A girl needs to go home every now and then.
And that’s what I did this past weekend. I went home to my old stomping grounds in the Central Valley of California. In case you missed it, I mentioned in my last post that my aunt passed away unexpectedly. Lowell was a real sport and let me fly to California while he stayed home with five of the six children. Mr. Fat Squishy was my blabbering, drooling companion who somehow managed to charm almost every person we sat down next to.
I was glad to have at least one baby to hold on my little trip.
It’s funny what memories going home can trigger. What feelings come out – even smells you long forgot about!
On Sunday, before the funeral, we went back to our old church. It brought back so many memories. I can remember eating potluck dinners with the gang of girls around this sign.
I also remember playing soccer during school P.E. on the grass in front of the church. That memory wasn’t exactly pleasant since I could never get the dumb ball going where I wanted it to go before somebody else kicked it out of reach. Yeah, I wasn’t very good at soccer.
As I sat down to join in the singing, I picked up our old green hymnal. Nostalgia swept over me and Mom couldn’t figure out why I was holding the wrong book for so long . . . until I told her I was reminiscing. Some things take time to work through.
The church had kept the green hymnals after almost twenty years and inside the front cover were stickers that my sisters and I had helped Dad put in each book. These were stickers dedicating the “then new” songbooks to Bob Adrian.
Bob Adrian had been a family friend that I hadn’t seriously thought about in a long time. He was the one who used to go up front to lead songs in church – in his socks. No shoes. We children all loved him because he gave us lemon drops after church every Sunday!
But since he was in our home alot, my sisters and I counted him as an older brother. He used to chase us around the house. I also remember how he was privileged enough to eat the jello straight out of Mom’s big jello bowl! We were jealous.
I love this picture because I love these girls. Actually, I suppose we’re considered women now.
But in my heart and mind, I will always consider us teenager cousins who laughed, loved, played, and sang together. We were closer than five peas in a pea pod. These two girls were the ones who lost their mother – my aunt. So please continue to pray for them!
I love almond orchards! Not ol-mond . . . amond. 🙂 That is one debate that will probably go on until the trumpet sounds.
Dad took us girls and Mom back to our old house where we grew up. And we insisted we must also visit the canal at the end of our road. Coryna suggested we get down and kiss the dirt. That got vetoed when we remembered how old we were.
In the past, I’ve tried explaining to my children what a canal is. But they look at me with blank, countrified stares. They are so used to mountain creeks, streams, rivers, and waterfalls, that a canal sounds pretty foreign to them. I decided they needed to know I hadn’t made the idea of a canal up in my head and knew a picture would prove once and for all that people can make rivers. Sort of.
We needed to not just drive down the road, but had to walk it a little. And smell it. It still smelled the same that it did twenty years ago!
Memories are a funny thing. I can remember playing around this, um, hole. Truthfully, I do not know what it’s called anymore, only that it flooded the orchard and was the coolest thing to watch.
And here is our old home. Once my brothers had all moved out, my room was the one on the end – the window on the far right. I can remember laying in my bed in the early mornings with the sound of the sprinklers running right outside my window. I loved early mornings in CA! Cool, quiet, and calm.
Early mornings in Idaho are very similar. We also get cool at night and the sun peeking over the mountains in the quiet of early mornings is priceless!
The foothills of California.
Everytime I see rolling hills, I am reminded of the song that says “Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills?”
I traveled this road quite a bit as a girl, on our way over to the big city of San Francisco.
Most of these pictures I took for my children’s sake. They have never seen the San Francisco Bay!
They also had never been on a bridge this huge and long and over so much water! This bridge used to scare me as a girl. I would pray until we reached the other side.
Some days I really miss my California. I miss the wonderful folks I got to say hello once again to over the weekend. I miss the smell of almond blossoms in the spring and hiking the Sierras in the summer.
But I am so grateful for where God has put me at the present! To all of you who read this that I got to meet over the funeral, I want you to know you blessed my heart and soul. Many of you helped shape who I am today, especially my teachers.
And I want to say thank you!