Saturday, October 13, 2012

31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty - Day 13

When I spend time in my daughters' homes,
I am reminded of many things.
First and foremost,
of how very well they mother their sons.
And secondly,
how they have taken some of my
patterns and traditions and
greatly improved upon them.

I was - once upon a time - a great
seasonal decorator.
I saved art work for years and put
up my children's creations
for every holiday.
I shopped the sales at Michael's
and gathered a lot of 
decorative detritus
that we used for a long time.
Joy is doing the same thing.
And she is doing it so much better.
Her sons love this tradition
and beg her to pull out the bins
and put up the cute stuff.
Take a little look.
The manzanita branch
is used with a different set
of hanging ornaments for Halloween,
Thanksgiving, Christmas,
Valentine's Day,
St. Patrick's Day,
And every one of her Mission style door frames
has a decorative object or arrangement
that fits the season.
These photos only capture a little of the fun,
and in about 3 weeks,
they'll be switched out for 
Thanksgiving decor.
This is the beautiful family room they added
about 10 years ago.
A lot of good memories have been made here.
Their home is always open for 
church youth groups,
They are superb hosts,
unfazed by groups sized anywhere
from 3 to 50.
I stand in awe.
And pictured below is our home-away-from-home
whenever we come down to see my mom,
who lives about 30 minutes from them.
This is where Dick stayed from Tuesday through Thursday
every week for ten years while he worked
in southern California before he retired in 2010.
Here is one of the really great things about retirement:
our schedule is flexible.
Packed and ready to return home last night,
we discovered that two of our grandsons
would be playing basketball games
as part of the YMCA fall season
this morning.
So, we unpacked,
enjoyed dinner & some good conversation,
and woke up just in time
to go to Griffin's game at 9:00 a.m.

Griff plays with the 5-6 year old team -
half court, no score,
frequent substitutes.
He is one of the older members
of his 4-person team
and for the first time in his life,
one of the tallest.
He is a dedicated b-ball player and
it shows.
Good game, Griffin!

 This is his team.
 Holding his team treats after the game.
Colby is 11 and one of the younger and 
smaller members of his 11-12-year-old team, 
but he is scrappy and quick
and played well today.
Big brother Wesley and little brother Griff on the sidelines,
otherwise occupied.
Colby had a bigger team, they played the full court,
they kept score.
And they trounced the opposition.
 Colby played most of three quarters,
and in between
sat on the sidelines
sucking down water.
 And a picture of Colby with his after-game snacks,
but apparently,
an 11-year-old is a little too sophisticated to smile.
The trip home was spectacularly clear after that volatile
thunderstorm blew threw the area on Thursday.
These are the foothills in Ventura,
and a quick shot of a small slice of Halloween on the highway,
This is our favorite 20 acres on the side of the road north,
where we've watched strawberries,
and now berries-under-plastic
thrive for sixteen years now.
 And then, around the next bend, we begin to see the coast,
and we know we're almost home.
Every single time I make this trip,
I am grateful 
to live where I do.
Close proximity to the ocean
is nourishing to me in ways
I cannot put into words
and I am still amazed
that God brought us to this place.
I have loved every place we have lived - 
six months in a 1-bedroom apartment 
in Santa Monica as a newly-wed college student;
six weeks in a single room at a
Christian camping center
right after graduation;
a concrete block 3-bedroom house
on the savannah of central Africa
for two years;
an apartment in West Los Angeles
and a rented house in Eagle Rock
when we returned to California;
three homes in Altadena,
each with memories and beauties
all their own.
But this one?
This ranch house we've pushed and pulled
and added onto and made to fit us,
this space that God led us to
just as we were ready to
purchase another,
far less desirable place -
this place is a gift of grace
and beauty
that God has used
to save me day, by day, by day.