Change is inevitable and accepting that fact seems to ease some of the pain of what is gone. Our lovely, forested hills will undergo some dynamic change over the coming months, as will the creeks and tributaries that run through the burned areas. Much of the work that was done to protect our community is being methodically dismantled to protect the roads and streams from sediment and runoff from the rains and snow we hope to see this fall and winter. Fire brings renewal, new and sometimes more plentiful food sources for wildlife and humans, too. I know our local mushroom lovers will be avidly hunting the hills and dales for some of their favorite fungi.

Other changes afoot included upgrading the old water line that runs from high above the Chagdud Gonpa down to the bridge and beneath Dutch Creek Road and Highway 299. The fire burned sections of the line and exposed older cracks and holes that were overdue for repair. The effort brought together USFS, JCVFD and local citizens to get the work done. Hopefully the fixes provide a more robust water source for the homes and buildings that draw from it. Over the coming weeks additional work will be needed to complete repairs to the dams and to the lines that provide the main water source for most of the buildings and fire hydrants on the Gonpa’s property.

There were some wonderful changes that came to our community over the past week as well. Kassandra and Tim Kelley brought a new baby boy to the world, a perfect birthday gift for his momma. I’m sure his sisters are thrilled with their tiny new playmate. Jayce Michael Kelley was born a healthy 8 pounds, 3 ounces and is beautiful as can be. I can just imagine his great-grandma and grandpa Kathy and Paul Adams whooping with joy from above. Congratulations, Kelleys!

Some other fantastic folks celebrated their birthdays this past week. Charlene Griffith and Mary Canfield and Mike Hanley all managed to hang on to the planet for another orbit around the sun. Happy birthday to them and all our other September birthday babies out there.

Big thanks to Jeff England and Trinity County Food Outreach, Denice Johnson Meissner, Terry and Charlene Griffith and all the other volunteers who work tirelessly each month to bring food commodities to our seniors and families. Not only do you make sure people’s pantries are full of good healthy food, but you do it with lots of heart and warmth.

The North Fork Grange will be holding its first meeting after an extended break due to the fires at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. Lots of plans are in the works for some great events, including the Harvest Jam and Festival (new date to be determined), fundraising events and more.

The Fire Jills are busy preparing for their annual fundraising events as well. These fiery ladies know how to raise funds in the most delicious way! Be sure to keep an eye out for their delicious baked goods at upcoming events. Funds raised help support Junction City Volunteer Fire Department.

I also want to send out a big thank you to the continued efforts of all our firefighters and fire personnel who have worked so long and hard to protect our communities during the Monument fire. You are very appreciated!

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