One of my earliest memories is of my PaPa, mom's grandfather, who lived with us for awhile when we were young. We lived behind Mather Air Force Base, in the family housing section. I remember PaPa would take Sami and me on hot summer days to the 'rock quarry', past the houses, out into the fields, to a spot hidden in a deep ravine, sheltered from the world, that held secrets most precious. He showed us how to break old rocks in half to reveal the sparkling treasures within. He taught us how to select the finest, showed us how to choose the rocks that would hold the promised jewels. A full afternoon was illustrated in the strewn rock halves glittering in the sun; crystals of amber, rose and lavender, the finest of which we carried home. He also walked among the sheep grazing there, bringing spring babies to us to pet and cuddle. I was surprised at the softness and oiliness of their coats.
When I was five, I remember Sami, my little brother, getting down on his hands and knees so I could step up on his back to reach the cookie jar on the kitchen counter. Shared cookies are never so good as when hard won, forbidden before-dinner treats! His little brown and tan rag doll sat nearby and approved with a wink. Sami was always with me, my sweet little brother, eager to share in my adventures.
When I was about seven years old, a fun thing to do after Christmas was to make 'forts'. We would gather the neighbors' Christmas trees from the curbs to construct this magnificent structure, our mighty fortress, in our backyard! If we were lucky, glittering strands of silver icicles would remain among the branches. We covered the fort in white sheets, for warmth in the cool evenings and for privacy lest we were ambushed! Little beams of light escaped through the holes in the sheets where the trees poked through as we shone our flashlights on the comic books we so enjoyed reading! The kinship was warm and our giggles and laughter floated up through the night, kissing the stars.
Many memories, of family, of distant relatives, of special friends, and wondrous places. A memory can be triggered by a sound, a scent, an image -- and immediately, you are transported back to that place in time, to cherish, to remember, to enjoy the memory. Enjoy these pictures of our family. They are captured moments in time -- moments of love, of humor, pieces of family history carefully wrapped in love for a treasured tomorrow. Tiffs happen in all families, even really tragic happenings... but the love is always there and forgiveness flows, sooner or later.
One of eight children, I have enjoyed countless family get-together's; group baseball games at the corner park, picnics at McKinley Park, playing tennis under the stars with about ten of us on the courts at once! What fun those tennis games were! Very little rules, lots of laughter and we always slept on the return trip home to Rancho Cordova. Saturday mornings Glenn would fix the most incredible pancakes! Soft, fluffy, buttery -- good enough to eat plain, rolled up with butter! And Oh! his wonderful, home-made French fries! We ate those fast as he could fry them up! We all remember growing up differently, but we all remember the love we had for our siblings.
Create some memories with your family, moments to warm the heart and enrich the soul. Golden memories that will always keep your loved ones 'alive' in your heart forever.