31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 12

This weekend, we are traveling,
heading south to be with family,
in parts and pieces,
for just a day or so.
And as we leave,
the first storm of the season
is building in drama
and beauty.
As we round the curve on the 118,
heading into the hills and canyons
that separate the valleys
San Fernando and San Gabriel,
we can see what we’re heading into.
We have splashes and splitches
on the windshield as we drive
the two hours,
listening to a play-off game on the car radio.
But after we are safely ensconced in our
daughter’s small, cozy guesthouse,
the clouds burst their seams,
pouring water,
hail and something new to our ears,
all around us,
looking for all the world like
small pellets of styrofoam packing material.
Time with mom is good.
My brother has made the long trek
from northern CA
and she is delighted to
have her two remaining
children (and her daughter’s husband)
in the same space,
making her laugh til her sides hurt –
even when she can’t quite understand
everything that is being said.
I take a walk in the late afternoon,
around my daughter’s beautiful, old
filled with Victorian cottages,
bungalows from the turn of the
twentieth century,
and a bounteous buffet
of doors and porches.
This old codger was somehow

both delightfully out of place
and quite comfy
in this collection of 
oldies, but goodies.

The street just to the west of our children
is filled with magnificent
old jewels like this shingled glory,

mixed nicely with smaller, more modest

This lovely avenue positively defines
the term ‘tree-lined street,’
and is always deliciously inviting.

Turning the bend below the elementary school,
brings a bright row of small charmers,

and the delightful surprise of a healthy,
blooming plumeria plant,
six feet tall and thriving in this
decidedly non-tropical environment.

And this is a garage.
Oh, my.

This small gem, with its bright red door,
stands diagonally across the corner
on the street where we are staying.
When I see it,
it always seems to call out,

 One more small Victorian on the way up the hill,

and then I’m back where I began,
the charming Sears & Roebuck bungalow,
which our children have tastefully and carefully
enlarged and improved,
and where we are always received
by grace-filled, loving hearts.

 I think this front door is my very favorite of all.

The beauty found in
thunder storms,
city streets
and warm welcome
is saving me 
right here, right now.
And I am thankful.

Much longer than usual for the weekend quiet hosted by my friends Sandy and Deidra, but this is what I’ve got for now. I hope to do a simpler one for Sat/Sun, which means I will not quite make all 31 of the 31-day challenge. 

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  1. What a grand sweep of beauty you’ve captured here, Diana. Truly lovely. We are traveling this weekend, as well, but just for the day – a grandlittle’s baseball game and snuggling time with his two younger brothers. God is good. Love, Patricia

  2. I wonder how many architects recognize the high calling of their work in adding beauty to neighborhoods like these? Thanks for taking me on your walk.

  3. Glenda Childers says

    I love those small charmers … have always wanted to live in one. And the colored doors are so charming. Thanks for sharing your walk with us.

  4. Oh, my this was beautiful. What a privilege to take to be invited to walk alongside you to take in all this fun and whimsy and welcoming beauty. Thank you!

  5. I’ve loved taking this walk with you! I had to show Dennis the S&R house. How neat. And a red door is what sold us on our house in Georgia. That and the bay windows. I painted our front door here red originally–then green. But I think I want to go back to red. Hope lives here. 🙂

  6. We love this neighborhood so much – except that the school is directly across from our daughter’s house, a feature which sold them on the house initially, but which means finding parking during school hours is IMPOSSIBLE. Fortunately, their lot and a half is faced mostly toward the back of their property and after they added a family room and two bedrooms and a bath, their house faces to the backyard as well – so the noise is mostly good noise of kids playing. Two blocks up, Sandy, and you are in bear country – in fact one made its way to their backyard swimming pool last summer. Unlike you, they were not delighted. :>)

  7. Thanks so much, Jennifer. It was a fun one to put together.

  8. Yeah, I love these bungalows, too. We’ve lived in a 1940’s tract house, a cape cod 1930ish place, 1930’s mediterranean 2-story and now a 1960’s ranch house. Never managed to find that bungalow for us. Oh, well. We love where we are and each home was perfect for where we were in our life at the time we lived there.

  9. I agree, Nancy – architects who see their work as a high calling produce beauty by the bucketload. We were blessed to have such an architect in our congregation when we moved to Santa Barbara and he has twice helped us to improve our home in ways that just make our jaws drop. He sees things the rest of us don’t.

  10. I LOVE these old neighborhoods in the San Gabriel valley of southern CA. Easterners came out here in the early 20th century for their winter break and built houses of all different sizes and styles and we are the beneficiaries of their foresight. Glad you came along for the ride/walk today and hope you have a great time snuggling those boys. (We’re watching to basketball games this morning before returning home – such fun!)

  11. What a beautiful walk I just took with you. I cherish the same things, architecture, trees, doors, houses, community all nestled in. Thank you for the beauty on this day. Your joy is contagious.

  12. Thank you, Elizabeth. So glad you could join me!