Sierra Nevada

I just thought I would share this photo with all of you tonight. I haven’t been feeling very well again and just don’t really know what to write about. I took this picture in February and it has become one of my favorite pictures that I have taken of the Sierra Nevada Mountains that I have the privilege of looking at every day. These are my mountains. This is home.

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It’s Spring… I Guess

So it has officially been Spring for about three weeks now right? I think Mother Nature missed the memo. Last week, we were having near-record highs here in Bishop and this morning I walked out to about a half-inch of snow on the ground. SNOW!! It didn’t last long, but that’s not my point. It snowed in April! I have seen it hail in July here when we normally have about 110 degree weather and my mom said that it has snowed in July before. I just don’t think Mother Nature can decide what weather she would like us to have yet.

April 8, 2011

April 9, 2011

Fire and Roses

I was going to write about this last night but as hard as I tried to write a post, I got so busy and I couldn’t get connected to the internet that I wasn’t able to post. I was EXTREMELY busy last night. Last night seemed like it was about nothing but fire and roses… and a play.

Living in a small town means that we have a volunteer fire department, so we have a whistle that blows every time there is a fire or car wreck or anything that needs the assistance of the fire department. One whistle means it’s noon. Two, depending on the length of the whistle, means any other sort of emergency. Three whistles that last for quite a while means we are in the middle of a disaster. I’ve only heard that one once in my life of living here and it was raining so hard that the town was flooding.

Yesterday around four o’clock in the afternoon, the fire whistle went off. We didn’t think anything of it until someone (I was in the bathroom so I didn’t see who) came in and told two of my coworkers to get home because Big Pine was on fire and everyone on the west side of town was being evacuated. I think you all can guess that they left immediately and we could see the smoke from our side window. Big Pine is about 30 miles south of Bishop and if we can see smoke from a fire, you know it’s bad. I ended up working both the morning and the late shift due to this fire. There are still so many rumors going around that we still don’t know what it true and what is not.

Today we found out that 19 homes are confirmed damaged or destroyed. One member of my grandpa’s family lost everything. The fire burned through his house so hot that nothing but two chimneys are left. It’s very sad and we are still having high winds due to a big storm that is moving in. The town is not out of the woods yet and while so much damage has been done, there was only one minor injury that was reported. No one was killed which is incredible for a fire that has consumed more than 1200 acres.

At the play last night, we were all there physically and mentally but our hearts were with everyone in Big Pine. We still made sure to put on a wonderful performance and if anything, we helped to get people’s minds off the fire for a few hours. After the play, I had to get flowers to make fifteen table centerpieces for the California Waterfowl Association Banquet. My cousin Marisa and I decided on roses and grabbed quite a few flowers and invaded our grandparents’ house for a few hours. We got half way down and ran out of flowers. By that time, it was after midnight and I had to be at work in less than eight hours. I managed to finish the cake and centerpieces before the banquet started with the help of my boss and coworker and my grandma who baked the cakes for me.

So I will end this post with a few pictures of my roses and cake. I really need to sleep because I have a sore throat and feel like crap. I don’t know if it is from the wind kicking up God knows what in the air or if I have the on-set to a cold.

Out for a Drive

Today we were fairly busy at work and it was the first slightly busy Saturday in about six weeks. So today after work I decided to go out for a drive to give a little time to myself. I stopped by Starbucks for a coffee before I headed out. We’ve been having a couple of storms go through and we were supposed to get five to eight inches of snow last night. I’ve lived here long enough to know not to trust the weather report. It changes every five minutes. Trust me. With 14,000 foot mountains on one side and 14,000 foot mountains on the other side, you learn to not trust the weather reports. It wasn’t a surprise to me this morning when I woke up to a slight dusting of snow on the ground.

I have a weird day at work where my word-of-the-day seemed to be ouch. I decided to drop a box of quarters (do you know how much $500 in quarters weighs?) on my pinky, a cabinet door hit me in the head because I couldn’t stop it fast enough and I scrapped my thumb with my fingernail. All of this happened within ten minutes. I needed the coffee and drive.

I went where ever my mind felt like taking the car and decided to go down Mummy Lane. I know. Odd name for a street huh? There’s not much down the street but it is a popular lane to walk down for exercise. What it lacks on houses or buildings makes up for the views of the Sierras. The mountains still haven’t decided whether they want to share the clouds or not. As I was driving, I noticed this set up and pulled over.

I didn’t have my camera on my but I did have my iPhone. I love that thing. The picture turned out a lot better than I thought it would. Around here, you never know what is waiting for a picture to capture it.

My Favorite Mural

I don’t remember what year exactly Bishop started to have murals painted on the sides of some buildings in town. The owners of those building of course had to help pay for them but it was a way to show off a bit of history. The first one unfortunately has been taken down and it was sad to see it go last year. The wall was crumbling and the building was being renovated. We now have about seven or eight in town. My favorite one is just down the street from me and you’ll be able to see why it is my favorite in town.

I have said before, my family first moved here in the late 1800’s. My great-grandfather was the superintendent of the Champion Spark Plug Mine and was painted in a mural honoring a couple of the mines in the area. This mural is located across the street from where I work and I get to see this mural every day while I am working. When I am down, I just look out the window and get to see a grandpa that I never got know but have heard so many stories about. The mural always puts a smile on my face and I always whisper, “Hi Grandpa” whenever I walk by.

Yesterday after work, while the sun was turning the clouds beautiful colors in the sunset, I took this picture of Grandpa. This is only half of the mural but it shows just how good this mural was painted.

A Couple of Hours at Laws

I know I’ve kept saying that I will spend more time with myself outside my apartment. It’s one of my goals for 2011. Today was the day for that. My boss, supervisor and I were supposed to go to Dyer, Nevada and Fish Lake Valley today but the trip was cancelled at the last minute. I decided to spend a little bit of time at Laws Railroad Museum.

Laws is one of my favorite places to visit in the Owens Valley and I tell people that it is a place where a lot of my family’s history is stored. My grandfather’s side of my family immigrated here in the late 1800’s and we’re still here. People here the surnames of Rossi or Serventi and they know that I come from one of the pioneering families. My great-grandmother used to tell me stories about how it took all day to go to Laws. Now it is a five-minute drive outside Bishop. The last train to run on the tracks at Laws was in 1960.

Laws runs on donations and volunteers. No matter where you look, you can be transported back in time. Laws is a great place to have a picnic on a warm summer day while the kids can run around and ring the bell on the Slim Princess.  They are constantly opening new buildings and gathering items donated by people around here. Laws is built on 11 acres of land.

The Agent’s House is my favorite building and reopened recently after getting a new foundation. It was built in 1883 in the location it is still standing in today. Houses were much smaller back then. They have a quilt on the bed that gets changed out every now and then. If Mrs. Matlick is up to stopping by, you can hear her play the organ that she donated. The house displays vintage garments, shoes, furniture, a copper tub in the bathroom, an old washing machine in the service porch and even a couple of wreaths made from human hair that are exquisite and you cannot tell what they are made of until you take a closer look. The dining room has various sets of china and photos that were taken a hundred years ago. It truly is a sight to see.

Next time you are in the area, please visit. It truly is amazing at what the many volunteers have done to preserve the history of Bishop and the Owens Valley and the families that live here.