Beware, or I'll eat you alive.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Thar's Gold in Them Thar Hills~~~~~

Hello Again Sweet Things,

I'm blogging from my place up here in the Gold Country. Yes Sweet Things, that is the euphemism for the lower Sierra Foothills that surrounds Hwy 49.

First I want to Thank Dear Sweet Fram for his generous compliment on my writing in my last blog. Thank you for the encouragement. I never really thought of myself as any kind of writer, but now you have my mind thinking----maybe I should consider taking some "creative writing' courses or something. Thank you Fram, Kisses to you. (MMMWhhaa) (giggle)

Baby Sis has been following my blog and has also insisted that I save the blogs onto a flash drive and later put them together for a "journal" in print format. Who knows where this might lead.

Definitely not like the "Dame Shirley Letters", but who knows. All I can say is "Thank Goodness for Spell Check".

Because of my work I paid to have installed a DSL connection here at the house, that way I can be in touch should an emergency arise. My caretakers made sure it was done properly and in a way that it doesn't intrude into the 'fabric' of the house, so it was installed in a Armour that I purchased in town and put into the room that was originally the 'office' of the house when this was a large working farm/ranch.

The last time I was here, I suggested to use that room as a office, they looked at me and told me about it's original purpose, and managed to find pictures of his great grandfather at a desk in that very room. Looking through the attic and the basement, we managed to find a number of things, restore them and put them into the 'office'.

There did appear to be an Armour there that was used to hold the account books for the 'farm' years ago, but it was sold some years later for needed cash. Now they are happy that bit by bit things seem to be going back in time.

I have to say that this house seems to "speak" to me, I feel so much at home in it.

But before I digress to far from what I was going to say.....

I once again left early on Friday, first to go to my other rental property towards the south, just to see how my tenants are doing, they knew I was coming and offered to put me up, but I didn't want to put them to too much trouble and instead stayed in a nearby motel and treated them to dinner.

Over dinner they told me what they thought the property needed to have done, so in the light of day I inspected it and agreed. A corner of the foundation needed replacing but the rest appeared to be fine, and they would get estimates for me. Some of the other things, they could do themselves, mostly cosmetic or simple repairs, I asked them to take pictures of before and after and to save all the bills for my records.

I was happy to hear that things were going well for them, Bill was working and Margie got a part time job a few days a week while her children are at day camp. I kept wondering how they could put up with the heat being well into the nineties, but they told me that getting up early in the morning and doing the outside work before the heat became unbearable helped and then towards the cool of the evening to finish it. It was a matter of pacing oneself.

I realized that living with the cool weather of the Bay Area I had gotten soft and had forgotten this wise idea.

Then just after lunch with a final wave I took off and drove up Hwy 49 to my "country home".

Hwy 49 is a mixture of narrow two lane roads with turn outs for slower traffic and modern Highways, but I found myself enjoying the two lane roads with it's twists and turns, because it gave me the feel of what it might have been like in the 1880, with the notorious Black Bart and Joaquin Murietta, robbing the Wells Fargo Stagecoaches, or raiding the miner's camps.

The wild grasses had turn a golden brown, and in the heat when I stopped to stretch my legs I could hear the cicada's with their high whine as they hid in the grasses, and seeing an occasional horse or cow taking shade under a huge oak tree with it's branches twisting and reaching, some of them to such impossible lengths that I wondered how the branches could remain up without breaking under the weight.

Sometimes the two lane roads would be flanked with what appeared to be old rock walls or fences with dried moss in the crevasses, when I took one of my rest breaks I examined one of those fences and was surprised to see that the rocks were of lava and appeared to have been there for years. I wondered what would they look like all wet when the winter rains came, I just knew I had to come back to see the changes.

I thought of those old western T.V. programs, where they show huge dry expanses of land as the hero rode across, and had a sense of what it was they were trying to capture.

But I knew it was more than visual, you have to feel the heat, smell the grass, feel what little breeze there is, hear the rustle of the grass and the insects, to look up and see a hawk or a buzzard soaring over the bright pale blue sky to really get the feel of it, the grittiness and how it could, if one wasn't strong enough, beat a person down.

Tough people those pioneers, I thought, tough and determined.

Then driving through the towns when the road doesn't by pass it, like Jamestown, Sonora, Angels Camp. The towns and people that were written about by Bret Hart and Mark Twain,
"The Luck of Roaring Camp"---"The Jumping Frog of Calavaras County"......

It made me think, think about how I got caught up in this modern world and not taking time to look and see what has made us what we are, the history that surrounds us that we just take for granted, that we ignore and destroy in our greed.

Development and progress is fine if it is done for the right reasons, but before our economy crashed it was done for all the wrong reasons. This country, away from the flash and zip of the big city, makes you think and think outside one's little ticky-tacky boxes. And I got some ideas which I quickly wrote down in my ever present note book, now I just need to formulate them, that will take a little time, but out here you feel as if you have time.

All too soon I knew I had to get back into my car and get to my other house, I had told them to not wait for me as I wasn't sure what time I would arrive; starting up my car I felt like I was on a stage coach traveling to my destination, traveling over the same routes that perhaps even "One Eye" Charlie Parkhurst had driven, cracking "his' whip over the heads of the team of horses and not a single person knowing that Charlie Parkhurst was a woman.

Of course a far more comfortable drive than being in a stagecoach or mud wagon, a lot less bouncing and jostling and air conditioned as well, but instead I turned it off and lowered the window to feel the heat, and catch was smells there were, other than gasoline, from this country.

I arrived just before dinner time and was greeted warmly by my caretakers. That evening over ice tea they told me what had been happening, so many positive changes that made me smile.

And now with the Internet connection they can almost immediately keep me posted on things and send me pictures as well.

I slept deeply last night, waking up early with sun up, my hosts having gone to church this morning, I'll be joining them soon as their church is having a fun raiser breakfast and church bazaar to raise money for a new roof, they are very close to their goal. I'll be meeting them there and I'll give a very generous check for the church's roof, after all it was built in 1878.

I'm not going to be returning to the Bay Area until Monday, allowing me a little extra driving time, but I will be driving to work in the late afternoon to see how things are going and hitting the grind stone once again.

But to keep the feeling of the Gold Country I'll be reading some of those books that I bought, and making plans.

Until Later Sweet Things, Kisses.