Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A life well lived.....

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting my grandparents in Upland, CA.  I don't get to see them nearly as often as I would like, but when I do visit, I cherish every moment.  This past trip was no exception.  My grandma is 97 and my grandpa is turning 82 this week.  Their home is a reflection of family members both past and present, mementos from extensive travels to every corner of the earth and a garden that reflects their love and appreciation of nature.  Our family comes from a long line of avid gardeners and I feel fortunate to have grown up gardening.  Their patience, persistence and just plain luck combined with the perfect California climate, has resulted in a lush green landscape full of life.  Included in this landscape are 34 orchids, 4 stag horns, bouganvilla, macadamia tree, fig tree, olive tree, lime tree, lemon tree, tangerine tree, plum tree, grapefruit tree and a thornless blackberry bush that puts out the sweetest blackberries ever.  Other potted beauties round out the mix and a cactus garden finds a home in a dry spot on the side of the house.  Hummingbirds are fierce and protective in these parts and are not shy about getting in your face and whizzing past you in an effort to fend off any intruders trying to invade their little piece of paradise.  Here are a few pictures I took over the weekend. 

This is a staghorn that was purchased at the San Diego fair over 35 years ago.  This is the biggest one of 4 that are in this landscape. 


The garden wasn't the only thing that I was drawn to this visit.  Reading an extensive geneology from my grandpa was fascinating.  A great great (forgot how many greats) family member had written a book in 1928 of all the family history she knew starting in 1797.  Wonderful and scary stories detailing hardships and tragedies along with marriages and births.  Of particular interest was the handmade counterpane from 1828 that is in pristine condition with the colors as strong as they were the day they were dyed.  The story of the counterpane is attached to it and talks about how the flax was grown and processed by the family, the dye made from roots and bark and how this has made it's journey through the family for for the past 184 years. It is a fascinating story and a stunning example of an early American textile.  Another point of interest was the box of arrowheads passed down through the men that date back to the late 1700's-early 1800's.  Wonderful artifacts that bring the written stories about living with the Indians to life.  Looking around the house, there are pictures everywhere showing a timeline of the lives that reside here...

My grandma's baby hat, bracelet, favorite book (cloth) and purse framed in a shadowbox.
Varsity letters, metals, trophy and pipe that belong to my grandpa.
This light has been over the bed I sleep on when I visit and has been there for as long as I remember.  I love this lamp and look forward to seeing it every time I visit.
Well, that was my weekend.  Sometimes you just have to check out of your everday life and go see the people you love and that's what I did.  I don't know how much time they have left here in this life, but this weekend was one that will be remembered and cherished for a lifetime.  To see two people who love each other with all they have and to save a little of that love for me has meant the world to me.  Out of all the treasures I saw this weekend, the best of one all is this....

1 comment:

DB said...

I follow you faithfully...make no bones about it:)
What an incredible privilege to visit with them. I see so much Tara flavor stemming from their!

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