My name is Annie Holt and I am a Bay Area refugee. I came here to escape the fast-paced, hub-bub of the city, in exchange for the quiet refuge of nature. As I traveled up into these mountains, I had the very real sense that I was being carried up into the waiting arms of the mountains.
My story within these mountains began long ago. I came up here as a very young girl of three, four, and five. I spent magical weeks of summer at the Camp Layman Cabins. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, and me and my immediate family, all enjoyed the easy summer days and cool, calm nights. My grandma made us custard from scratch and we put popcorn in the petals of pine cones and set them on the table on the outdoor deck then ran inside to watch from the windows, as blue jays feasted on our creations. In the cozy cabin, we listened for and watched the trains chug by on the mountain-side. Back then there were still cabooses. Us kids tried to guess as the train passed whether the train would be followed by a yellow caboose or a red one. Such anticipation!
Then, for a long time, summers were spent in other beautiful places. Feather River (as my family calls this area) remained a jewel in my memory. Since those long remembered summers, my Uncle Dan bought a cabin that is on the same turn-off for the Layman’s Cabins.
About 4 years ago my family and I started coming up here again and we all stayed at Uncle Dan’s cabin. All the dream -like memories of childhood times came steeping through, as all the same cherished places welcomed us all back! We have spent three more summers here since Uncle Dan bought his cabin.
As my heart’s love for this place was rekindled, I found myself feeling more at home when I was here than when I wasn’t. I began combing through Trulia’s website imagining myself at home in the mountains.
In late June of 2017, my dearly loved Maltese, named Emma, passed away after nearly seventeen years together. My heart was broken. I prayed to God (and Emma put in a good word), “God, if you open a portal to Quincy or Portola, I will walk through it.” This prayer set things into motion at lightening speed. That very weekend after Emma’s passing, I was looking at Trulia’s website and saw an enchanting house that was for sale by owner. I contacted the owners and told them that I was interested in their home and they said to come and have a look. Well, I did. It was love at first sight. The owners, Larry and Kathy Pettigrew were two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I shared this same story with the two of them. It just seemed that thereafter, things unfolded in a magical way. I now live in the Pettigrew’s old residence. There were some bumps on the journey to get here but the road seemed clearly marked, that this is where I should end up. The Pettigrew’s left on November 10th and I moved in November 11th!
As I began my job hunt up here, I found my way to Dr. Martin Sanford’s office. We met and in the same serendipitous way that I met my match in a home, I met my match in a job! I am so grateful to Dr. Sanford for being willing to share his space with me!