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

Friday, July 1, 2011

One Home with Many Hearts.

I have been at my son's house. He took his little family to Disneyland. I offered to house sit and take care of Lizzy, their dog.
Last Thursday I arrived at the house and it was the Bean and little Bean's last day of swimming lessons. Their mommy and I drove them down to the old swimming pool at the park. I remember this pool so well. I use to come here on hot summer days to swim and hang with my friends.
That was a long time ago. Now it is my grandchildren who are building memories.
THE BEAN IS SWIMMING!! He is six years old.
FLOATING... doing the BACKSTROKE. He is even coordinating his breathing with his strokes. This is something that his NONI never learned how to do. He was AWESOME in the water. 
He was so pleased with himself.
Can you see the smile? Can you see the new confidence?

LITTLE BEAN IS FOUR YEARS OLD. He is fearless and wants to do as well as his brother. He is learning to be the Creature from the Black Lagoon.... only cuter.
I want you to know that this is one brave little boy.... after his lessons he jumped off of the diving board for the first time. They had to walk out there by themselves and just off into the deep water. 
This little girl, above, walked halfway out, stopped, turned around and got off. 
I REMEMBER THAT FEELING. I had pigtails too. 
Wait! I remember this like it was yesterday. I could have been that little girl. 
Maybe it was my imagination. I had a de ja vu moment. I understood her completely. I heard her inner voice say, "No way. I'm not jumping into all that water.".... and she didn't. It was a defining moment in her life. Maybe someday but NOT TODAY. ... no way.

I finally jumped off of a diving board when I was 14 years old. I still wasn't ready, but there was this really cute boy watching me. I wanted to make a great impression so I jumped. I almost drowned. I think it was worth all that water up my nose. I really don't remember.  It was not one of my finer moments.
My grandson was next. He walk right out there and stood on the end of the board. I was fairly close to him so I said. "OK ! You can do it." (even though I was thinking "Maybe you shouldn't do this. You're so little.... wait... what are you doing....) and before I could say "Bonsai Bean", he jumped. 
MY HEART WAS IN MY THROAT! He went under the water, came back up and into the arms of his waiting instructor. We all shouted "That a boy!!", "All right!".... and I took a deep breath.
Little Bean got to play in the water fountain area for a few minutes....
Then he started to look cold....

Then he was shaking.....
Time to take the wet shirts off and wrap them in warm dry towels.
 Time to go home... with their special awards. 
Now they were full fledged, official water beans. They were tired and cold .... but proud.
When my son came home from work they packed up and got into the car. They would drive about three hours south and stop somewhere overnight. Tomorrow....
DISNEYLAND, Lego Land and the beaches of Southern California.

I waved goodbye and walked back into the empty house.

This is the house that I was raised in. My parents bought this house in 1950. After Mom died, my son and his family moved here. They have been living here for about two years.
Even a year ago I would not have been able to stay here. Too many memories, too much sadness about my parents. It was very difficult to be here, in the house, without memories flooding into my heart and mind. 
Now, it's different. 
Grief is a odd thing, isn't it? Life goes on. The sadness lessens and now the old house has the laughter of my grandchildren in it. This laughter becomes the magic that brings change and chases away the scary remains of a house filled with 50 years of memories.
It's OK now. It's the way that it should be.
Now, my son's family will write their own story, here, and I will be a part of it again.

Lizzy and I would wait for them to return.

 Lizzy and I would "hold down the fort". It's only one week.
What could possibly go wrong?..... 


  1. Ah, your little beans are growing up! And it sounds like the instructor runs a FUN swim lesson, so they can become more confident with their capabilities. (So when that little girl is ready to jump in, she won't even hesitate!)

    It's great that you were able to be there. It's so much fun to see our grandchildren's progress :)

  2. Whoa. Sounds like a Part II is looming... can't wait to read of your "adventures."

    Replacing old memories with new can be very healing. It sounds like the activity in the house is perfect for that.

  3. I am so glad to hear that your grandchildren are taking swimming lessons. As you know I have a pool and i have taught almost all of my grandchildren to swim. I myself took swimming lessons from beginners to life saving. I love the water. In my hometown we had a public pool and it was free. I spent my summer days there. I was even on some synchronized swimming teams. I am glad you were able to house sit in the house you grow up in. As you said it will now have more good memories with your son and his family living there. Have a blessed day and a safe fouth of July. Madeline

  4. ah the 50's
    what great times
    I miss my dad so much
    my mom live in a condo now
    cute grandkids.....and brave ones

  5. How wonderful that you've come to terms with the old house. I'm sure that there will be many, many wonderful times spent there. The walls will be echoing laughter and good times. Reminds me of something...Our local Native American tribe made a totem pole for our school. At the dedication, they explained that the totem pole represented the story up until now; but it is up to us to finish the story; and then the totem pole will embrace it in it's wings. May your childhood home embrace the new stories of your family in it's wings.

  6. I was born in 1950 so I know that era well. Some things change and some things stay the same, don't they? And family! What we won't do for family! I love that you think like I do in regards to family. They are "it" in my book!

  7. As always Farmlady, I love your posts...what possibly could go wr...


  8. What a plethora of emotions in your post...I too remember trying to be brave and trying to impress boys in the same manner at the Crystal Pool when I was about 14. Those Beans are the sweetest gifts! Your house memories brought tears to my eyes, especially as you come to terms with the new life inside and the dreams to come...
    I've been trying to catch up with blogs...and glad I started here...it made my day. Cheers Connie.


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