I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Thursday, March 27, 2008

You CAN return to Paradise

Recently, I had a comment on my 'This is all I have to say" post. I mentioned where I grew up and Jan, of Little Pink Houses (see My Favorite Sites) wrote that she had also been raised in the Pleasant Hill area of California and we went a little crazy reminiscing about places we remembered. She is a lot younger than I am, but we recalled so many common places, in what was then, a very small town.

Back then, there were lots of farms and country roads. We all walked to school and never worried about strangers. Life was innocent and and, for me, a very safe place. I walked 5 miles , in the snow, to get to school every day..... Ok, I threw that in for my grandkids. It was more like 2 miles and, to my unending regret, it rarely snowed in Pleasant Hill. Once, in the late 50's, we did have snow. It was a BIG DEAL. Dad came home in the middle of the morning and took Mom, my sister and I for a ride up near Mt. Diablo just to play in it. I can still remember the excitement. It was gone by late afternoon. What we did have in winter were heavy frosts. All the way to school we would make fun crunchy noises walking across everyones lawns. We didn't have sidewalks so it was the street or the lawns,; and crunchy lawns were much more fun.

The 2 mile walk to school ended when they built Strandwood School in a field at the end of my street. I was going into the 6th grade that Fall and we were the first graduating class in this brand new school. I had one year of getting up late, eating a leisurely breakfast and worming my way to school and then, bam! JUNIOR HIGH(2 miles away, again)....... My sister, on the other hand , started kindergarden the following year and had 7 delightful seasons of walking to " the school at the end of the street". I know you're reading this, Sis. Just had to get that off my chest.

These photos are a big part of my memories of that time. When I visited my Mom last month( in the same house you see below) I took pictures of some old snapshots in an album of her's. They turned out well and then I touched them up a bit on Picasa, my free photo storage program that makes any photos better. If that sounds like an advertisement, it is. Picasa downloads from your camera , organizes photos, lets you change them and manipulate them as you wish. You can blog, email, print, export and delete ( I love the "click and it's gone" option ). You can crop, straighten , add text , etc. and the photos make your blog look really good. Picasa is a FREE software application owned by Google. Check it out at : picasa.google.com.
Until I can afford one of the photo programs I hear about, I'm just fine with Picasa. Maybe I don't need more. Some of the programs you buy are, from what I here, very complicated. This computer is enough stress for me.

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