Lynne Champlin was a stewardess in the 1960s.  She married a Napa attorney in 1966. Her husband is a retired Napa Superior Court Judge. Her column "Coffee, Tea and Me" has appeared in Napa Valley Register for 3 years.

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For little children, and maybe some big children too, having a beautiful Christmas tree and a fireplace where Santa comes down the chimney with your gifts are a major part of the holidays.

I have been having a very hard time coming up with a column this month. Usually I have all sorts of ideas floating around in my head, but this month none of them seem appropriate. I usually try to keep my columns lighthearted, but these haven’t been lighthearted times in the last few weeks.

Do you remember the classic 1986 science fiction movie, “The Highlander”? It was filmed in the Scottish Highlands and New York City. It starred Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert. This movie tells the story of Connor MacLeod, an immortal who lived through the centuries from the Highlands o…

Several years ago, two friends and I started to write a “Napa Valley Potty Guide.” We visited public restrooms around the Valley and rated them. Those were simpler times back then. Besides a few amenities, what we mainly were looking for was “availability, accessibility and cleanliness.” Bat…

Do bees have knees? Well, I don’t know. I have never been close enough to one to find out. This is an old expression that most of you probably don’t recognize.

As many of you know, I was a flight attendant (actually, a stewardess in those days) when I met my passenger husband. We met on a Western Airlines flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco. We were engaged in a month and married six months later. Many of you in my generation remember thos…

The invention of the home computer has changed our world. Good or bad, it is dominating our lives. Many of us are addicted. We turn our computer on first thing in the morning. Our screens glow all day and into the night. Change is constant. New programs, new ways to search for information, w…

I am pulling out all the stops for Christmas dinner this year. That means I am using my best of everything to make this a festive holiday. I am getting out my good dishes, using grandma’s silver, ironing my best tablecloth and napkins. We will even enjoy my favorite white wine, Volker Eisele…

My husband invited me to go turkey hunting in honor of our 50th wedding anniversary this month. I turned down his very thoughtful invitation. But it did give me a title for my Thanksgiving column.

Did your parents tell you never to discuss politics or religion with others? Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, added the Great Pumpkin to this advice. My husband tells me the same thing, except for the Pumpkin part. Do you always follow your spouse’s advice? I don’t. I love to discuss …

I thought of this column while having dinner at Cole’s Chop House with my sister and her husband who had come to Napa to enjoy Porchfest. We were entertaining them with some local historical tales.

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At a Cope Fashion Show, our friend Linda Barwick bid on a fishing trip to Tim and Carol Berg’s Alaskan fishing lodge. This was to be a secret gift for her husband’s 89th birthday. What a wife, what a gift; her husband, Ed, was delighted.

When we were on our last road trip, I started thinking about backseat drivers. I must confess, I am one. This can be good or bad for a marriage. Sometimes it is bad but I do have my redeeming moments. I have saved us from disasters a few times. Philip has had to admit, “You were right.” I lo…

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Do unusual things happen to you on your vacations? They certainly seem to happen to us. I think that the travel gods know that I like fun and unusual stories for my column.

I am not a gardener. It is just not in my DNA. In fact, no one of my generation in my family has a green thumb. When my parents left their Minnesota farm, that was it. No more long hours working in the fields or gardens. It was a hard life in the harsh winters, and California sunshine sounded good.

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Do you believe in ghosts? I think most of you would say no. Oh, we like to tease about it, read ghost stories, see movies and even spend nights in haunted hotels.

Men of Napa, do you wish you had been a cowboy? Would you have enjoyed living on a ranch, herding cattle, sleeping under the stars during a cattle drive?

Early one morning, I met a young female fashionista in Napa’s Old Town. I was walking our two long-haired dachshunds on Franklin Street under the tall redwood trees.

Editor’s note: By request, this is a reprint, updated, of an article Lynne Champlin wrote for last year’s Super Bowl.

My column “A revealing look at obituaries” (Oct. 13, 2014) opened up some interesting conversations around Napa. After it appeared, many readers told me it was a great idea to write your own obituary and planned to do some writing, just in case.

My first thought when thinking about this month’s column was that I should write something spiritual and more serious in recognition of the holiday season and world events. But I have always tried to keep my column lighthearted and entertaining. So I am going to write about a more frivolous …

Turkey time is coming. People will be shopping in Wal-Marts across America for their holiday meals and decorations. You can probably even buy an inflatable turkey for your front lawn. You can usually find things at Wal-Mart that tickle almost any fancy.

Driving home from our Florida road trip we decided to detour and visit my sister and her husband in Cimarron, New Mexico. We usually stay with them, but Philip had a fabulous idea: “We should stay in the haunted St. James Hotel.”

“It takes a lot of money to look this cheap,” Dolly Parton often says to describe her unique style. I have always liked Dolly, her music and her “campy” looks.

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day when on the road in Arkansas? That was my husband’s dilemma. There was no question in my mind. The answer was simple. “Do something!” Our children called but they were so many miles away.

Ladies, it is time again to suffer the agonies of defeat. Summer has arrived, let the annual bathing suit search begin today. A shopping event that many would rather not do. Or perhaps I am just speaking for myself.

