Saturday, October 3, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Often, this is what makes life interesting: to have an idea or experience, grab a thread from that experience and keep following that thread to another unique experience. That’s what Sam and I did last Sunday. We went back to the site where we had seen the possible Gen. Moore grave from the road and dressed with proper shoes and long pants, we hiked to it. Not only did we find the General Robert Moore grave that our roadside stranger had told us about the week before, but found it in a very abandoned and neglected cemetery, in the area where John Bidwell discovered gold in 1848. The cemetery holds the graves of people from the town that was the original county seat in Butte County. Now on private land, the graveyard is all that is left of a once thriving town called Hamilton,(not to be confused with Hamilton City in Glen County.) A mining town, it had a number of taverns, a store and a blacksmith shop, then a courthouse and a jail. A post office was opened in 1851 and closed in 1865. The county seat moved to Oroville and Hamilton slowly became a ghost town. Now all that is left is the cemetery. I never did figure out the significance of Gen. Moore to the area, although the internet gives a long history of the family, and their eventual settlement in Oroville.
From this wonderful site we drove on to the small towns of Feather Falls, Woodleaf, Clippers Mill, Strawberry Valley, Challenge and Brownsville. In Brownsville we toured a beautiful cemetery. There we found the grave of a person born in 1788 —the oldest we’ve found so far in California. and then stopped for lunch at Bonnie Lou’s cafe.
Our last stop was the grave our previous roadside guide had told us about near Bangor. In the middle of a field was a small fenced grave, and in it was the gravestone of a 9 year old girl who died in 1855. What made it tender and unique was that someone had layed two white teddy bears next to the marker, and 2 small pairs of childrens tennis shoes. It was a memorial as sweet as any tribute could have been.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I celebrated my Independence Day by going for a drive over the July 4th weekend with Sam, continuing to explore the towns in Butte County, and particularly the Pioneer Cemeteries. Sam and I took the Oroville Bangor Highway until we got to Bangor and the Bangor Cemetery. We were having some trouble finding it and asked a man walking on a country road for directions. It was Sunday afternoon, and a beautiful day, so he took great pleasure, and time in telling us where it was, as well giving us directions to an unknown cemetery near Honcut and a lone grave near Oroville....where he claimed a “General Moore” was buried. Later, I found out that Honcut is derived from “Hoancut”, the name of a Maidu village that was changed to Moore’s Station, then back to Honcut. The man told us he found these places from exploring and hunting in the area since his arrival in the 1960s.
The Bangor Cemetery was beautiful, but nothing compared to the abandoned Honcut Cemetery unmarked and completely wild, situated on 3700 acres of farmland,. It was an enchanting experience, the wind blowing the tall weeds and the giant oaks protecting the abandoned graves hidden in the tall grass. We didn’t realize until I was finished photographing and a large pick-up drove up that we were on private land. A farmer with his young son told us that he was leasing the land from a lawyer who lived in Taiwan. We chatted a bit and thanked him and drove out, feeling lucky we had the chance to visit the site, and that the gate had been open. I told Sam my story, that the land owner was Asian, and just as the pioneers whose remains we were just honoring had come in and destroyed most of the native people and their cultures for the land, now an Asian person owned that same land, including the cemetery. Sam’s story was the man was just a rich white lawyer living in Taiwan. I like my story better, it has more symmetry.
