It Makes Me Happy

Congratulations to the Scripps Ranch Civic Association’s Photo Contest winners! Their pictures are on the Newsletter cover. More details are on page 5. A huge thank you goes to Yanni’s Bar and Grill, who sponsored the contest.

While our headline is “Picture-Perfect Scripps Ranch,” we’re aware that no place is perfect. But the positives far outweigh the negatives in our community.

I saw this saying on the Facebook page of a friend—Tony Poulin: “Stop focusing on how stressed you are, and remember how blessed you are.” (Source: With two teens in my house and the holidays coming, I decided to try to adopt this attitude. I would like to share just a few blessings—personal and community—that simply make me happy.

Each year my family drives around looking at Christmas decorations. Last year, we saw one that blew us away, and I had to share it. Not only are the decorations amazing, but the lights blink to the beat of music you could hear on your car radio! The Billitti family says their spectacular display is their “Gift to the Community.” Check out page 37 and go see it!

I heard this story earlier this year and it stuck with me. Many of you know our amazing Scripps Ranch council representative, Tiffany Vinson. Tiffany works so hard for us that she has become an honorary member of the Scripps Ranch family.

Last year, Tiffany was in a meeting with members of the Fire-Rescue Department. She said she started to feel faint, and one of the fire captains took her pulse. He told her to go to the ER immediately, and she was diagnosed with a heart condition. Thank God, it is under control.

Due in large part to that, our councilmember, Mark Kersey, made helping people with heart issues a priority. He used some of his office funds to purchase automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for police patrol cars. He supports the Eric Paredes Save a Life Foundation, which screens teens for sudden cardiac arrest. Hundreds of kids were screened at Scripps Ranch High this year—nine were at risk.

Thank you, Tiffany, for sharing your story, and thank you, Mark, for caring about the health of Tiffany and all of us.

Another thing that makes me happy is that while people may move out of your neighborhood, they never leave your heart. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about! Well, the Matheson family—former neighbors and forever friends—came “home” for a quick visit.

I was getting sappy with 14-year-old Jack, whom I’ve known since he was 3. I told him he’ll always be part of our family. His response was so typical teen, so simple, it brought tears to my eyes: “Duh!”

I love getting emails from the community that share just a sliver of life, yet reinforce the positives about Scripps Ranch. One is from a family whose 14-year-old son was happy to become the Newsletter distributor for his area. He joins the most incredible network of volunteers, led by the indomitable Jim Caughey! Welcome to the Newsletter family, Shea!

Then there was the email from the Strasbaughs. Here’s a highlight: “I wanted to give a shout out to all the trick or treaters who visited our home on Halloween. My husband and I have lived in SR for 36 years, and we can’t remember a more pleasant experience on All Hallows Eve! The children…were extremely polite; a true testimony to the quality of people in our wonderful community.”

Other “Don’t Miss” items this month:

  • SRCA Newsletter survey—What do you think about the Newsletter? Take our survey. See page 7.
  • Learn all about the SRCA Neighborhood Watch, pages 34–35.
  • Holiday Tree Lighting, page 14.
  • SRHS senior James Manso asks, “When Did We Start Working Too Hard?” That’s on page 23.

May you focus on how blessed you are and what makes you happy this season! Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Gloria Tran, Editor