Tuesday, August 14, 2018


Last week, 
I left you at the cross roads
 of our trip down memory lane (here).

  Now we will start
 at the beginning of
 the Captain's and my married life together.

  We had a very small wedding. 
 We went to Reno with just two of our friends who stood up for us and whom we had stood up for the day before, at their wedding.

 my folks gave us a reception awhile later 
with many of our family and friends.
  The only thing I regret
 was not having the picture album 
that a conventional wedding 
usually produces. 
 But we did have, on our side, 
all that mattered to us at that time, 
love and youth,
 and we did manage to get 
one photo that 
we cherish (above).

Our first home together 
was a cute, little rental cabin, 
which I was unable to get a photo of,
 tucked back into the trees.

 It had one bedroom, 
was fully furnished 
and the walls were all a warm knotty pine.
  It was a true fairy tale cottage.
 We thought we had made a big mistake,
 when we arrived on moving day. 
 We were greeted with a horrible smell 
as we came to the front door and,
 what we didn't know was, 
that the old woman who owned the house 
had spread manure on a garden bed 
to make it pretty for her 
newly married tenants.
How were we to imagine 
the beautiful and fragrant sweet peas 
that would eventually grace our doorway 
and welcome us home every time 
we stepped over the thresh hold?
This was a happy place 
as Tami was born
 while we lived here.

We bought our first home 
from friends of ours 
just before Brent was born. 

 It was a cute house
 with a large rear garden 
and a bright and welcoming 
orange front door.

 We didn't stay in this house very long 
as it was only two bedrooms
 and I wanted each of the kids 
to be able to have their own room.

 It is being used 
as a pre-school these days 
and the lawn and flower beds have,
been turned into 
a parking lot.

Tami was just starting kindergarten 
when we bought this house. 
 Each of the kids finally got their own rooms
 and I was able to decorate them 
to my heart's content.

 The house had a 
wonderful back and front garden 
and the tree that you see behind the house, 
in the top right hand corner,
 was a sapling 
when we brought it from 
my grandparent's ranch. 
 It would now be about 
53 years since we planted it there. 
 It is also 
where we hung a crystal chandelier
 in the bathroom, 
way before it was fashionable to do so.

 The house was about 
two blocks from the ocean
 and was where I started getting 
the feelings that fog 
wasn't my friend!...

...and that is how we ended up
 back pretty close 
to where I had begun in Soquel.

 This is where we raised our two kids
 and this is where Tim and Tami 
are living now
and where they raised Jake.

 In all the other houses 
we have lived in, 
never did we put up any of the fences shown.

 Only in this one,
 to surround the place
 where the very best
 of our memories were made.
It is also in this house 
that we spent our
 recent beach vacation...

A drive along the Capitola cliffs

...but this is the closest
 we got to 
the beach...

...most of our time was spent 
lounging on the couch
 with Bo...

...or with Bo
 lounging on the couch 
with Rosie...

...or with Bo 
lounging on the couch by himself 
because Rosie...

lounging in her
 clam shell.

Kai is wondering, 
not too happily,
 who does this big guy think he is, 
lounging with my Papa. 
 That's my job!

The kids have Netflix
 and we binged watched movies.

 If you happen to have Netflix, 
I strongly recommend 
the three seasons of "Last Tango in Halifax".
  It was the best entertainment
 we have had in ages.

The kids had a great time 
in Alaska
 and brought us back these 
really pretty
 coffee mugs...

...and this beautiful flower arrangement 
that was waiting for us 
when we got back home.

 We really felt like
 we were on vacation, 
but it is always good 
to come home.


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Tuesday, August 7, 2018


before all else, 
I want to pay my respects to 
Mary (My Dogs, My Garden and Mary).

 She recently passed away 
and our blogging community 
lost a treasured member.

 She was a kind and generous person 
who loved
 her friends, family, dogs, her beautiful 
garden and her lovely home. 

 She was a dear lady with a kind soul
 who became a very dear friend. 
 She will be missed. 
 Rest in Peace,
 Sweet Mary.

