So far, June has brought us a mixture of hot summertime weather and milder days reminiscent of this year’s cool spring.

After a few days in the mid-90s, the coastal fog swept in during the early morning hours, burning off by mid-morning.

The yellow-green color our vines exhibited during the cool spring months seemed to disappear overnight, as the temperatures approached the mid-90s during the weekend of the June 5 and 6. The vines are ready for summer, and so are we.

The outdoor activities associated with summer usually start during the Memorial Day weekend. We had our annual camp-out on the vineyard, sharing our campsite with several of our friends and their families — a chance to relax for a few days before preparing for upcoming graduations, rodeos and other events held in early June.

We are still able to enjoy the small-town rural flavor that makes the Central Coast such a special place to live.

Kathleen, Clayton and I made it to this year’s Elks Rodeo on Friday night to watch folks we know try their hand at winning some prize money and maybe a buckle during the competition. It’s a great venue for families both watching and participating in the rodeo.

The kids and I watched as John Machado and his son, Chance, roped a steer as part of the team roping event — a great example of families and friends who participate in this event through the years.

Congratulations to the Santa Maria Elks on another great event.

That same weekend, our little boy, Clayton, celebrated his first Holy Communion at St. Anthony’s Church, a small, rural church in the middle of Los Alamos.

For the most part, parishioners know each other, and they spend time visiting each Sunday after Mass, either outside the church or during breakfast at one of their favorite restaurants in town.

Everyone in church knew the date for the first Communion ceremony, along with the five recipients and their families.

As a true example of small-town America, many of the parishioners gave each of the five new communicates a congratulatory card, along with a present, while enjoying cake, fresh fruit and punch after the service.

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Clayton — decked out in his new dress pants, white shirt, tie and vest — was ready to head home after the service, where family and friends were gathering to continue the party with a ranch-style barbecue.

Clayton, Kathleen and their friends were anxiously waiting to try out their new Slip ’n Slide on a warm Sunday afternoon.

My wife, Karen, set up the new Slip ’n Slide, and in no time, the kids were having fun. Karen probably wanted to hide out with the kids, since she had been cooking since Friday night to get ready for the big event.

As the early evening approached and the last of Clayton’s guests made their way home, I took some time to sit on the lawn in the shade of the oak trees behind our home, enjoy a glass of syrah and remember how lucky and blessed we are to live in such a special community.

Kevin Merrill of Mesa Vineyard Management is president of the Santa Barbara County Farm Bureau and board member of the Central Coast Wine Growers’ Association Foundation. He can be reached at