Day 71: Grass Valley

About halfway between Sacramento and Reno, there’s a place called Grass Valley. When life’s too crazy, and you’re ready to be surrounded by mountains and trees and music and friendly dogs and good food, this is the place you’re looking for.

Look out. The dogs are friendly, but they’re wet.

I’m lucky to have family in Grass Valley, and today is my Aunt Betty Rae’s birthday party. They told us not to bring anything, and we’re ignoring them. There are just too many plums.


My muse sends me to get 25 of them so she can make one of her incredible tarts.
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There’s a small one custom made for me, to keep my paws off the big one. It’s kind like a decoy.


“Hey stop opening the oven!”

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The big tart is intact. The decoy is not. She’s a smart one.

It’s a 2.5 hour drive to Grass Valley, but it’s easy. Mom and Dad can’t make it because they’re in the Alaskan wilderness, and that’s a much longer drive from here.

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There’s music, food, dogs, a dance floor, and a red lawn tractor.

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Run for your life, the toddler’s driving.

There are three generations here. My cousins and I used to be “the kids” but there’s a totally new group of those now, so we’re “the middles.”

It’s a good place to be; we can still go jump off the nearby cliffs into the river, but now we can do it without supervision.

I’m going to stay in the “middles” group for as long as I can.

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As usual, everyone’s got excellent stories. That’s the best part, always.

While the party guests are distracted, there’s a heist. The security camera caught it, but not well enough to make a positive ID.

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Fortunately, the jelly bean was insured for more than they bought it for.

The loudest part of the evening comes when Betty Rae’s son shows up unexpectedly.

It’s easy to tell that this is her favorite birthday present.

By the time we head home we’re tired, full and smiling.


Random assertion: Stories can be used as currency anywhere in the world. Collecting good ones is a way to save for a happy retirement.

Steganographic data: 1834/0.8

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