Christmas Celebration

Hope you were able to attend the annual community Tree Lighting in mid-December. During the celebration, we also collected toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. This fine family event is one of my personal favorites since we started it 32 years ago. The amount of toys we have provided for the children has been significant.

We thank the Girl Scouts for their continuing support and the Maintenance Assessment District personnel and its manager, Eileen Rodriguez, for decorating the tree for us. Also thank you to all who came to this popular community event!

2014—A New Year for Progress

This is the year we elect a new mayor for America’s finest city now that we are down to two finalists. Listen to their promises and compare with actions actually taken and make your choice.

The individual elected still faces some really tough decisions as to the direction of the city and the continuing budget problems that still need to be addressed. It is not a time for politics as usually practiced and it requires our vigilance.

2013: Ruminations and Retrospect

Here in Scripps Ranch we scheduled and conducted some rather significant and special events, such as celebrating our progress 10 years after the Cedar Fire. We continued our traditional efforts to be the finest family community in California, from the standpoint of fine living, outstanding schools, and excellent, well-organized, and well-attended activities.

Our annual Recognition Night has become a widely recognized event, and our singular record of volunteer membership and accomplishments sets the goal for other communities. The opportunity for you to participate is endless and only needs your acceptance to join the volunteer activity of your choice and persuasion.

Pride in appearance shows and the value of our homes remains high—a mark of excellence. It was a good year for us and let us make sure 2014 is a better year for all. By working as a community, it is possible to achieve many things, which is a Scripps Ranch tradition.

I usually try to set forth some very “achievable” New Year’s resolutions, which you can note and then possibly adopt if you are so inclined.

  • I will be the best American citizen I can and vote and participate in the political process.
  • I will cherish and love my family and make time to be with them.
  • I will help those less fortunate than myself and be a good neighbor.
  • I will support and participate in community activities and functions for a better Scripps Ranch and world.

Support Our Fine Schools

Scripps Ranch schools are certainly the best we can make them by providing both the tools and the money to do the job of providing the finest possible education for our children and all those enrolled. The school year is nearly half over already, but the schools still need funding and supplies. Check with your school to see what they need this time of year, as supplies may be running low.

Helping the City and Environment

If you have been recycling all of the items you could, now is the time to redouble your efforts. The city system in the blue containers is working very well and is meeting most of the city-required recycling edicts. The most important feature is that it saves materials that would have been buried in the landfill.

It is amazing what can be recycled now and turned back into useful products. It’s a far cry from when here in Scripps Ranch we only collected newspapers for the Boy Scouts. Save your electronics for Clean-Up Day to recycle and look on the internet for places to take your old paints and other items for handling by city crews. Everything we collectively do helps the environment, and, of course, you recycle materials and preserve our landfill space.

Clean Up at the Dingemans

Yes, that large vacuum truck in front of our house was there to vacuum all the old insulation in our attic, disinfect the area, and put in a better thermal layer. We can already feel the difference in the temperature of the house. Over the years, despite using all sorts of controls, we had some of the Scripps Ranch tree rats somehow come in the attic. This cleaned all of that out for us. Workers did the job efficiently, and we were pleased with the results.

Things to Be Thankful For

If you did not read the Thanksgiving item in the U-T San Diego, I highly recommend it. It set forth in some detail many of the things we should be thankful for in today’s world. I was most impressed with the listing of the things we Americans tend to take for granted, such as our way of life, freedoms, and liberty. All of these are under challenge, as you know, and the world itself presents many problems crying for a good solution—whether helping our friends in the Philippines from the typhoon or the residents in Syria.

We are a kind and generous nation and our response to global needs is almost immediate and effective, for which we all should be very proud. We still need to have our Congress address properly the many pressing problems we have as a nation. Partisan politics is not needed. What is needed is a belief to follow what makes America strong economically, militarily, and spiritually. May we see a new birth of love for America and what we stand for.

Thanks for Many Blessings

Gaye and I were so happy to have both our children, Susan and Bob, and our oldest granddaughter, Koren, her husband, Greg, and, of course, our four great grandchildren—Kadyn, Erin, Mark, and Eric—join us for Thanksgiving from Austin, Texas. What a delight!

They were able to work in a trip to Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. I still remember the joy of taking our grandchildren to those places. That we could share the family time was a rare privilege, and we were helped by our son, Dr. Dingeman, in getting the things needed done. We count our blessings.

Bob Dingeman