Sunday, May 27, 2012

It only took me 60 years!

I was born in Redlands, CA sixty years ago.  My parents were Midwesterners by birth but came to California after World War II to escape the cold winters and to make new lives in the growing Southern California post-war boom economy.  It has taken me 60 years, but last week I visited Kansas and crossed off the last state on my list.  Fifty States; a lifetime of experiences and memories.  I thought I'd take a trip down memory lane and give you a little bit of my impressions of each state.  Many of my memories go back to the summer of 1967 and a trip I took (Y-Tour USA) with 70 or so other high school students around the US and parts of Canada.  I was 15 and spent 6 weeks on a tour bus....and loved it!


I remember only two things from my visit to Alabama.  

One: we visited the White House of the Confederacy.  United States History has always been a passion of mine and I love to look at historical homes and buildings.

Two:   We met George Wallace.  I didn't like him one bit...he was a racist and a staunch segregationist (a view he later recanted).  I couldn't abide by either view.  I remember not wanting to shake his hand.  His Governorship terms of Alabama were up so they just elected his wife governor.

 The other thing that has stayed in my memory is that everyone still called him "Governor Wallace."  That didn't set well with me and I remember asking about it later and that is when I learned that certain titles remain with elected officials: Governor, President, Vice President.  Those titles are for life.


I didn't make it to Alaska until 2004.  I went with two of my dearest friends, Bev & Lynn.  We went on a Quilting Cruise.  It was wonderful! The scenery was breath-taking, the company was spectacular.  I remember when we were in Sitka we watched the Russian Dancers.  I was so excited because my daughter Beka and family were living in Ukraine at the time and I especially loved the Ukrainian dances.   In 2009 our store began sponsoring Quilting Cruises and our first cruise was to Alaska.   I got to take my husband and loved to show him the beauty of Alaska....which became a state on my 7th birthday, January 3, 1959.
 The glaciers were awesome!

 In Skagway I will always remember our trip on the White Pass & Yukon railroad, the quilt shops and my son-in-law Steve who plucked several spawning salmon from the river with his bare hands!  I'm looking forward to my third Alaskan Cruise this summer, again with Scottie Dog Quilt Cruises.


 I remember eating at a "Stuckies" in Arkansas, the Civil War sites and log cabins.


 On the Y-Tour we spent our first night at Northern Arizona University, sleeping in the  gym in sleeping bags.  Only the men's restroom had showers in it so the girls had an allotted hour to use it.  The counselors told us about the "foot washes" (because it was a gym, we needed to wash our feet in them to ward off athlete's foot.  I was pretty naive and had never seen a floor urinal before!!!! Of course I fell for it as well as other indignities!

Then there was the Grand Canyon.  What can you say?  It's Grand!  Even at 15 I was so impressed.  Beautiful, immense, I knew it could put there only by God's hand.


 I was born in Southern California and lived my first twenty years there.
 Here I am shortly after moving into our Los Angeles house.  I'm four and my brother, Pat, is three.  When I was a little girl, we wore dresses most of the time.  I did own a few "pedal pushers" (capri) and shorts but we wore mostly dresses or sunsuits.  My childhood was idylic, very much "Father Knows Best" and "Leave it To Beaver."

At twenty, I married Mr. Scottie Dog and moved over 800 miles away to the Northern California Coast.  To Eureka, home to the Carson Mansion.

 Lots of Victorian homes here...I am a huge lover of interesting architecture.  And redwoods, you can't forget the redwoods!

 We live in the middle of the Redwood Forests.  I know we take them for granted, but it is truly a beautiful place to live.  Green all year long.  Never gets hot, never gets really cold either.  For snow or summer heat we just drive an hour over the mountains!

I have many memories of California: Disneyland, Mt. Shasta, Huntington Beach, Solvang, Yosemite,  all my wonderful family (so many of them gone on now).  Here's a shot of the family home in Redlands.

 Back: me, daughter Liz holding Sydney, daughter Beka holding Jakob, my Dad, nephew Kevin.
Front: Brother Pat & his wife Debbie and Willa Mae, my Dad's second wife (we love her so!).

 Next post I'll give my impression of five more states.  Indulge me, OK?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

Mother's Day is here again.  I was going to re-post last year's blog but couldn't figure out how to do it.  Click here to read it again.

I got a call from Willie, my stepmom.  She was tickled to get the flowers we sent her.  A big bowl of assorted roses.  She lives in an assisted living retirement center and chooses to eat dinner in the main dining room.  She said she couldn't wait until dinner so she could bring her bowl of beautiful roses and announce that her STEP-daughter and step-grands sent her flowers.  One of the ladies she usually sits with is always complaining about her step-children.....I can just see the twinkle in Willie's eye!

Happy Mother's Day to you all!  I'll be spending it with daughter Liz and her family.