Posts Tagged With: Michal Houston


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Life is so condensed and exciting. My friend Michal Houston still has a house in Murphys but lives in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. She loves it there. She came to visit old friends for a whirlwind week. Michal, Madelaine Krska,  and I, Mary, Maddie and Michal once called ourselves the Three M’s. Maddie is retired and living in Arizona. For lunch, we went to our favorite old haunt, Camps in Angels Camp, and toasted our missing friend. I expect someday, the three of us will find ourselves together once again.

Michal and I had a great time looking over pictures of a trip we took to China. It was such a refresher course to read over my old journal and remember fun things we did, and stuff we saw.


Michal and I with a Chinese woman in a roadside village. What would happen if a bus load of tourists pulled up to your house in Murphys and asked if the people could come in and talk to you and see inside your house, and ask you personal questions about your life and how you live?

She lives in the country and is allowed two children, instead of one. Her boys both graduated college. She lives in her family home where she and her husband grow cotton. They have a hog to butcher, and a pond filled with edible plants shared with neighbors. The tiny house had two rooms a large gas wok in the kitchen with a table;  one bedroom where the bed was in a corner with little room to walk around it.


Michal with the ladies of a small Naxi (Nah-shee) village, all dressed for town to meet with a government official. Everyone friendly and accommodating.


I looked for a picture I had of Michal watching a talented cryptographer showing how to paint Chinese script on a papyrus, but I couldn’t find it. Here, in the lobby of one hotel, we are both fastened by an ancient, intricate, carving in jade.

We talked about the places on our bucket list, favorite or memorable experiences on the road. I love what famous travel host Rick Steves said about travel:  “You cannot be a bigot when you understand other cultures.” He is so right.



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Calaveras County is unique in that it has but one city, Angels Camp. Even the County Seat at San Andreas is not a chartered city. Local communities here, Mountain Ranch, West Point, Murphys and so on, are run by “clubs.” The Murphys Community Club held their Christmas Party and Dance along with the installation of new officers last night. President Houston handed over the reins to incoming President Creagher and it was he who pointed out the notion of a club.
People think of club’s as a social, fun group rather than the hardworking institution formed 69 years ago to replace the governmental functions that an organized city would perform, he explained.
This group of fantastic volunteers fundraises to pay for lighting Main St. maintaining our park, providing recreation, building and maintaining restrooms, garbage removal, and most of the other functions of government.
So, it was that Supervisor Tom Tryon installed new officers and joined the festivities.
Outgoing President Houston handed out an award for service to Bob Reagan.
Friends met, mingled and celebrated before dinner.
There was a grinch or two about the place. But, despite all the work, the Community Club is still about FUN.
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We take care of our health, we make sure our roof is tight, we save some money, and live right. We do for others; improve our community and make sure talent and worth are nurtured.
Michal Houston serves on the Hospital Board and is a past President of the Murphys Community Club. Not her only volunteer work. Madalaine Krska works full time and volunteers for the Arts Council, just one of a number of projects she has taken on. I still maintain two volunteer positions, one with Calaveras Community TV and The Sheriff’s Archive, even from the road, now that I’m rambling. Women are phenomenal contributors.

But, at the end of the day, we know to nurture our friendships. Camps restaurant, in Angels Camp, offers good service, food, and live music on Friday and Saturday nights. The Three M’s Night Out.

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