Monday, March 31, 2008

Remembering Cynthia

Memory Table

Yesterday's gathering to celebrate Cynthia Loweburg's life was very well attended. Town Hall was filled with people greeting each other, hugging, talking and eating the varied and abundant potluck dishes. Everyone was sharing memories of Cynthia and how she touched their lives. Many stories brought tears and also joy and laughter. Don and his family led the hall in a wonderful chorus of Row Row Row Your Boat that rolled through the crowd and lingered on the air like mist on the ocean. Their strength and love was an inspiration to all of us. Josh Freeman's video and slideshow presentation captured some of the most beautiful glimpses of Cynthia's life. Many people contributed photos for that presentation. Good work everyone. Love and light filled the room, and Cynthia's spirit was definitely with us.

Above is a photo of the memory table. Below are a few more snapshots. It was too crowded in there to really take many photos. Besides, I was too busy being present in the moment to worry about using my camera.

Some of the many who attended

Just some of the flowers ~ there were many bouquets

Photo Collage

We love you Cynthia. We know you are still here in the mountains.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Cynthia Loweburg Celebration of Life

Everyone is invited to attend the memorial gathering for Cynthia Loweburg this Sunday, March 30th at Town Hall. It is a potluck lunch event that will include music, dancing, sharing and remembering.

Where: North Fork Town Hall

When: Sunday, March 30th, 1pm

Bring: Potluck Food, Photos of Cynthia, Musical Instruments, Memories, Love

For More Info: Call 877-4196 or 877-2129 or 877-3061

See Cynthia's Memorial Website for more info, photos & sharing

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Life in North Fork

As promised, I am reporting back on the nest building activities under the old weathered roof shake near the corner of my building.

I check daily for activity by the knothole entrance to the nest, but not much has been happening until just recently. A couple of days ago I noticed a tangled remnant of yarn stuffed into the very edge of the knothole. Work on the nest construction has obviously commenced.

Evidence of springtime is everywhere you look. The earth is warming, the tulips in my wine barrel at home are about to explode into blossom, the redbud trees in downtown North Fork will be ablaze with crimson blossoms, and tiny green leaves on the now barren oak trees will be unfolding soon.

Today, when I arrived to open my business, I looked again for any activity near the nest entrance. And, there perched in the redbud tree, just under the knothole, were Mom & Dad sparrow chirping excitedly to each other. One sparrow was slightly built and colorful, the other more rounded and plain. They were obviously partners about to put together a family, and they were checking out the neighborhood.

The sparrows seemed to trust me, so I slowly moved a little closer to get a picture of them chattering at each other. They have just started the nest construction and there will be many more trips back and forth. I may even help them this year by hanging some string and yarn in the tree.

In a few weeks there will be barely audible peeping sounds coming from under that old shake, and tiny feathered heads bobbing up and down under the edge of the roof. I love how nature’s story unfolds right in front of me.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Friday, March 21, 2008

Spring is Here

Herbs, pansies & chard ready for the garden

Spring is here in the mountains. Yesterday was our vernal equinox, or first day of Spring.

The sun is shining brightly and the plants are starting to grow and bloom. The grass, weeds and wildflowers will soon be plentiful and tall.

Spring is nature's signal for new growth and for us to move forward with positive spirit. Planting seeds, nurturing them, tending them and awaiting the promise of our harvest. A busy season full of plans and promise.

Spring is here. May it grow strong and live forever in our hearts.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

She Was Loved, She Will Be Missed

Cynthia Loweburg

Occasionally during a lifetime you might be lucky to encounter a special person that lights your world up when they enter a room, or when you meet them on the street exchanging a friendly hello. They have that special quality to make you feel important, like they really care about you, what you are saying, and how you are doing.

Cynthia Loweburg was that kind of person, and she departed for the light this week doing what she likes best in her back yard. I have known Cynthia for years as a loyal customer, a fellow Chamber officer, and recently a yoga classmate.

We always seemed to run into each other, the annual Intermountain Nursery craft fairs, meetings and events of the Squirrel Cage Theatre group and other civic events in our small town community. Then there was the occasional email informing her that a package had been left off at my hardware store because the UPS driver would not deliver down the dirt road where they lived. I often chuckled at her occasional dyslexic and brief responses, e.g. “thanx cyntiha”.

