April Showers On a Sunday Afternoon

(Sunday April 11, 2010)


"When April showers may come your way. They bring the flowers that bloom in May. So when it's raining, have no regrets. Because it isn't raining rain you know. It's raining violets. And when you see clouds upon a hills..They soon will bring crowds of daffodils. So keep looking for that bluebird...And listening for his song. Whenever April showers come along..."

The weather forecast was more rain and maybe some snow. Our leisurely morning coffee conversation wandered back to the good old days when we were kids growing up in Nevada City and Grass Valley. This evolved into going out for breakfast at Penny's Diner at Glenbrook.

The new Walgreens Pharmacy is in the final stages of construction. They'll still have to widen the street to make access easier.

Penny's Diner is located in the B&C Shopping Center. Today, many people are enjoying having breakfast and lunch. Lately we've been combining the two. We usually see someone we know when we eat here. Following brunch we decided to go for a ride, remembering times and places, and how nice it is to have spent our lifetime in this beautiful place. It's nice to know others who have interesting stories to share.

Following brunch we head for Nevada City and our old stomping grounds. Both of us grew up in and attended schools in Nevada City. I started school in Alleghany and attended Nevada City Elementary from half of the first to half of the eighth grade in Nevada City. When we moved to Banner Mountain I had to finish the eighth grade at Hennesy School in Grass Valley. From there I went on to Grass Valley High School. Mel started school in the original Washington School that was replaced with Nevada City Elementary, and attended Nevada City High School where he played football. Consequently, we enjoy  class reunions of both schools with the people we grew up with.

The Real Estate building on the left at the foot of Boulder Street occupies space where the old ice house used to stand. During an unusually rainy season I remember the  house on the right was flooded by little Deer Creek that flows behind it. That time it took a short cut through the front door and across the street.

I don't think it's possible to count the times we've traveled up and down Boulder Street.

To the right is Park Avenue. My family lived in two houses on Park Avenue when I was little. The second house on the right from this corner (in photo below), and another one down the street. Little Deer Creek ran through the park and behind our house. I loved to hunt for frogs and snakes there.  I learned to ride a bicycle on this street. We kids used to roller skate on the sidewalks. I thought that steep one going up Boulder Street might be fun skating downhill. Diving into the fence to slow down wasn't much fun. Mel was about five years older than me, and thought I was a pain when he delivered newspapers on our street. I was a tomboy, and probably gave him a bad time. Little did we dream that we'd marry some day.

During the good ol' days the people on Red Dog (or Murchie) Road had a crank phone mounted on the wall. When you wanted to make a phone call you had to crank the phone to get the power going. Several people usually shared the "Party Line" on poles that were situated along the road all the way from town.  Each subscriber phone had a particular ring...one long-two short etc.. One time someone broke the phone wire. Mel and his dad found the break and Mel climbed up the ladder to fix it. He was holding both ends getting ready to fix it. Suddenly he experienced a shock of electricity running through his body, and he dropped the lines. Evidently someone had cranked a phone to make a call. That somebody turned out to be his mother who laughed, "If you had just held on longer I could have finished my conversation."

Mel's old family home where we lived until we moved to Banner Mountain. His father worked in the Murchie Mine blacksmith shop when the mine operated. Later he had his own trucking business. The road was gravel and the kids used to play football on it down to the Echo Valley Ranch (a couple of houses away). There wasn't much traffic except when the Murchie mine changed shifts in the late afternoon.

We built our first home next door, where our kids grew up. After Mel's parents passed away we remodeled the old place, built a shop for our trucks, sold our house and lived here for another twenty years. Since we were operating our sawmill on Banner, we thought it would be nice to live there. Meanwhile,  Ron Pierce had his eye on our shop, because he loves restoring and driving antique cars. To make a long story short, he bought the place and did some innovative remodeling inside that he and his wife Vicky wanted us to see. Today was the perfect day to do it.

Here's Ron's car that he drove since he was sixteen, shown in the photo below.

What Ron did was take out the closet that used to be in the Master bedroom, and make a stairway up to the attic that is now a sewing room. The Master bedroom now comprises what used to be two bedrooms.

Very nice. Ron did what we thought about doing, but didn't figure out how we would do it. He wondered how we got the model train table up here in the next room, because the windows, and trap door were too small. Good question....cuz we couldn't remember.

Ron told us that they'd paved the gravel road above Banner Lava Cap-Red Dog to Cascade Shores so we made the trip. It's raining and snowing a little. The daffodils ahead love it. After our little tour on the hill, we head back down  and stop at KirK and Deanna's for a visit before going home.

It's snowing when we get home. After a quick dinner we hurry down to Grass Valley for the basketball game.


The round about at Hills Flat works very well once you get used to it.

...And our nice Holiday Inn.

We always park across the street from the American Legion. This evening its pouring rain. The teams are already playing as we walk in. DeMartini RV wins with 61  to WD Services 56. As always it was an exciting game. They aren't boring like some of the professional games.

Timmy and Brent have good reasons to smile...

Hennessy,  where we all shared memories throughout the years.

The former Post Office that is now a law firm.

Grass Valley City Hall and parking lot on the right.

The historic Everhart  and Bret Harte hotels on Main Street. Many years ago our family music teacher June Breen used to play the piano and sing at the Bret Harte Hotel as a young woman. Presently, we're going to Margie and Tim's. I need help with the new computer. They call it progress, but to me it's almost like starting over.

Bitney Spring where lots of people still fill up their water jugs.

We wind up a wonderful rainy afternoon getting a few pointers and corrective settings on the computer before heading home. What a relief...in many ways. Although it snowed while we were away, the roads home were okay. 

And...just like the song says, one month later on May 10th... it's snowing on the flowers.