I'm a little bit homesick today so I thought I'd share these photos of my Aunt's house. Over these six years of blogging her home has been a favorite subject of mine. If you're interested, see more shot of it here.
When I was a very little girl I played with my next door neighbor almost every day.
She was a bit older than me and a bit younger than my next older sister-so us three along with my little sister were always together. In the valley of Central California we were lucky enough to have pretty mild weather for most of the year and spent a lot of time out of doors.
In my own backyard my Dad had built us kids a great wooden fort complete with drawbridge, slide and even a bar to do tricks on. But truth be told, we spent most of the time in Emily's backyard. Emily had the most glorious, gigantic and beautiful Magnolia tree smack dab in the middle of her otherwise boring, yellowed lawn.
To this day I am convinced that tree was meant to be climbed. The tree still towers at least as high as a two or three story building and it's trunk is huge and sturdy. The branches start just a couple of feet from the ground and made for easy access. We spent hours up there. I couldn't even tell you what we played or what we were doing exactly-but climbing up and down and hanging from the branches was a pretty much daily occurrence.
I remember making concoctions from the giant petals, leaves and seeds. I remember the almost too pungent smell of them and the way it stung my hands when we ripped the petals into small pieces. I remember the leather texture of the petals when they started to change with the weather. I remember the tiny lakes and ponds that formed at the roots with the spring time rains.
It's funny to think of my own child being four, five and six years old. Would I let him climb the neighbor's tall tree? The thought of it gives me a minor heart attack...but I cannot imagine my own childhood without that feeling of freedom.
I took the photos above when I was back home a few weeks ago. Funnily enough the tree is just as big and inviting as it used to be.
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So...as most of you know, I'm expecting a baby soon. I'll be at "term" here in three weeks...but it could be seven weeks until he comes. You know, I think that one should be given a "due month" instead of "due date" because that's just way more accurate....
Anyway, both my etsy shop andbigcartel shops are open from now until August 15. I will then shut them down for maternity leave. There are still some clearance and sale prints in both of the shops-and type "baby20" at the checkout to save 20% off your order in with either of the shops. I'm just trying to do one last final "push" before he gets here. Once he's here I have no clue when I'll feel up and ready to do the whole shop thing again.
Thanks for the kind comments and emails. I must admit, I've been terrible lately-focusing almost all my energy on the baby's arrival-so if I owe you an email I apologize.
One of the more pleasant things I was able to experience on my recent trip home was the company of my many nieces and nephews. I became an aunt at age seven (that's what happens when you are number eight of nine children) and since then, eleven more nieces and nephews have been born.
I distinctly remember conversations with some of my sisters where we wondered what sort of adults our nieces and nephews would turn out to be. Now that almost half of them are teenagers or older, it's nice to see what sort of people they've become.
All of them are so talented in their own special ways. I see the cheesiness of this statement, but it really is true. One of them in particular is a very gifted visual artist. During my visit we spent time chatting about creative endeavors-and we actually hope to share some collaborative projects with you all in the near future.
We spent sometime shooting photos together and the above photos are some bits and pieces from that day. Chris (my nephew) built an amazing table top scene from my Mom's collections-perhaps I will share his photos here sometime?
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Anyway, happy Monday to you all-hope the week is good for you :)
I realize that when planning a trip back to my home town, I often try to plan a trip back to childhood. I guess I never learn that you can't really go back.
But there are those bits and pieces; those moments that remind you of a magical time or a happy memory. Those are the things I hold on to; the things that keep me coming back.
An old pair of binoculars, some rusted garden urns placed just so, a trip to a familiar junk store, the taste of my favorite treat. These things remind me of how I came to be what I am today. Isn't funny how all these little, seemingly insignificant things can shape who we are?