Looking out the big, bright windows in my mother's office, I trace the treeline on the surrounding mountains and watch the wisps of cloud make their way through this small town.
The gabled rooftops block part of my view - these houses, made to mimic Victorian opulence in a subtle and modest way, with little touches of grandeur that are hardly noticeable unless you're really looking, and I do that - really look.
People smile and wave at each other in this small neighborhood, these homes sitting on what once was a tent-city of burlap and dirty canvas, and farm fields, and men who had a lust for gold - or was it freedom? - in their hearts.
We'll walk the charlie-puppy down to the old schoolhouse grounds, where he'll run and yip and play with other dogs, and the walk home will be filled with the view of the hilltop vineyard, and the old barn, and the mountain retreats peeking up over the trees of the rising Siskiyous.
Up the trails near the concert grounds, there is the bronze statue of the old miner, panning his hopes and dreams and watching for his fortune in the silt. Sometimes dreams slip through the cracks of the pan, and sometimes a small piece of golden rock changes a life forever.
We don't have thousand year old churches here, or grand statues or museums with art; this place was built on rugged individualism and enterprising men and hardworking Chinese miners, oh, and resourceful and hard-as-nails women, and Native Americans, who once filled this valley with the smoke from their fires.