Beauty in the Backyard

All my life, I’ve been a reader – – all kinds of books. And some of them have been formational for me, sometimes in ways I didn’t fully recognize at the time I initially read them. 

Today, I’m talking about one of those books – over at Sheila Seiler Lagrand’s place.

This one I read almost 50 years ago – can you imagine? 

And I just downloaded it to my Kindle and read it again. 

Come on over and find out why it was such a key piece of my own story. 

Sheila is a most gracious hostess and I’m sure you’ll find lots of other interesting stuff to read while you’re there. You can find her by clicking here.

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  1. I’m very late with my Saturday visit, and I’m going to have to put off my visit to Sheila’s place until sometime tomorrow… a quiet moment amidst Sunday and Mother’s Day activities. But I’ll get there. In the meantime, I’m refreshed by your beautiful photo.

    Mother’s Day blessings to you. I hope you enjoy a lovely, restful day, Diana.

  2. pastordt says

    Thanks for coming by, Carol – and take your time getting around. Hope your Mother’s Day is restful and fun.

  3. I wanted to say Happy Mom’s Day to you, Diana! But now, I simply must head over to Sheila’s. So curious.

  4. Is that really your back yard??

  5. pastordt says

    Yes, Ann. That is really my backyard. Can you see why I like to sit in it?? When we moved here 15 years ago, I looked and looked for a house that was smaller than the one we left in the Pasadena/Altadena area where we raised our family, but not so small that kids and grandkids (we had 2 back then) would be able to come and stay easily. I thought I wanted some sort of ocean view since we were moving to a beach community and we almost bought another house, further away from southern CA (where my husband was still working for the first 10 years we were here) and with nothing else as lovely as this place, except for a tiny kitchen window sized view of water. We found this one two days before we thought we would enter into escrow on the other – and it had a mountain view, not an ocean one. And we loved it. It has been one of God’s greatest gifts to us – a place of retreat from stressful jobs and a place of welcome for many. Sometime, I’d love it if any business or pleasure brought you west and you could spend a couple of days here. When I’m not too busy with the rest of life, I can unwind in this place pretty fast! You would, too. :>)

  6. That sounds…perfect.

    Thirteen years ago, we visited my husband’s sister in Altadena for Christmas–my only warm Christmas. I can still picture it. We took the girls to a park, shopped at Trader Joe’s, when on a hike in some nearby mountains with the grownups. In fact, I still have in a little antique soap dish a few seed pods of some kind, from a pine tree that I’d never seen before. They’re shaped so cool, I stuffed several in my purse and brought them home. So a little bit of Altadena is on display on my bureau. I see it every day.

    We returned once more a few years later, when the kids were a little older, and visited a zoo. Took the kids on a little train ride and they got to ride ponies.

  7. pastordt says

    That would have been the LA Zoo in Griffith Park and Travel Town, which is nearby. Old standbys for any southern CA family. Altadena was a great place to raise a family. I loved living there. And I am actually very glad we did not raise our family here. This is a very rarified neighborhood, pretty far removed from the life that most people lead. It’s been a great place for my pastoral life because it’s very near to our church and was well-suited for meetings/social gatherings. It’s also been GREAT for our growing family. We hosted the wedding rehearsal dinner for our daughter when she remarried last summer (after losing her first husband to the after effects of cancer treatment many years ago) and for a 90th birthday party for my mom. This place handles crowds well – and that’s a good thing for ministry and for family. We’ve owned 4 homes and for a few years a 2nd small apt. near the ocean in San Clemente. This is my very favorite house ever – it is us, reflecting our values, our tastes, our joys. And I am grateful for every piece of it each and every day. We are hopeful that we can live here for another 10 years, if our health holds out! It took us 32 years of married life to get here, we’ve been here 15 years now and, God willing, will be here a while longer.

    Your ‘pine’ pods were probably from deodars. There’s a bunch of those in Altadena, including those that line ‘Christmas Tree Lane,’ otherwise known as Santa Rosa Street. They have lights on them during the holidays – very cool.