Sunday, June 26, 2011

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.


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