Do You Remember ?

Discussion in 'Home and Garden' started by Dusty, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Well, I don't even have to ask, really. My grandmother has told me so much and I have remembered it all. She takes me on drives to downtown L.A. and we revisit her old home(s), her old schools, etc.
    She even has papers from the 17 and 1800's. Cool, huh? When I was little, I used to go through them and look at all the photographs of people past. Very interesting.
     
  2. It's interesting to hear my father tell of the people who used to live in the area where I grew up. It was a whole different community, then. In the 30 short years between his childhood and mine, much of that community was gone. What was once the main county road had become a muddy trail through the woods and swamps. A slight depression in the ground marked where a schoolhouse had been. Rotting buildings with caved in roofs marked family homes, sheds, barns, and workshops long abandoned. Other trails marked where rail lines had been. A row of rotted pilings in a local lake, as well as the outline of a sunken rowboat and numerous sunken logs attested to a logging industry which had moved on to greener pastures. It's amazing how quickly some things change.
     
  3. You know you're old when you can't remember what it was you can't remember :confused:
     
  4. The same happened here. I will recount to you some of the little history notes I have learned from observation.

    My grandparents own around five houses in Orange County, and the two that we are currently living in and/or working on are located in the same area(s) were the Spanish first entered California and built cattle ranches all around. Brea, CA is a testament to this. In the hills, there are these little old skeleton of stables and cow barns that you can only see from time to time because the government owns the land and you need a permit to enter it. But everyday at three o'clock, the children of those same cattle that were brought here with the Spaniards still roam wild in the hills. Many of the heifers have just had calves, and you can see the bulls with their large, long horns, gazing out at you resolutely. In Diamond Bar, there's a little valley road that passes by this absolutely beautiful farm with a pond, a mill, and a stone house. There are Black Angus cattle that graze in a basin that fills up in the rainy season, and dries out with grasses in the summertime and if there is a drought. I've even seen a couple of ranch horses grazing out near that farm. I don't believe anyone resides in the stone farmhouse, but just to see a piece of history like that - amazing. But the sad part is, things like that are always in danger of being destroyed. Southern California is notorious for sucking up every piece of available land that can be tamed and trained into a plot of land that can sell on the market. If the government hadn't owned those 10,000+ acres, I bet all those old weeping willows and cottonwoods would have been mown down like crab grass and set up with a hundred more banal looking, brown tudor-style 'luxury' homes. Bleh. It's just amazing how people seem to have no care in the world about the beauty of the past or the beauty of open land. Why can't we enjoy just looking at those golden hills, covered with emerald trees, and when the wind blows, those long strands of wild hay glisten in the sun like the ocean waters? And hawks roam those hills, including foxes, deer, and many other exquisite creatures.

    My grandmother even once told me that when she first moved to the first house the bought in Brea, she saw a large buck with huge antlers grazing out near the parkview. She thought it was a statue, but when she approached him he raised his head and looked at her, then walked calmly away. She even saw a small burrowing owl out back. Amazing, huh? I miss those days. :(

    I even remember when I used to ride horses through those hills on a little flea-bitten Arabian gelding and a large bay Quarter horse. That was the best. There's a mountain-fed stream that runs through a forest of bamboo and sugarcane, and there are these deadly little thorned plants that grow in groves and you can't pass through them. I believe they are moonflower buds (extremely poisonous), but it's been so long I can't remember.
     
  5. Very evocative descriptions there, Nearer. It took me to many pleasant places in my mind - those hills as I imagine them to be, and times and places in my youth; old pictures from the album of my memories.
     
  6. Times were sooooooo much simpler then, than they are now..what would I give to go back and live those "happy" days again, anybody wanna go with me?? ok my MattyPoo come and go with me..okie dokie?? hehehee!!!
     


  7. Yes, it takes me back, too. :) Surprisingly, Orange County, especially the Northern part where we live, used to be a rather peaceful, 'country' kind of area that most people hadn't heard of. Sure, everybody knows where Laguna and Newport Beach are, but they, too, were different back in the day.