As I mentioned in my last column, my husband and I just returned to Napa from a seven-week long road trip. In the past, we have taken our motor home, but this trip we decided to take our SUV with our motorcycle in a trailer and book motel rooms. We found that booking a motel room by phone is…

As we were driving home along Interstate 80, we passed a motorcycle accident in the eastbound lane. The motorcycle was lying on its side, all traffic had come to a stop and people were running toward the injured couple. One woman had a blanket in her hands and may have been a doctor, nurse o…

Until now, we had a little secret in our family. At one time, every one of us had a tattoo. Can your family say that? Today, most people would think it was no big deal. Some might still think it strange.

With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, I started thinking about Irish expressions and where they came from. My father’s family emigrated from Ireland in the 1850s, and I still value my Irish roots.

What kind of kiss will you receive on Valentine’s Day? There is the regular kiss, the mushy kiss, the long romantic one or the quick peck on the cheek.

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were driving down Main Street in downtown Napa and noticed the satellite TV trucks parked in front of Veterans Memorial Park. This was during the “Great Storm” of December 2014, which, fortunately, turned out to be “not so great.” We started talking ab…

I love watching the new Joe Montana TV commercial. This is the one with the three big men — Bo, Doug and Herschel — on the couch lifting their legs like showgirls and putting their arms out front in a Heisman Trophy pose. Their happy smiles show their glistening white teeth. They are so prou…

My large family has had many holiday disasters, probably just like yours. My general motto, “be flexible and adjustable,” has worked for much of my life but I need it even more when the unexpected happens when entertaining.

The holiday season is here. It is time to plan and organize your social schedule. It’s a fun time of the year as homes are full of family and guests. Wonderful foods are on the sideboards to taste and we all love the glow of a fireplace. The turkey is in the oven and you can smell it through…

We used to love going to the Cal-Stanford Big Game in November. With friends and Stonecrest neighbors we loaded into a large bus with food and refreshments. The trip down to Palo Alto or Berkeley was spent with jokes, good cheer and football stories of the past. It was a divided but friendly…

I like to read newspaper obituaries. You might think that is a little strange, but I bet many of you read them, too. No, it isn’t just to make sure that I am not in them, as the old line goes. I enjoy them in big newspapers and small newspapers. Often it’s a history lesson about the times, t…

The word is certainly out about the new Kitty Cat Spa in downtown historical Napa.

There comes a time in our lives when we wish we had kept all our old cars. You know the feeling. It comes when you read that your 1964 “whatever” is now an antique collectors car and it’s selling for umpteen thousand dollars. Usually the men get this feeling more than the women, but we had o…

Napa is so lucky to have the Queen of the Valley Medical Center in our town. Our two children were born there, and my husband and I have had several major surgeries at the Queen. We have never felt the need to go out of town unless we were referred for specialized care. We like being at the …

“Where is the ladies room?” This is the first question a woman asks when arriving or leaving. It is asked when getting off a plane, after a meal in a restaurant, before the speaker, program or a performance starts.

Last Monday night, my husband and I went to the Lincoln Theater to hear Garrison Keillor. Notice I said “hear him.” He was there, but from our Row U we could barely see him. I am not complaining. I think he prefers the radio environment so he ambled around off the stage in the dark with micr…

Thieves, murderers, crooks and scoundrels make interesting family history.

Sometimes it is fun to be silly. Years ago in Venice, following the lead of a retired Braniff stewardess, my husband, Philip, and I had fun letting our hair down, and we even have pictures to prove it.

Every time I read about the proposed Archer Hotel on First Street, I remember long-ago Archer’s Cafe on First Street where locals would go in the 1960s for lunch.

Do you remember the days when strong young musclemen used to pick up the garbage can from your yard? Many housewives in my hometown certainly remember Pleasanton’s only garbageman. He was a spectacular sight swinging those cans over his broad shoulders. Sadly today, we have automation and we…

“Babhdoir” is Gaelic for matchmaker. With my Irish roots, I have this talent when it comes to romance. Here are two true stories that happened right here in our own Napa Valley. Sorry, I can’t use real names or give you the spicy details.

Never in our wildest dreams did we think we could come nose to nose with a lion in McPherson, Kan. This territory is not known for safari adventures. This is middle America, where wheat reigns supreme.

My husband never worries about running out of gas. He is running on fumes long before he even thinks of pulling up to a gas station. I have witnessed his lack of concern for years and questioned his motives. Years ago I thought young men ran out of gas for romantic reasons. Later, I realized…

As the birthday cake with glowing candles was placed before me in the rustic cabin, the hunters started singing “Happy Birthday.” Of course, they are better hunters than singers. Still, I was happy they had showered after their afternoon hunts and now wore their cleanest dirty clothes for di…

At our recent stewardess reunion, Linda Lewis of United told us a terrible tale. During a charter trip years ago, a few members of the Green Bay Packers football team tried to stuff a stewardess into an overhead open bin. Linda was working first class, waiting on their coach, Vince Lombardi,…

It has been 45 years since a Wine Queen reigned over a Napa Valley Wine Festival. In October 1968, a Wine Festival was held at Vintage 1870 in Yountville. Thousands of visitors poured into the valley for the art show and wine tastings.

Editor’s note: After entertaining readers with her observations and experiences in the past few years, Lynne Champlin has agreed to make it a regular occurance. Her column “Coffee, Tea or Me?” will appear once a month on the Monday Connection pages.