Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Great Aunt Fay's 90th Birthday Party

Some of my first childhood memories were shaped by the adults that modeled excellent behavior. I have been very fortunate and blessed to have come from such a great family with great mannerisms and such longevity. I am very fortunate to still have my Great Aunt Fay living today. When I was a child growing up in San Diego, I was much closer to her. With distance and years gone by, we see her less and less. It has been over 10 years since I last got a chance to see her and talk to her. I felt very strongly that this may have been the last time I will ever see her. It was very hard day for me because in my mind, I knew that "hello" really meant "good-bye."

Great Aunt Fay and I

After this picture, Aunt Fay wouldn't do any more pictures. I think she had enough because she ran out to her car, didn't say "good-bye" to anyone, and drove away. I did not personally see her, but family members told me that she was crying pretty hard.

The theme of the birthday party was a peacock theme. This might sound a little odd, but to my family the peacock theme made perfect sense. Up a tall cement stairway on the hill in downtown San Diego, that's where Uncle Pat and Aunt Fay lived together. When you opened the door, there was Uncle Pat's chair that he sat in and greeted people, and to the left side there was a long couch for visitors to sit. Above the couch was a great big colorful peacock wall sculpture. Everyone used to stand back and admire their peacock wall hanging. A few years back, there was a partial house fire that burned various items, the colorful peacock wall hanging was one of the items ruined. It was a reminder of their life and marriage.

Pat and Fay Lowry had 59 years of marriage.

The Birthday Planner, Aunt Kathy Martinez

The gold necklace that Great Aunt Fay wears has a picture of the late Mr. Lowry. My Great Uncle Pat, who passed years ago, was married to Great Aunt Fay for 59 years. They were only a few months shy of celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary when he passed. To some people 60 years of marriage is little unheard of, but back in the day it was more common. Uncle Pat and Aunt Fay had no children. It was not physically possible for them, but they had wonderful family with children all around them. They were very much loved.

When I saw Aunt Fay again, I couldn't help getting a little teary eyed. At 90 years old, she braved San Diego traffic and drove herself to Alpine. She brought her best friend with her. She wanted no gifts. She said that she was not going to say "good-bye" that she intended to just leave.

Here was the best part of the party. It still brings a little tear to my eyes.

I think this is most likely the birthday party of the year. I hope to be there to celebrate Great Aunt Fay's 100th birthday if she makes it that far. I really think she could because she drove to the party in San Diego traffic. Aunt Fay is very alert. Her sense of humor and love for life makes me believe that she could go another 10 years or more. It's been awhile since I posted, but that's because I have been on vacation to San Diego. Thanks for reading, and thank you for being so patient with me. I'm home now, and it's back to the grind. We will post more again soon.


Monday, July 6, 2015

American Flag on the 4th of July 2015

Many of my family members served in the U.S. military or are veterans of the service. For us, the 4th of July isn't just a regular day. It has a powerful meaning. As a military family, we put our lives on hold to put service before self. We said "good-bye" to our loved ones to go on long and dangerous deployments. The red, white, and blue has a whole higher level of meaning to those that have put their lives on the line to ensure that we, as Americans, continue to be one of the most prosperous nations in the history of all time. When a person sees the flag waving in the wind, and hears "The Star Spangled Banner," they put their hand over their heart. Members of the military salute the flag and others sing along.

Unfortunately, certain family members do not want ANY pictures of them on my blog so I'm doing the best I can to show our 4th of July without people pictures. I had plenty of great family pictures, but I can't share any of them. I'm not sure of all the laws. I will have to read more up on the rules before I post. Maybe at a later date I will be able to share more. These are my pictures of an undisclosed mountain location in Southern Utah where my family celebrated 4th of July.

American Flag on the 4th of July

Western Terrestrial Garter Snake

I'm not sure what kind of snake this is. I think it's a water snake, possibly a Western Terrestrial Garter Snake. Most likely the snake came up from the creek.  We first saw the snake 4th of July and gave the ladies a good scare. These snakes are non-venomous. The snake was removed to a different area.

Australian Cattle Dog or Blue Heeler

I have heard that some dogs have the potential to be very emotionally intelligent. I'm not a trained psychologist, but this Australian Cattle Dog appears to be depressed. The emotions of this breed of dog would be an interesting study. I've always wondered if they have a higher capacity level of thinking compared to other domesticated dogs. Australian Cattle Dogs were first brought about in the late 1800's by crossing domesticated Australian Dingoes with cattle dogs. Australian Cattle Dogs were known to be highly intelligent, obedient, high energy and were bred to nip or bite at the heel of cattle. Even when this pup is tired, he's still very alert. He's definitely thinking about something. I wonder what's got him down?

Fire Pit and Dutch Oven Cast Iron Pot

Stairway to the Creek

Marigolds and a Flag

We had a great 4th of July. It was so peaceful listening to the sounds of the creek. Every now and then fish would jump in the water or there would be a family of ducks swimming along. Sometimes along the rocky walls, there were hoards of colorful chipmunks and squirrels with fully stuffed cheeks. Various kinds of birds would land at the feeding areas. Everything was so alive. Come to think of it, I should have taken more wildlife pictures. I guess the picture of the snake will have to do.

I would go back to the mountains again anytime. It was a great visit. There was so much to see and do there. Thank you for reading. We are going to San Diego, California in a few days so watch for new posts.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Wildflowers on the 4th of July

The wildflowers were in full bloom across the rocky hillsides. My mom wanted to use the flowers for a bouquet center piece for the tables. She had worked all day tying red, white and blue bows to the deck, and setting out the table cloths and runners so that everything would be perfect for a backyard barbecue. Everything was fancy, but it needed that extra touch, a display of American patriotism

Utah Wild Mountain Daisies and American Flags on the 4th of July

I'm not sure what all of the different wildflowers are named so I won't try to go there.  I will just say that every flower that I thought was beautiful, I took pictures.

Grandma Patty (mom) and Nicole out cutting wildflowers.

Ellie is so patient and loyal. She sits on the rhino and waits for everyone to get back.

Utah State Flower The Sego Lily

Our final mountain wildflower bouquet was a burst of colors.  Nicole and Aunt Anne put small river rocks into the bottom of the vase to help position the flowers. We poured cool water over the rocks, and then we placed the wildflowers into the refrigerator. When we first got these wildflowers back to the cabin, they were badly slumped over. It was a real depressing sight, but when we placed the flowers into the refrigerator, they all perked up and lifted. The cooler air helped to preserve the flowers. They looked very nice on our table.

I am thankful for all the beautiful colors and all of the great adventures that we had collecting and assorting flowers. It was a real pleasure to be a part of this. Keep reading. I haven't even gotten to our big 4th of July party. Thank you for following along.