    I grew up looking at those rolling hills and dreaming about what secrets might lay up in those shadowed crevices. In the summer evenings, especially on a hot day, I remember they used to turn a deep, deep sapphire blue, a color I have rarely seen, and that they just stood out against the pale sky like a smooth stroke of a paintbrush. And one winter, I was standing out on the balcony at the old house, and a herd of deer turned and suddenly galloped off over the other side. Beautiful. If it rains a lot (like it did last week for two weeks), the wild sweet hay that grows on the hills turns a very bright lime-green, but then it eventually fades back to a dull gold come summer. Those hills always made me fall in love with the beauty of trees, their different shapes, textures, and how they carry the light. Weeping willows are a statement here, and out in the hills, you'll see cottonwoods and eucalyptus, the ocassional olive, and oaks. The hawks come out in the winter to mate and find food and materials for a nest, and sometimes on a clear night, coyotes yap and howl at the moon while out catching their dinner. However, the coyote problem got so bad, they eventually began shooting them with rifles (I heard them do it several mornings) and poisoning them.

    Oil pumps still swing lazily back-and-forth, and when you go through Carbon Canyon you can see them. They don't even seem to be in the same era as we. And if you're lucky, the wind might shift, and you'll get a very strong smell of sulfur and cow flesh. I prefer the cow flesh smell to the sulfur, 'cause I ride horses. :D
     
  8. Oh, and I forgot to mention. One of the best times for me is during the summer, or on the occasional 'warm' day, when the sky turns this magnificent rich blue, like cerulean, and the air is warm and crisp and scented with all the flowers and trees of the field. I have a sensitive nose, so I always remember the smell of the hot granite, the dry notes on the air from tree sap and moist earth, the scent of freshness and cleanness. Sometimes, those 'statement' days are freezing cold, but at night, the stars just glisten like a thousand diamonds. Sirius will blow your mind if you see him out here in the wintertime. My goodness, they are absolutely beautiful. Beautiful is not even a word to describe it. I went out at 1:46 to throw out some trash, and Orion and his 'dog' have shifted for the winter, and when I looked up, I nearly fell over in shock. They just filled up the sky like...like I don't know what. Stunningly powerful.

    The stars were actually an inspiration for a story I am writing, but have yet to completely get right. I always dreamed of, as a child, that the stars were more than just nebulae and solar systems, but that there were kingdoms in the stars, kingdoms we didn't know about. And for some reason, I always had this image in my mind of a beautiful prince, a prince from the stars, and that he wore a crown of them on his head, and that moonlight was woven in through his robes, that his hair was as black as the night, and his eyes the same blue as the evening sky near twilight - rich and bright, lingering on darkness but never quite reaching it. I even have a name for this prince, but I can only share it to you if you message me, tee hee. Oh yeah, no one steal that story! :mad: I'm still working on it. ;)
     
  9. I was out just a few nights ago and, glancing at the sky, noticed that Orion had migrated to more southern hunting grounds. Thinking about stargazing reminded me of Skylab. My father and I and a sibling or two were out shortly after sunset on a summer evening looking at skylab. It was low in the western sky and reflected the sunlight from below the horizon.

    I was fortunate to grow up out in the country in northern Minnesota. You could stand outside and see the milky way stretching across the sky. That is, if you could stand the mosquitoes that came out in droves at night. At that latitude, the Aurora Borealis was quite active as well. Out there, there was no light pollution so everything was clear and bright.
     
  10. Lucky! Back in the day before they built up Brea/Placentia, you could see so much outside on a good, clear day, especially if the Santa Anas came up and blew out all the smog and lingering clouds. I learned how to time the stars by season from looking out the big window in the master bedroom. In the winter, every night at 12 - 1, Mars would rise in the sky and sit right over my head for an hour or two. It looked like a spot of blood on a smooth swath of black velvet. And in the front doorway, around December, Venus would rise in the East and I thought it reminded me of the Star of Bethlehem, she was so beautiful and majestic. In the winters, Venus's glow turns crystal white, but in the spring and summer she eventually grows dusty gold. Jupiter is usually always in tow somewhere, and Orion is without a doubt the King of the Night. But, the most beautiful of all is the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. They are just clustered together in a tiny group, so delicate. I remember once, I took a pair of very strong binoculars we have and was flabbergasted by their beauty. I actually saw the blue 'aura' surrounding those stars. And it was colder than a wet dog in the snow out there - around 37 with wind gusts bringing down the temperature to 32, almost 29. Can y'all believe I was out there in shorts and a tee shirt? Yeah, I was nuts, but not nutty enough to be rooted to the spot, transfixed to the beauty of the night. That was an unforgettable evening...
     
  11. Orion and me is buds. But, like typical guys, we just kind of nod at each other and say, "Hey, 'sup?" Then I scratch Sirius behind the ears. He likes that.
     

Share This Page