Cynthia was the star of our yoga class. She was such an inspiration for us. We looked to her all the time to see how to do the proper form of the positions we were attempting to do. It felt weird not having her physically in class with us this week. Our yoga instructor brought in a small table and set up an altar covered with a purple yoga blanket. She had candles and two huge white quartz crystals and a big hunk of amethyst displayed there as well. She had the candles lit throughout our session. We laid out Cynthia’s yoga mat, blanket and blocks for her spirit to join us in class as usual.

We were instructed to think of Cynthia’s love light and bring her energy into our heart space. She asked us to do that for ourselves as well as to help Cynthia on her journey into the light.

The instructor was quite matter of fact about Cynthia’s passing, I personally was thinking about Cynthia during the quiet rest times. Memories of how proud she was having just purchased a new shiny Toyota RAV. And, then there was the kidding I gave her about not taking care of her new “baby” when mud and dust covered the car from her trip down the mountain from home.

I looked across the room at people wiping tears away as we were singing the yoga invocation chants. We could hear Cynthia’s voice singing with us.

It was a good class, but Cynthia was very much missed. A fitting soft remembrance to her though. She was our yoga hero. We affectionately called her “Gumby” because she was so flexible. Now we don’t know who to look to so that we can get the yoga poses right. A small thing, but she touched our lives in that way recently and in other ways over the years.

As far as the physical body dying, (transitioning, leaving the planet) goes, I guess for her it was a good way to do it. Quick, probably painless and outdoors in her own yard. It’s just really hard for all of those she left behind, because there was no real warning and it’s really hard to accept it mentally when it happens so fast and unexpectedly. Our yoga instructor told us that just this past week Cynthia had been really up and happy about her life, expressing that she was “getting it all together”. Some things are still mysterious to us. Perhaps the Universe does that on purpose.

On earth, Cynthia was always such a free spirit, following her own music, a butterfly flying on the breeze. Now she flies wild, high and free. Can you hear her music on the wind?

See more about Cynthia at her memorial website

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pine and Oak


© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring Forward & Dance

Almond Blossoms

Daylight Savings Time begins early this year. Remember to turn your clocks one hour ahead tomorrow at 2am….or you can change them before you go to bed tonight….

Joggin Jack attended last Thursday’s NF chamber of commerce meeting and reported back that their annual Auction Dinner Fundraiser has now turned into their annual Auction Dinner & Dance Fundraiser. So this is a new and interesting turn of events. Read about last year's Auction Dinner.

When is this new annual event going to happen this year? The date for the Auction Dinner & Dance Fundraiser has been set for Saturday April 19, 2008. I will post more details here in this blog space as the event date grows near. View the chamber of commerce Special Events list for this and other community events.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rancheria Housing Project

For months I have been casually observing the activity up on the ridge above the Buckhorn Saloon. I already knew from a briefing at a Chamber meeting that the Rancheria IHA (Indian Housing Authority) was moving forward on a multi dwelling housing development. And, daily, I can expect to be asked at least once about what's all that construction up on the ridge above North Fork. So, my curiosity finally got the best of me the other day, and after closing the store I took a short drive up the paved entrance off rd 222 to investigate exactly what was going on up there on the hill.

As I broached the top of the rather steeply inclined blacktopped driveway, the street sign in the above photo greeted me. I knew the words were obviously rooted in the Mono language, and I later confirmed the translation with one of the tribal elders. WAH UP WAY translates to Cedar, and KUNUGIB means Valley Elderberry. I could pronounce the first easily, the second was very challenging, and my very patient tribal elder and I both knew after several tries that I would never be a linguist. I also found out that Tahoot near the Bonnie B road turn off means "deer" in the Mono language.

The WAH UP WAY sign pointed proudly toward the beautiful new community building below and I stopped for few moments to enjoy the view.

At the time I was thinking what a magnificent setting for a community building just above our little village of North Fork. And, no wonder the Mono Indians settled here hundreds of years ago.

I knew from reviewing the architectural drawings with the project superintendent a few years ago that there was a fully outfitted commercial kitchen, a library, several offices, and a traditional round house meeting area inside the building. The slanted roof on the far left side is a newly constructed youth center addition that will be open to "all" North Fork youths in about two months.

