Sunday, November 12, 2017

Laughter And Joy Were Living Here

This house... a regular, completely unspectacular Ranch style house, sitting in a neighborhood nestled among the slopes of hills. Work was in walking distance and so was the elementary school.

The California poppies loved it here, too.

There was a Liquidambar next to the house that exploded in the most fantastic colors in the fall.

And so did the Crepe Myrtles in front of the house.

The mailbox was guarded by a colorful coyote and the house was decorated for Halloween and Christmas.

The backyard had a colorful garden that became more beautiful each year.

It had a pear tree with a purple clematis growing into it.

At Easter there were egg hunts in the backyard with the help of whichever neighborhood cat was residing there at that moment.

We lived a lot in that backyard. Roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, drinking wine in the evening and chatting with each other, having breakfast on the beautiful redwood deck with pancakes and homemade plum jam made by my friend Jo who had picked the fruit from our plum tree.

The plum tree is not there anymore...

We celebrated many birthdays here...

baked cookies for Christmas...

and the girl learned how to inline skate, do hula hoops with the Geek and cheered for the German soccer team.

We took photos for Christmas cards - and not all of them made it in the final selection.

In 2012 we bought our own house and left the neighborhood, but we still stayed in touch with some of our neighbors here. These were 11 very happy years when we made a lot of memories.

We will need those memories.

Last weekend, we went up to our old neighborhood. There isn't much left.

When she was little, Kaefer loved to climb this gate in front of our house.

The gate survived the fire. As did the street sign - sort of.

And the school? It completely burned down. It hurts to see what is left of it. This was Kaefer's kindergarten class.

I prefer to remember her first school this way...


The Redwood Credit Union, our local paper The Press Democrat and our State Senator Mike McGuire have set up the North Bay Fire Relief Fund where every donated dollar goes directly to aid relief efforts and help the victims of the fires.


krishna said...

it really sad to see the present pictures.. hope you are slowly getting back to normal.. A big hug..

My name is Erika. said...

It must be hard to go back and see the devastation. It must be even harder to then have that flood of memories. The poor people who live there now can't make those new memories in that home. But to know it is all gone. Thanks for this post, I enjoyed your memories, but it did make me sad to see the devastation. (I can only image what it is for you.)

Elephant's Child said...

Heartfelt hugs and oceans of caring.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Oh! I am so sorry. Although it was no longer your home it is still such a loss for you. These fires where so awful. I am happy that you are all safe.

Barb said...

Such grief but also so many happy memories.

Jeanie said...

It's your home forever, even when you've long moved away. This breaks my heart -- I'm not sure how you were able to go back; I'm not sure I could. I'm so very grateful you have these remarkable photos that show the beautiful. It reminds me of the ending version of the song "Camelot" -- "Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot for one brief, shining moment that was known as Camelot."

Your Camelot.

Magic Love Crow said...

This is so terrible! I don't even know what to say! My heart goes out to you, your family and everyone else!! Big Healing Hugs!!

Red Rose Alley said...

It sounds like a wonderful house, Carola. It's so sad to see what the neighborhood looks like now because of the fires. Are you back to blogging now? I have missed your unique and charming pictures. I love the picture "baked cookies for Christmas." And my heart sings when I see the California Poppies. You will always have special memories to hold close to your heart.


Magdalena said...

Liebe Carola, das ist wirklich erschütternd. Nur gut, dass euch nichts passiert ist. Aber solche Dinge muss man erstmal verkraften. Ich wünsche Dir und Deiner Familie alles Gute.

Ginnie said...

While following this tragedy on FB, Carola, my heart was totally broken for you and all the others affected. I still can't believe it. Hopefully there will be a quick reformation, with many phoenixes rising from the ashes!

KB said...

Oh no... It was such a happy post until the end. I'm so glad that you have your memories and your photos. To be honest, I'm glad that you didn't live there when that destruction happened. Hang onto those memories.

Bethany Carson said...

Oh, that is so sad to see the damage!

Loved looking through your beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing.

Darla said...

Sometimes those memories are comforting, sometimes they bring things back like a fresh loss. We lost our home to fire 2 years ago. I have been back to the neighborhood just once. I simply can't go back again. At some point the family will take care of selling the two lots we still own there. It is harder than I ever imagined it to be. Fortunately though it was our summer home so we had a home to return to and live in. So much better than many people had.

Sue (this n that) said...

That must have been an incredibly hard visit.
Your post is a wonderful tribute to the happier times xx