Nevada City - June 2017
In 2015, we purchased an additional home in Twain Harte, at an elevation quite a bit lower than the cabin in MiWuk Village at 5000, give or take, purchased in 2009. Even before that, I had fallen remiss in journaling our travels, which had become short and quick, not wanting to be away for long periods or great distances. Fast forward to June of 2017. We have the cabin in Twain Harte set up so we basically pop into the car. An email comes in from an extremely distant cousin about a house for sale in Nevada City, originally owned by a Stevens family and would I be related to that family? Daddy and his parents and more family are buried there, havenít been since 2008 . . . ROAD TRIP!!! Call the house sitter, get the laundry done, dishes done, clean out the frig, clean the fish filter, water house plants, yard plants, a day of preparation happens immediately. Then David mentions we need a bit more stuff, like clothes for four days? Oh goodness gracious. And the bathroom bag, and the kitchen bag. We like to bring our own teas, glasses, familiar stuff. It makes hotel rooms feel a bit more like home. The bags are stored away with notes like ďAdd Davidís morning teaĒ etc. Sometimes I am glad I am OCD. It makes things so much easier.
Off we go, on Sunday, June 11th, fully packed for four days and three nights in Nevada City. The first few minutes remind us that almost everyone else on the road is an idiot. We are doing 72 and being passed by commercial trucks! A new bumper sticker occurs to me: Please donít let your driving be the reason I die today. We stopped at Salida's Kountry Kitchen in Salida, a place we have been many times before. For some reason, this trip was disappointing, but we ate and got back on the road. Again, the idiots dominate the road. We have one car a long bit behind us, and a sports car goes around that car and zooms past us, on the shoulder!!! Thinking more seriously about that dash cam every day. Six lanes in the heart of commuteville! I quilt and think, realizing I had gotten, once again, too caught up in the opinion of others. I have to stick to my heartís choices sometimes! We make Elk Grove by 1:30, through busy Sacramento and pull into Auburn at 2:20 for a short break to make fun of things at Target, (when did all these stores get here???) hoping for a short sleeve shirt for me. I have definitely missed that boat. On our last stretch included raindrops of the storm we had been expecting, but only just a few. Turns out that storm, which included lightning, thunder, rain and hail hit Merced instead. And it snowed in Twain Harte! In June.
Nevada City at 3:30, population 3825, elevation 2525. Grandpaís grocery store is now Leftyís Grill. We get to the Outside Inn on Broad, it had been full last time we were here, but this time we had the River room, room number 8. Extremely quaint with a rustic cabin feel, scenic, peaceful, well done. Every extra amenity, great parking, great staff, great prices, good bed, microwave and frig, real coffee cups and a modern shower. Two night stands! Extra points for those. The bathroom was very tiny, room for one only and there was no counter, making it hard for us olders to bend over to get anything out of your bag. Still, a minor detail. My notes say, ďForgot chargers, extra batteries, mouse pad.Ē After we settled in we headed back to hunt for old friend BD at Yabobo, no luck. Dinner at our favorite place, Friar Tuck's, excellent salmon, steak, crab cake and salad and to die for slaw dinner. Oh, and garlic mayo with roasted red peppers? Killer stuff. Off to check out the Stevens house at 505 Nevada, aka 505 Nursery. Atop Aristocrat Hill. Oh, my. Very interesting house. White clapboard, forest green shutters. An attached professional greenhouse I would die for with many sets of louvers, ceiling to floor. The original house is now cloaked in somewhat ridiculous extensions, the back of the house faces the road and the front is now sadly hidden behind houses built after its origination. Inside the childís playhouse sits a white and pink tea set, teapot, sugar and creamer, as if it waits for the return of the child who once cherished the china, laughed and giggled the day away beneath the lovely trees.
