Those of us who call Sonoma County home are a special bunch of people. Our lawns are a gorgeous shade of tan. We know where our vegetables (cheese, beef, chickens and bread) come from. We live in the city, the country, along the river, on the ocean and in microclimates that range from cool fog to searing heat.
Many of us have deep roots and fond memories of destinations long ago replaced by highways or subdivisions. We remember Pepper, Santa Rosa’s yodeling town marshal, and $1-a-car nights at Rohnert Park’s Redwood Drive-in theater. Others got their first glimpse as students, tourists or job-seekers and decided to stay. Most of us have chosen to live here, which may be why we feel proud to call Sonoma County home.
To celebrate the things that distinguish us, Press Democrat staff and readers came up with a list that represents a variety of vantage points, some of which disagree. Think of it as priming the pump, and feel free to add your thoughts below.
Your last name is on a wine bottle.
Your first aid kit includes Wine Away.
You know which appellations are inside the summer fog line.
You have no idea where “Wine Country” is.
You don’t need a tour to get up close with grapevines.
You know the difference between upcycling and recycling.
You know what earthquake weather is.
You survived the quake of 1969.
You don’t own an iron or a tie.
Dressing casual means wearing nice sandals. Dressing up means wearing nice jeans.
You bring a warm jacket (or wet suit) to the beach and can’t remember the last time you had a tan.
You steer clear of country roads on the weekend.
You pass as many Teslas as Volkswagen microbuses.
Turn signal? What turn signal?
You abide by the “four cars get to run the red light” rule.
Your favorite parking garage (or winery) has an electric-car charging station.
You correct Healdsburg tourists who say they’re coming to “Sonoma.” (Sonoma is a town, and it’s 45 miles from Healdsburg.)
Going to “the city” means Santa Rosa.
There were 17 in your high school graduation class.
You donate blood at the grange and get free wine and cookies.
The hardware store clerks give your dogs cookies and addresses them by name.
You get your books from a neighbor’s Little Free Library.
You grew up on a commune, or at least remember Lou Gottlieb’s Morningstar Ranch near Occidental.
Burning Man is still a thing.
Your friends can argue for hours about which bootleg Grateful Dead concert tape is the best.
You use part of Christo’s Running Fence to dry dishes.
Chickens wander loose in your neighborhood.
So do wild turkeys.
Your neighbors have stopped reporting deer sightings.
Your friend’s garden pest is a free-range peacock.
You’ve got your farmer on speed dial.
Your year is divided into crops rather than months.
Your produce doesn’t come in plastic bubbles.
You’ve got an “abalone guy.”
You eat a lot of crab to help your friends raise money.