Aug 31, 2012

Everyday Gold


There is still more gold in our old mining town than has ever been mined. Before you grab your pickax, please know that the easy gold is gone. There are still surprises, but not usually without toil. Museum guests are fascinated by the prospect of finding gold and often ask me where it is. A seasoned miner would reply, "Gold is where you find it."

Americans tend to romance the Wild West. What did women see in miners who, unshaven and unwashed, often smelled like deadshot and skunk cabbage? Yet, unless the miner was perpetually soaked, he pursued gold with a vengeance.

The miner's equipment included a pick, shovel, knife, gun, rope, saw, axe, and wheelbarrow. The common method of panning did not typically create millionaires. The use of sieves, cradles and rockers, long toms, or a windlass were better options. Most lucrative were the stamp mills, hydraulics, or dredges.

Sam Brannan took a different approach. Around 1848, he capitalized on mining by becoming a major supplier of pans, picks, and shovels, making him California's first millionaire. He never touched gold mining, but he did find gold.


I love the miner's tenacity! If we treat each day like gold waiting to be mined, what will our lives look like? [Note: The grizzled miner look is optional.]

Alistair Begg's Truth for Life podcast recently included a sermon titled, "Celebrate Life!" It addressed those who postpone happiness while waiting for a more perfect day. Rose Tremain said, "Life is not a dress rehearsal." There is no time like now time!


Curiosity is a huge mining tool! Just today I followed David Rocco to the Amalfi coast via his "Limone" episode. A Taste of the Past made me understand why it took so long for Americans to embrace tuna. Cutting the Curd introduced me to cheese pioneer, Daphne Zepos, who recently passed away. I scored some crafting ideas on Pinterest. Phyllis Hoffman's Celebrate magazines (Autumn and Halloween) has inspired me to make "Death-By-Chocolate" dipped apples with tree-twigs; and "Wild Mushroom Soup." Oh, and the Thai Red Curry Mac 'N' Cheese recipe from The Perfect 3 sounds delectable.

Even the 144,000 Trinity Ridge Fire (13 miles away) has been an education. The fire crews, stationed at our airstrip, bring daily updates to our museum. From them, I have learned about convective winds. I am now aware of serotinous (meaning late opening) pine cones. Amazingly, these cones stay closed past their seed maturity and basically need fires to melt their resins, causing the seeds to explode and be projected up to a mile away. The seeds then root and reforest. God had it all planned out!

Opening our eyes each morning should involve way more than just waking up. Remember, gold is where you find it!


  1. Excellent post KJ. Loved learning about the pine cone. Hope fires are coming under control so you can relax and get back to normal. Have a blessed holiday weekend. xo

  2. That is very fascinating about the reforesting pine cone. God thought of everything when He made nature! :) -Breezy


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♫ Karen