Amazingly enough, Sam remembered the man’s directions for the Gen.Moore grave site, and we drove there. Even though we couldn’t access the grave from the road, Sam did spot it, and I was able to take a photograph with my telephoto lens from the road. One day we’ll go back and figure out a way to walk to it. In the meantime, we’re planning our next adventure.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I was e chatting with my sister Jo this morning about keeping the faith in the joy of our lives when we often can’t see or control the means for the outcome. We said that often we forget that despite or maybe because of conflicts, our lives always seem to work out. When I ask her for ideas of what to write about this morning, she said write “ that you are happy to be alive and enjoying life!” What a great idea, because in fact, that’s true. I continue to actually see the end of the rainbow, it is not illusive. When I see it, it is not the traditional pot of gold, but the promise that the gold is the gold of my intention and creation. True, I am creating my life often times in the middle of chaos, confusion and fear, but I believe in the promise that things will work out even if I don’t know how. In that I have faith. I am happy to be alive and I do enjoy my life! Thanks for the reminder Jo. Oh, and happy birthday to your first born, how lucky you are to have him in your life, as I am for mine! Life is good.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
On a recent weekend trip, Sam and I drove further north, winding our way through little town after little town and ended up staying overnight in Shasta, California. We found some amazing pioneer cemeteries, peacefully nestled in the pines and redwoods, silent witness to our California heritage. They are a small slice of history, a memorial to the people who came to California during the gold rush. There are no clear obvious markers for the native peoples who were here before time and the Californiano’s who came next, but these monuments mark this time, this change, and in that way tell a silent story.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
May 20, 2009
For our 20th wedding anniversary, Sam and I received the first copies of a book we wrote together entitled: Wealth and Well-Being: How Therapists, Counselors, and Helping Professionals Can Assist Clients through the Emotional Barriers to Financial Independence. http://www.wealth-wellbeing.com, It has been a labor of love, in more ways than one. We began writing it over three years ago, and it will be published and ready for purchase in the beginning of June. Who knew that when we met over 40 years ago as teenagers, that we would end up creating this book and the the lives we are now blessed to live full of true wealth and well-being.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
by Suzanne Lorenz
May 7, 2009- June 3, 2009
South Feather Water and Power Lobby
2310 Oro-Quincy Hwy.
Oroville, California 95966
8am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.
(530) 533-4578 option 1 www.southfeather.com
Chico Art Center, “Contemporary Women 2009"
May 2-31, 2009
All photographs for sale. Contact the artist
I had a great birthday and mother's day weekend. I got to drive in beautiful places, which I like, and see and hear from people I love. I felt very loved and acknowledged this year. For that I am grateful. Birthday’s are always a chance for me to reflect, assessing my life’s intentions and goals. Are my values and my life’s actions lined up? Am I doing what I intend? How do I want my life to be now? I’m entering into my sixth decade, which has with it the knowledge that I don’t have unlimited amounts of time left. I’m more reminded than ever that time and the people in my life are precious, and what I value. This year I gave myself the gift of being with family and friends, giving and receiving love from my children, funding my art, and showing my photography in two public places, and always the gift of being married to Sam. I am thankful.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sunday, we drove to Cohasset, California, 15 miles northeast of Chico on top of a forested ridge with canyons on both the east and west sides. Originally used by the Maidu Indians in the summer, it also had occasional visits by the Yana, Yahi, and Wintun Indians until the 1800’s when the European invasion of trappers, gold seekers, and lumbermen blew through with the typical results. Prize winning apple orchards made a brief claim to fame in the early 1900’s but as the soil and water was depleted, farming and people moved on. Today, 750 people reside in a slowly declining community. The store, gas station, fire station, and school all have been closed, and the only remaining business is an antique store, the site of this gas pump. The owners' granddaughter said she thought the gas station was active when her grandmother bought it in 1966, and long before it was built. a stage coach station, but she wasn’t sure. It’s California, always changing, never still, always changing.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Spring in Northern California is always unpredictable and uncertain. Last week, I was wearing sweaters, this week, shorts, you never know about the next week. What is certain is how beautiful everything is outside, the spring flowers, the orchards blooming, everything so green and lush, not yet the summer browns that are coming soon. Words seem inadequate. I’ll show some photographs I’ve recently taken.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I’ve just finished reading The Tao of Pooh. The last chapter is called, “Nowhere and Nothing” where the author, Benjamin Hoff attempts to illustrate the concept of the “empty mind” . He describes through the Pooh characters the art of doing nothing. Christopher Robin says in answer to Pooh’s question how do you do nothing? “Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it....it means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Hoff uses the books of Pooh to explain Lao-tse’s writings in the Tao Te Ching. He goes on to quote the forty-eighth chapter of The Tao Te Ching, “To attain knowledge, add things every day, to attain wisdom, remove things every day.” Every day I hear people, including myself, complain about how much they forget, how many times they can’t remember the names of people, places and things. We are a nation of people frantic about their forgetting, yet it’s in our forgetting that we have a chance to clear our minds, and just be. Do nothing. Sit in the sun, look into the eyes of a loved one, do nothing. When I pick up my camera, it's a way of reminding myself, by the things I focus on, to just be, and although I often times click the shutter, I often don't .