Thursday, April 18, 2013

Visit from Pop

I am slowly going through two memory cards of pictures tonight, and at this point I am hardly half way through. My dad came to visit last week-- the third time in the nearly 13 years I've been in CA, only the second in my kids' memory-- and I snapped plenty of overexposed images in my hurry to capture rare moments. We enjoyed his company: I feel I know him better now than I did previously, noting certain character traits more clearly and recognizing his vast knowledge on all things historical, and the kids appreciated his company. He brought them all kinds of things, the favorite being 100 feet of soft, strong rope (which was divided into four lengths), and the chocolate.

We didn't have the most fabulous weather during his stay, but I knew he would enjoy a trip to our friends' citrus grove. It began to rain on our way out this Monday and we considered turning around, abandoning the idea entirely. It's a good thing we continued because it turned out to be a very memorable afternoon. My dad was impressed with the beauty, abundance, and variety of fruit, and it made me happy to show him some of our California delights. I'm not sure if the cumquats made it past airport security yesterday, but he did plan on trying!

My dad spent every opportunity sharing stories with my kids, many which I don't remember hearing before. He loves history, and since my kids are currently learning about the Great Depression, my dad had plenty of stories to share about how his father and grandfather survived that era. It was quite fascinating.

Since his whole career has been in the aviation industry, my boys in particular loved learning all the details about each of their toy airplanes. He also fixed the boys' wooden pirate ship, and now ships are Michael's new fascination.

During his stay, my dad helped us put together a little vegetable garden. He worked most of Saturday with the kids, weeding and turning the soil, carefully preparing the sunny side of our house/yard to yield produce this summer. He was patient and kind with the kids, allowing them to make messes and mistakes and to be involved in ways that were not always helpful. I went out this afternoon to see how the plants were doing, and I felt a lump in my throat at the thought of him not enjoying any of the rewards this summer. I am sure he would say, however, that the rewards were in spending time with the kids and in helping me put together the garden that I had wanted. Thanks, Pop!

I'm glad you came....

Below, a little grove for my kitchen window...


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