Sunday, June 26, 2011

Who WE Were Then (continued)

1969. (cousin) Jeff pulling his red wagon along the path that circles the swimming pool (far right). I have such great memories of the pool area. It's where I heard live jazz for the first time. Uncle Art's step-father, whom I always called Pappy, was a jazz muscian who played in Louis Armstrong's All Stars band. I think this why I love dixieland jazz and always associate it with hot summer weather.

1967. Sis & Beau at home on vacation (from Japan) with uncle Art~ another family summer get-together. They're walking along one of the estates many pathways that lead back to the house.

           SO many places to explore.

                                                       the stables.

                         Patches surveys her somewhat cluttered domain.

Who WE Were Then...

I've been sifting through and re-organizing OLD family albums that have fallen apart over time, Then placing the photographs into new albums for safekeeping. 3 of these albums have been of generational family homes that have greatly influenced me~ the Canal Street and Valley View homes in Redding. The single most important home that has carried the greatest sense of family and love is that of the Colefax estate of uncle Art's sister Dot, known by all as "Sis" a beautiful, vivacious blonde and her elegantly sophisticated husband Beau . To this day if I'm overly stressed or unaware of stress in my daily life I will dream of being back in the Colefax house surrounded by these amazing individuals whom I have had the wonderful fortune to label as my family; uncle Beau, uncle Art & aunt Bette, Olive (Ollie) uncle Art's mom, dad and gram have passed on. But, the memories of who we were then and photographs of those times linger with me.

While placing the photographs into specific and separate albums, one of my fav coffee table books, "An Affair With A House," written by the celebrated interior designer, Bunny Williams, came to mind. For 30 years she has been carrying on a passionate affair with an 18th century New England house. In this book she writes of how she and her husband John Rosselli, an antiques dealer, have restored the well-worn house room by room, resurrecting its abandoned gardens, filled the place with family and friends. Through her writing, photographs, anecdotes, how-to's and recipes this home comes alive to the reader.

"Why am I not doing this?" I casually asked myself, after all, I'm a writer,
I have tons of photos from each of these homes that span 40+ years, showing how these homes and we (the family members who lived in them) evolved and became who we are now...  Eventually, these will be books given to Dave and Amanda to pass down to their children.

Sis and Beau were well traveled jet-setters long before the phrase or lifestyle became trendy. Beau was a pilot (captain) for TWA until he retired. Their home was eclectic, holding beloved objects from their extensive travel. The interior ambiance and landscaping emphasis was Asian as they lived in Japan for the majority of my childhood. A small sampling of  family photographs that will go into this future writing project.


The bullfrog pond

I would sit here for hours trying to catch frogs and tadpoles.

1973. Beau walking the large circular pathway that led from the house out to the main road. In the distance, over the gentle slope of leaves, the property ran downhill over many acres to reach the Sacramento river~ which begins as a small meandering creek in Colefax.

Golden autumn afternoon sunlight. If I look closely enough, off in the distance, I can see myself as a little girl roaming these many acres with my companions; Duchess (german shepard), Nikkei (black poodle) and Rebel (large sized terrior) for hours on end. Running, throwing/rolling in leaves~ blissful hours without end.

Sunday morning jazz with a twist

Today's thought is borrowed from my cousin Amber's husband David. When I first read it I burst out in spontaneous laughter from the visual. So, of course, I have to share with you:  "You can't trade shoes with a barefoot monkey".

Summer has arrived with it's annual balmy temps and soft afternoon breezes. What is it about summer that WE all look forward to?  Is it from long ago childhood memories where the anticipation of the last day of school would lead us into myriad unstructured magical moments that held a 3 month lifespan which equaled unlimited freedom from pressure? Family vacations? Jetskiing at the lake?  Barbecues? Swimming at the beach? Reading a good book? To just be. To do (anything). To experience the moment without expectation? To have a hundred adventures in one day? FF to the present where now having to do one thing a day can be quite the adventure (challenge). However you are spending your days, I hope you are making the most of what promises to be another glorious summer filled with unlimited possibilities.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

sunday morning coffeehouse

"Remember grasshopper: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, coffee in one hand and chocolate in the other,
body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, WOO-HOO,
whatta ride!"    - Master Chan

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Afternoon Malaise

Predicted weekend weather forecast was high 80's. I'm sure it must be in the high 80's... elsewhere. Just not here. Blue skies, sunshine with a soft cool breeze hovering in the high 60's.

I spent the AM hours designing a lay-out for this blog page. Realized I was hungry somewhere after lunchtime. Looking about in the fridge and cabinets nothing seemed interesting. I picked up a Pizza Factory menu, opting for take out.  I ordered a hot, toasted pastrami sandwich which comes on a hoagie roll and is served with a garlic pickle and bag of chips. In-between writing and laundry not much else was accomplished today. 2 out of 4 things checked off of my Saturday to do list~ I'm okay with that... will catch up tomorrow.

After lunch, turned the TV on in the master bedroom, to OWN~ French Kiss was just beginning. Amanda, Tara and I love this movie!  So, of course, I had to watch it (again).

A full tummy, one of my fav movies and a soft breeze wafting into the master bedroom through the open windows lulled me and the indoor gang, who were lounging with me, into a lovely afternoon nap.

After waking from my nap and getting back into laundry mode, folding/putting clothes and linens away, Jeff arrived home from work. We got caught up on the days events. He's watching TV in the living room~ something to do with WWII, I'm sure. I quietly tip-toed into the living room to see, it's Cain's Mutany~ how did I know?
OWN has a new HGTV-like show on, Love It or List It. The series is a bit like HGTV's Unsellable's. The twist is just not on staging and selling, but having the option to remain in the home after the remodel is complete.

A new concept

In the coffee shops
The stories begin
Lovers smile shyly over espresso's,
Holding hands
Business men gulping down coffee
Like automatons,
Eyes glued to their "New York Times".
Lonely old men reminice alone,
Over bagels and tea.
Friends laugh and sigh,
Cry over details
Catch up on old times
I sit with Jeff
Another coffee shop story unfolding
Through haze of sepia-tinged,
Coffee stained
Smoke curling
Silver guitar strings crying
White crack of light through
Black curtain closing
A new concept begins...

And, what would that concept be you ask? Blogging. I would like to thank Jessica Fiken for her poetry. I've never met Jessica, but I went online (isn't it wonderfully amazing ALL the cool things you find while browzing?) to find a sepia coffee photograph to kick start this page. While there I came across Jessica's photograph and poetry which fit so well for my first blog entry. With some literary license I changed a few verses. The random online search began after a cup of French roasted coffee and a brief Saturday morning conversation with Jeff before he jetted off to work~ encouraging me to give some serious thought to blogging.

You would think that as a writer I would welcome an opportunity to write. And, yet... not so much. As all writers know, there is nothing more terrorizing than staring at a blank page (or screen) in front of you. A visual of Diane Keaton, in Something's Gotta Give instantly came to mind.

Then the thought, "Why, not? Just do it!"  It was a slogan after all that has worked out very well for Nike.

This blog is going to be somewhat similar to my facebook page. I'll be writing snippets from moments of my daily life. Incorporating photographs, images, quotes, art work, music & video, to name but a few things.

BYO popcorn, cop a squat... we're in for a wonderful adventure.