I continued driving slowly down KUNUGIB (Valley Elderberry), and parked my car just in front of house number 2 presently being framed. There wasn't that much to see other than nailed up two by fours, chip board, and piles of construction material, but the incredible view took my breath away. I just stood there for a few minutes wishing this was going to be my house.

As I drove further down Valley Elderberry street I could see a newly finished home. It appeared to be occupied, so I stayed a respectable distance taking photos so as to not alarm the new owner. The house was very cute and well constructed, a fine addition to North Fork . The Rancheria IHA team certainly must be proud of their accomplishment, I know I was very impressed.

Just before I left the building site to head home for the evening, I stepped back, took a deep breath, and snapped this incredible photo of our valley.

The Rancheria and it's housing project has contributed generously to the struggling economy of North Fork by purchasing supplies locally. They have also added beauty through the extensive restoration of their main administration building on Main Street, and now the new housing development up on the ridge, and a youth center for our youngsters. I am proud of their good work and I glad they are part of our community.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Art Scholarship

I read this in today’s edition of the Oakhurst Chamber’s online newsletter:

The North Fork Arts Council (NFAC) is pleased to announce that this year it will be awarding two scholarships to deserving graduating seniors - one in music and one in fine art. Each scholarship is for $500. Among other eligibility requirements, the recipient must be a graduating senior from a school in Eastern Madera County, must reside within the Chawanakee Unified School District, and must plan on continuing his or her education in music or fine art.

This is good, and I am glad to see North Fork getting more recognition in the Oakhurst Chamber’s newsletter. Kudos to the NF Arts Council and all those supporting this scholarship program.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Springtime in North Fork

Now, one would wonder why a worn out piece of facia board under the eve of my store front at North Fork Hardware would be of such interest, or most especially why this had anything at all to do with the happenings in the tiny village of North Fork.

You can't see much activity quite yet, but very soon new movement will be happening just under the right edge of the old weathered shake you see in the photo. If you look very, very closely, a knot hole can barely be seen under that old weathered shake, and has been the entrance for several generations of sparrows building a home for their newly arriving babies. I have watched this miracle of nature for several years now and always wonder how the next generation finds it's way back to that exact same old knot hole.

I can already see my neighbors and me gathered quietly in wonder watching several trips of the very focused sparrows bringing in nest building materials. It's really quite something to watch, and definitely clear evidence that Springtime is about to arrive in North Fork. And, if we venture too closely to the nearby red bud tree just under the eve, Mom and Dad sparrow will give us a severe scolding. So, we back off and watch like little kids at the wonders of nature unfolding in front of us.

I really enjoy this time of year, the new growth like the daffodils my Mom planted in front of the store last year, and the promise of better things to come. Stay tuned, I'll be submitting progress reports on how our sparrow family and North Fork is progressing as Springtime arrives.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Local Weather & Events Info

North Fork Foggy View

The photo above was taken last week at the 3000 ft elevation here in North Fork when it was cold, wet and foggy out there. The outlook for the coming week is predicted to be slightly warmer and slightly sunnier with sunny to partly cloudy weather predicted all week long.

I can only tell you about two community events this week as those are the only events about which I have information right now. The first one is the monthly North Fork Chamber of Commerce Board Meeting, which is scheduled for this Thursday, March 6th at 7am in the Buckhorn Saloon.

The second is the 4th Annual Young Masters Fine Art Gallery Show, which is scheduled for Saturday & Sunday March 8th & 9th in Kennedy Hall at North Fork School. Contact phone number for more information is 877-2996. From the flyer I saw, it looks like the North Fork Arts Council is supporting and/or sponsoring this event, but I am not sure of that.

Have a wonderful week everybody!

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News

Saturday, March 1, 2008

North Fork News Space

Welcome to North Fork News!

This space has been created to provide our readers with information about community events, local news, business happenings, useful links, opinions and even a little gossip about our small rural town of North Fork, California.

There are three authors to this blog, all of whom have been active in local community organizations at one time or another. All three are local North Fork business owners and have served on the board of directors for the North Fork Chamber of Commerce in the past. None are currently members of that board. Please be clear that any of the postings and opinions that are written here in this blog are the personal opinions of the authors only, and are not a reflection of or associated with the community organizations in which the authors are currently members or have been members of in the past.

We welcome your visits and your comments.

© Copyright 2008 North Fork News