Next, we are off to the local SPD Market we learned about at dinner. My, my. Among the places we love to visit on our journeys, hardware, nurseries and bookstores, is grocery stores and markets. This place is heaven. Besides carrying all our favorite choices, the shelves are nothing short of immaculate. Whoever stocks the shelves is dear to my heart. When I took something from a shelf, I just had to pull the next box or can forward, in line with its brothers, label front and center. Jena called in here, reporting the surprise of the storm now hitting at her home.
Monday morning. Not a bad sleep considering this insane whine at 5:30. It took me a bit to discover it was the heater and turn it off without waking David by turning on a light. Bummer. The whine never occurred again. About seven, David got out of bed to use the bathroom, I was still in bed, on my side, eyes closed. I felt David get back in bed, but lighter than he would normally sit then lie down. I thought that was quite fast for his morning constitution and opened my eyes. No David. That was two. We are hungry, and it's a coin toss between Ikeís and South Pine. Based on the reviews, (oh, is the wifi s l o w here!) we chose Ike's Quarter Cafe, Cajun breakfast, ďMagic in Your BellyĒ which proved to be quite good. I had the egg scramble, David had the ham breakfast. They even serve catfish! ďIf you walk away hungry, itís your own faultĒ should be their slogan, too. Walkabout town, but not before we spot the Crystal Rainbow Rock Shop across the street from Ikeís. Oh my. A very tiny, sweet place. The sign warns you of uneven ground inside and true to her word, the ground is covered in uniform black and grey one inch pebbles. The perfect floor cover for such a shop. The store is filled to the brim with delights of all sorts, every stone imaginable, sweet decors and treasures. Mimiís knowledge is phenomenal! We would return a few times, relying on her knowledge and fantastic inventory. A shame she is four hours away because the short time spent in her shop was the most peaceful moments you can possibly imagine.
Somewhere in here we made it the assessorís office, who informed us they donít have any property information before the early sixties. The records office didnít have anything on Helenís birth certificate, either. Bummer. Yabobo, no BD still, then their counterpart store, Asylum Down, where two tie dye skirts and a new shirt when home with me, of course! Off to the Stevens house in the daylight, despite it being cold and drippy. A call to the realtor, hopefully, we can have a tour. Back to the rock shop for some helpful rocks after a stop at the recommended Three Forks for hot tea and cookies. Alas, Davidís hot chocolate was, well, extremely heavy and thrown away. Back to the house to meet identical twins Natalie and Marsha, delightful ladies. A full tour would reveal the house was truly built Winchester style, the extensions seemed to be an afterthought. Any hopes of actually purchasing the house vanished after the inspection as the work required would be over and above the $399K asking price. What was the best part of the tour, besides the spooky aspects that occurred, were the two ladies. We spoke at length outside the house, and planned to meet for dinner the following night, with many more stories for each of us in store. A full description of the house to follow at some point. The visit would include spooky moments three and four. Back to the inn for a rest up and drinks, sadly to discover two very loud crying children had moved in next door and the walls were much thinner than first thought. Then off for dinner, back down the highway to Casa Las Katarinas. Thankfully, we had noticed the place on the way up, last time we were here it had been in downtown NC and plate licking delicious. They did not disappoint. My chili relleno was just as delicious as before, Davidís tamale and enchilada perfect, the man, German, was the same man as before, caring and concerned, checking to make sure our dinner was perfect. An uneventful night. Thank goodness.
