Greenville Rising: Dec 9 – so much beyond our control
By Meg Upon
I’m supposed to meet a friend at Patti’s Thunder Café in Quincy at 11:45 a.m. and I left my house in the Crescent Mills side of Greenville at 10:30 a.m. and…I’m writing this column from the second traffic stop before the Greenville Wye. We’ve normalized being immobilized as much as any Angelino living along the 405 freeway or the 10 through the downtown Los Angeles corridor. We sit. Injury. Insult. Yet more beyond our control. It is after all, a Monday but last week’s commute wasn’t this horrific as today so I did not account for this much time. It’s 11:56 a.m. and I hope she’s waiting for me. I understand if she gives up.
Our students who haven’t given up on school altogether or who haven’t resigned themselves to go back to distance learning are doing this commute and getting up earlier and earlier on icy winter roads to make this commute. Some of us have farmed out our children to friends or our children’s friends in Quincy to spend the night there so they don’t have to get up at 4 a.m. to get to school by 8 a.m. If you see a Greenville kid in Quincy they are doing beyond what they should have to get to school with heads full of trauma.
We got alerts for evacuations of near and far-flung communities in the tri-county area this summer. How about alerts that say—hey don’t bother to leave your house because Caltrans has other plans for you today? That would be helpful. Caltrans must sense we are people verging on the edge of road rage; they no longer seem to be meeting our eyes at these stops. Perhaps they know better than to meet the eye of internal rage.
This column has had a two-week hiatus for the holiday week and for me to regroup and pay attention to something I’d been neglecting: acknowledgement of trauma and the need to say ‘no’ and take care of one’s self. Trauma has wrapped its weighted blanket around me and as I talk with other people in Indian Valley, I see that they’ve been fighting to pull off those blankets too.
Two weeks ago, we heard of the passing of long-time Greenville resident Jocelyn Cote. She will be dearly missed. That triggered a reminder to me of all the elderly seniors of Indian Valley we lost during 2020 and 2021, including Ken Tucker and Frenchie Mullen. So many of whom I used to think of as the old growth trees of the community. The steady and resilient.
I have been tasked by my family of cleaning out my parents’ garage in Greenville. My stepmother died in November 2019; my mother left the state at the end of August. My daughter, our cat, and I have moved in and we are unpacking and packing 20 years of memories and doing our best to be okay with bursting into tears, like I did when I hauled my mom’s little stereo back into the living room along with the fake Christmas tree and turned on the radio the other morning like we used to do when we were altogether listening to Cap Radio and drinking our morning coffee. Tears flowing.
People call or text me daily wanting to rent out my mom’s place. But those of us with structures are also facing all sorts of emotional trauma. My homeowners insurance kicked in –just enough to pay off my kids’ braces. Imagine that. A whole office of 10 years in downtown is worth the mouths of two teenagers and not much else.
Welcome to month four. More and more lots in downtown Greenville have been cleaned out. More and more of our former landscape fades into memory as we ready for the new.
Still as we head into rain and maybe snow and try not to curse the gods for bringing it now and not say, last May when it could have been useful for the dry apocalyptic heat of last summer.
But that’s the last time I want to use the word ‘apocalypse.’ It’s time to move into resilience. Below are some events happening soon to carry us through.
Christi Hazelton with Region Burger is going to have an event down at the spot of Mary’s German Grill on Tuesday, Dec. 14 starting at noon. The Hazeltons will be feeding people some of what was planned for their menu and grand opening pre-fire. Food is free. Donations welcomed.
At Gigi’s Market in Crescent Mills, the Wolf Creek 4-H Club will be building on their wildflower seed sale on Veteran’s Day with their Wildflower Project Community Meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 14. “We have connected with a generous source to get California Native Wildflower seeds from. Come sign up for a common area to plant and care for and/or pre-order your own seeds for personal use. Personal seed sales, Tshirt sales and donations fund the Community Wildflower Project…you do not need to pay to participate. First sowing will be in late January,” said a spokesperson for the group.
The second [Re] Build Community Meeting will take place on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at the Greenville Elementary School cafeteria. The event is hosted by Supervisor Kevin Goss, with updates on committees, teams, next steps and a discussion on progress “on items of deep concern.” The event is also hosted by the Dixie Fire Collaborative—the new name for the Long Term Recovery Group introduced last month. For those who cannot make the meeting in person there will be a zoom link available.
“The formation of the Dixie Fire Collaboration (aka The Long Term Recovery Group) is taking shape working on finalizing a team of professionals who can guide us through the process of recovery and rebuild. There will be lots of moving pieces, and oftentimes, pieces that change on a dime due to many factors such as funding, leadership, best practices, and compliance. Through this process, patience, flexibility, and engagement will be key for success,” said Goss.
As usual if you have an event or meeting or anything you’d like Indian Valley residents and former residents to know about, please email [email protected].