People of Montecito: Justine Hamilton

By Megan Waldrep   |   April 23, 2020

Q. How are You Holding up Through Quarantine?

Justine Hamilton

As a girl from Iowa, I am channeling my inner Laura Ingalls Wilder (though with an Instacart app), by keeping it simple with a homestead vibe. I also look for ways to keep it light during this heavy time. I do that by creating with what I have here at home. The house can start to feel a little “pandemic plain,” so I make very simple floral arrangements from my yard that bring a little life into our constantly occupied, often messy home. I also feel zero guilt about having a glass of wine on a Monday, even if it might be Tuesday or Wednesday… who knows. On a Saturday night, I’ll put on a pair of sequin joggers, dim the lights, turn up the music, shuffle the Uno cards and pretend like we are on a family vacation in Las Vegas. My neighbor Josie and I have a beautiful barter going. She is 81 and shouldn’t be going to the market. I do her grocery and Instacart shopping and she supplies me with fresh produce from her beautiful garden. I get veggies, she gets chips, salsa, and ice cream – win-win! My main tip is to STAY HOME! Protect you, your family and the Josies in your life.

What is your favorite memory of living in Montecito?

I can’t say that I have a favorite memory of living in Montecito because they are all so wonderful, but I do have a favorite feeling, which is the small town, community connectedness of it all. We saw this especially after the debris flow in such a beautiful way. Even now with social distancing, we wave to neighbors as we pass them from the other side of the street. At Butterfly, we watch sunsets with friends in our own cars. We drop off food at someone’s door, just because. We see each other, we know each other, we help each other, we are one. We are the luckiest people on the planet.

Justine Hamilton


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