Many years ago, on a solo visit to Coronado, California, I captured this close-up moment of reflection…as the waves rolled out over the sand…
On my favorite beach.
On a beautiful sunny day in June.
Where the uniquely colored sand just sparkles.
If I didn’t know better, I would have guessed I had struck gold.
The theme this week is: Whimsical – IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A WHIMSICAL PHOTO OR TWO.
In my former life as a registered dietitian I met some wonderful people who just happened to be my patients. Our common goal was improving their health through diet and lifestyle changes. Often the greatest challenge was achieving a healthy weight.
One couple – two retired public school teachers – came to see me together for several years for diet/medical issues including weight loss. With varying degrees of success. But always hopeful and motivated. One December they came in with the following gift for me. The Mrs. half of the couple – a former second grade teacher – made a set of “Before” and “After” holiday figures. She told me they represented my patients “before” they started diet counseling with me and “after” they succeeded…by following my advice.
Of course, real life did not always imitate art in this case, but I absolutely loved the sentiment.
Birthdays are a big deal. No matter how old you are. If you are lucky, you have a party (if you want one). With friends. Family. Neighbors. There is usually cake lit up with candles (when you had a grandfather like mine, sparklers instead). Presents! Hats. Favors. Games of some kind. Pin the Tail on the Donkey when I was 5. A “Ouija Board” and levitation when I was 15.
My children always had a birthday party – sometimes more than one if you count “family party” and “friend party.” We did Pin the Tail on the Donkey a few times, but soon realized that was SO old fashioned. However, cake and candles never go out of style. Especially the trick candles…
And…speaking of trick candles…the following is one of my favorite party photos. My daughter’s 4th birthday.
The photo below is from my 4th birthday party. Trying to set up the group shot. The pointy hats are an interesting coincidence.
Turning my attention toward the positive this week…
I am gathering source material. I like the way that sounds…source material. For a very long story about “the house” — or rather, our home, of over 36 years. As I have written about in previous posts (Nest , Photos), my husband and I downsized and moved to a condo a couple of years ago. It was probably the most exhausting thing I have ever done (besides giving birth to two 9 lb+ babies, but that didn’t take as long).
I was more than ready to move. However, our adult children (who had moved out over a decade earlier) were clearly NOT ready for us to move. Especially our daughter. Our nest was their nest, empty (of them) or not. The reality of no childhood home to return to for their (infrequent) visits was jolting. Did they try to talk us out of it? Absolutely not. But their emotional ties were evident. “Coming down the stairs on Christmas morning” together…(every single year) would come to an end. The “remember whens” without the familiar backdrop of home…hard to imagine. Our new grandson would not be able to run around in his mama’s old backyard.
On the final day before the sale, I toured the empty house on facetime with my long distance 34 year old daughter. We shared a last look at the rooms she grew up in…and some memories of each. Both of us in tears.
I then realized the enormity of this home’s real significance in our lives. But mostly in our kids’ lives. This surprised me since I never had any deep emotional ties to my childhood homes. None at all. I could not fully understand their attachment. How deep it is.
I am going to write about those 36 1/2 years. For them. For us. For me. A story…the house that became a home and what happened. I am very curious to see what evolves.
But first I need to begin gathering my materials (after shopping at my favorite office supply store):
Hanging file folders. One for each year – to sort & organize.
Calendars for 37 years – chronicling all our activities. Each one a diary in itself.
Letters – still gathering.
File boxes of house receipts and info that escaped shredding.
The theme this week is: Gilded – IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF GILDED OBJECTS.
I visited the National Portrait Gallery during a trip to Washington, DC a few years ago. I was fascinated by this painting of George Washington…and appreciated the quote posted above it.
It was displayed beautifully – in what I assume is a gilded frame.
I was intrigued by the quote – and curious about its context. It is taken from a letter GW wrote to Catharine Macaulay Graham – a British historian made famous by publishing A History of England (Volume 1) in 1763…thereby cementing the belief that a woman could write history. She was the first female English historian! – and of course there is a blog – Female Historian
Washington’s letter (containing the above quote) is a response to a letter he had received from Graham several months earlier. Very interesting reading.
I realize I have gotten off track from the challenge, but one thing led to another. Or, should I say, one question led to another.
…Since this photo was taken in 2012, the gallery has been refurbished and although this painting is still there, the accompanying quote appears to be gone.