Tuesday morning found us at the South Pine Cafe. The reviews had me slightly worried until we saw the not boring menu and our breakfasts delivered. My breakfast burrito was yum, Davidís eggs were perfect and the potatoes are miraculous, Marielle was just great. Their picture hanging procedure was extremely interested. A metal clasp that slides up and down connects to a metal rod hung from the molding at the top of the wall, the clasp also holding the picture frame wire. No holes in the walls! On the way back to the car (parking is a nightmare in NC) we pass a deli, and it is screaming at me. Inside, I discover what have been looking for, for months. Another heavy ruana, two of them! And a comfy stretchy pair of pants go home with me, too! Oh, and the Hemp Hand Lotions, oh, the sweet smell of Nag Champa on my hands all day? Heaven. Once more, poor Mimi, back to the rock shop for stones I had done research on the night before. We stopped by the Stone House on the way to the cemetery, Mimi said it is a difficult place. We got out of the car, read the signs that said ďSoft opening hours ThursdayĒ, say what? Back to the car, but not wanting to touch the building for it was filled with intense, negative commotion, much sorrow. Off to the cemetery to visit Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, aunts and uncles. Itís easy to find him now, look for those two huge redwood trees. Daddyís resting right below them, but it does make pictures hard to take because they is always glittering, flickering, lazy lights dancing on their stones. David does the bulldozer act, pushing the larger tree branches and debris off the Shurtleff plot. Someone has placed sunflowers, my stone for Daddy is gone, but Grandpaís remains. Five stones are added to Grandmaís stone. I place Grandmaís handmade rug below her stone and take some pictures, then lift and replace it in my car. The original purpose behind the trip, besides to find the owner of the Stevens house, was to lay the rug at Grandmaís stone. My cousin, Lynne, thought that would be the best way for it to be returned to the winds of time. Upon further reflection and other peopleís opinions, I was hesitant, although it was what my heart desired. Advised that the cemetery janitors, if you will, would throw it away, I decided to keep the rug. After pictures and cleaning, I dug up several baby trees on the plot, popping them in Dixie cup (I be a fully prepared Girl Scout, indeed!) as I have seen the results of trees allowed to grow in front of a stone. Not good. When we first got there, David thought he saw a large whitish form move between the two large trees. Nothing solid, nothing definable. Five! I could have imagined a hug from my family with little effort.
Finally, the Historical Society aka Nevada County Museum, only in their new, lovely digs. Pat and Margaret are, as always, very helpful. We finally found the 1863 assessorís book, but itís listed, painstakingly in spider script, by name, not property! The house on Nursery belonged to an ďS StevensĒ presumably, no relation. All my Stevens family lived in Auburn. I left with a listing of all the Stevens and Shurtleff activity to take home, hours of work there. A quick stop at the rock shop for a stone for daddy and back to the inn to change and drinks and relax on their creek side patio. Lovely place, variegated Virginia Creeper!! Dinner with Natalie and her husband was regretfully cancelled due to everyone being quite tired, so we had an early and light dinner back at Friar Tuckís, just salad and crab cakes and that fantastic slaw. Oh and Drambuie and Beckís, of course! We lack a sit-back-and-have-a-quiet-drink-and-leisurely-dinner place at home, so Friar Tuckís is a real treat.
Wednesday morning, leisurely as usual. Picking up, packing, sorting. David pops in the shower, I am on the computer, researching. I hear a phone ring, thinking it is one of the news videos about the news until I hear Davidís Glori saying, ďDad? Hello? Dad?Ē Davidís phone, sitting all by itself, has dialed Gloriís number. Six. While checking out, the manager tells me where she bought the lovely metal flowers in the lobby, Ben Franklin Crafts in Grass Valley, but over a year ago. Back to the cemetery with Dadís stone and to look for another family. Last night I discovered one of Helenís daughterís married a Charonnat, and sure enough, they are all in front of Dadís plot. Breakfast back at the South Pine Cafť, yummy yummy again, I repeated the breakfast burrito, David had a killer burger, and those potatoes!! Thatís when we heard about the Glenfell tower apartment fire in London, the baseball game shooting in Virginia and the shooting in San Francisco. All in one morning. Sometimes, humanityís inhumanity is too much to take. Headed home, stopping at Ben Franklin Crafts, actually found one of the flowers and managed to just stare, jaw on chest, at their collection of crafts, fabric and yard. A final stop at the Auburn record office where I am able to procure four of my grandparentsí death certificates, two remain illusive. Thankfully, an uneventful ride home, not too many idiots, and no one did anything stupid. Some days I am quite grateful, for so many reasons!
Jay calls today. She missed a call from me yesterday at 3:40? She's one of our Orb Seekers. My phone died on the way home. We got home at 3:45. Seven.
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