

It’s a loss but also a lesson. Is it now our turn to do that for others?

Time to be with family—or make a family for someone else. Our community of Laguna Beach does this for all of us—and we all do our part to make it warm and loving. For this holiday season and for all of 2020, let’s wash away the harshness at City Hall and on NextDoor, and see our foundation, our devotion to the town and the people in it. Make our family ever larger, our voices sweeter, our accomplishments embracing our highest aspirations.


Ann Christoph is a landscape architect and former mayor and member of the City Council.


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