By Eileen Majors
I love it when people from the city come to visit our mountain valley area. An air of relaxation seems to overcome them. It is obvious they have chosen this time to escape from their busy lives and relax to a simpler tune, for a time anyhow. I can remember making the trek up the mountain with our old truck (to the sheer delight or our five year old son), every weekend for several months before taking the big leap and moving here. It was pretty cool summer and winter to stay with Uncle Chuck.. We romped in the woods. We swam. We got firewood. We shoveled snow and we always ate well. Potlucks and friendly neighbors were plentiful. I really did like this laid back lifestyle.
I literally cried my way up the hill though, on that day I left my ‘citified’ life in Concord, CA. I had traded it all for a rugged ride into a quiet mountain life. I was immediately anxious though: what was next as I left the hustle and bustle of my busy life which included a 40 hour week and a commute to boot? Time had been clicking by mighty fast with never enough to go around. Was that so bad?
Then suddenly I had arrived in this tiny little town, without even one stoplight where, it seemed to me, time had stopped. Talk about relaxing to a simpler tune, I went from my extremely busy, multi-tasking lifestyle to walking to the post office every day in hopes of mail from ‘home.’ I didn’t get much although I do recall having so much time that I baked cookies and mailed them to my friends in oatmeal boxes. I indulged in bike rides and taking walks and even learned how to play tennis and can fruits and vegetables thanks to my friend Shirley Foltz (now of Susanville) who had also traded in her busy Concord life.
It was not long until several more of our Concord friends (including my sister with her family, and my parents) were also drawn to life here in the mountains. I have always likened it to high school, where everybody knows each other. There is nothing like the way people accept each other as they all live together in communities not necessarily separated by income levels or other status. It would be hard not to also mention the beautiful lakes, streams and adventures we found to experience through this mountain life, indoors and out! All four seasons are welcomed and experienced to the fullest, it seems to me, probably because there is just a little more time here. Without a doubt, this is ‘home’ now. I have noticed over the years that while some people come and go, they usually still consider this ‘home.’ It is easy to do. It’s easy to fit in. It’s hard to keep secrets but there is nothing like a small town that acts like family.
I will never regret my decision to give up the city life, even though it meant giving up some security at the time. Raising kids mountain style is an experience I am thrilled and proud to have had a part in, and grandkids, all the better. Come for a weekend or come for a lifetime but take a little time when you can, to relax to a simpler tune.