The Captain, 1957 

Me, 1957

I hope you won't mind 
me taking you on
 a trip down memory lane.

  A trip that the Captain and I started
 many years ago, individually,
 but we will focus on the time 
when we first met in high school (above).

 We knew each other then 
but were not an "item". 
 We had a lot of the same friends 
but we didn't travel in the same circles.

He always tells me 
that he had his eye on me 
and he did turn around a lot and stare 
in the only class, choir,
 that we had together, 
but I don't believe him
 as he was "indisposed" at that time,
 if you know what I mean!

 We only came together
when we were "fixed up" 
on a blind date 
while my cousin and I were living
 in San Francisco for a short while, 
in the late 1950's. 

 We have made a lot of memories
 since then 
and will have been married for 58 years 
come this October.

Santa Cruz High School
 where the Captain and I
 spent our high school years.
 We were in the same grade 
and graduated at the same time.

  It is a fairly large campus
 with a multitude of out buildings.  
It was in those out buildings 
that our classes were held. 
 The big building, pictured above, 
was not available to our class
 as it was undergoing extensive remodeling
 at the time.
  To this day, 
I have never seen the 
inside of it.

This is the home
 my dad built 
and where I lived with my parents,
 one sister and one brother,
 when the Captain and I 
started making our memories.

 I remember it as a charming place 
with a beautiful green lawn 
and flower gardens surrounding it,
 all overlooking Soquel Creek. 

  It didn't look anything like
 it does in this picture
 to my eyes,
 but a long time has passed.

This is Mountain School, 
where I spent all my elementary school years,
 as did my dad, my grandfather,
 my sister and my brother.

 It was a two room school house; 
the "Little Room" 
grades first through fourth,
 and the "Big Room" 
grades fifth through eighth.

 There was one teacher for each room
 and there were three kids 
in my eighth grade graduating class,
 myself and two other boys.

It is used as something else now 
and a newer, larger Mountain School 
was built, down the road, 
to fill the needs of a larger community.

This was the hang-out spot
 for the community in which we lived,
from the kids who attended Mountain School
 to the hard working men, 
coming from work, 
and stopping for a cold beer
 on their way home.

 I walked past it every day 
to and from school 
and it was where I was introduced to
 Look candy bars
and tall, cold, glass bottles of 
Royal Crown Cola.

 It doesn't look quite the same now
 like it did back then...

... but fortunately, 
an artist has painted its likeness
 on a building in downtown Soquel
 that brought the memories back
 bright and clear...

...and this part of the painting 
brings back the most vivid
 of the memories.

 Frank Casalegno 
was the son of the owners.
  He was a boyhood friend of my dads
 and was wheelchair bound most of his life due to an accident, as a teenager,
 with a freight train. 
It was just a natural thing,
 when passing by the store, 
to stop and have
 a conversation with him.
 You could always find him,
 rain or shine,
 sitting out in front.

 To my recollection,
 I don't think I ever saw 
him pumping gas.
 It was always
 a self-service establishment 
and I think the only time 
Frank wheeled himself inside
 was to put your payments 
into a
 big brass cash register 
setting on the counter.

 That wheelchair 
looks a little more modern
 than I remember. 

 The original
 had a much higher back 
with cane backing 
but it did have 
the hand cranks and pulleys 
that Frank worked to get around.

 One thing 
that the artist got right, however,
 is the wide, rolled cuff 
that was always apparent 
on Frank's jeans.

 Frank was an icon 
in those parts 
and everyone from miles around, 
young and old, 
enjoyed spending time 
in his company.

This was 
the Captain's home base back then.

 He lived there with his parents, 
two sisters and two brothers.

  The house was within 
a row of charming Victorian houses 
and close to downtown Santa Cruz,
 the beach and the boardwalk.

This post has become
 much longer than I intended
 so will be continued next week
 when the remainder of past memories
 will be tied up in a tidy bow.

 You will also find out
 what we were up to
 on our vacation 
at the beach. 

 I hope you will return then.


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