31 Days in which I Am Saved by Beauty – Day 13

When I spend time in my daughters’ homes,
I am reminded of many things.
First and foremost,
of how very well they mother their sons.
And secondly,
how they have taken some of my
patterns and traditions and
greatly improved upon them.

I was – once upon a time – a great
seasonal decorator.
I saved art work for years and put
up my children’s creations
for every holiday.
I shopped the sales at Michael’s
and gathered a lot of 
decorative detritus
that we used for a long time.
Joy is doing the same thing.
And she is doing it so much better.
Her sons love this tradition
and beg her to pull out the bins
and put up the cute stuff.
Take a little look.
The manzanita branch
is used with a different set
of hanging ornaments for Halloween,
Thanksgiving, Christmas,
Valentine’s Day,
St. Patrick’s Day,
And every one of her Mission style door frames
has a decorative object or arrangement
that fits the season.
These photos only capture a little of the fun,
and in about 3 weeks,
they’ll be switched out for 
Thanksgiving decor.
This is the beautiful family room they added
about 10 years ago.
A lot of good memories have been made here.
Their home is always open for 
church youth groups,
They are superb hosts,
unfazed by groups sized anywhere
from 3 to 50.
I stand in awe.
And pictured below is our home-away-from-home
whenever we come down to see my mom,
who lives about 30 minutes from them.
This is where Dick stayed from Tuesday through Thursday
every week for ten years while he worked
in southern California before he retired in 2010.
Here is one of the really great things about retirement:
our schedule is flexible.
Packed and ready to return home last night,
we discovered that two of our grandsons
would be playing basketball games
as part of the YMCA fall season
this morning.
So, we unpacked,
enjoyed dinner & some good conversation,
and woke up just in time
to go to Griffin’s game at 9:00 a.m.

Griff plays with the 5-6 year old team –
half court, no score,
frequent substitutes.
He is one of the older members
of his 4-person team
and for the first time in his life,
one of the tallest.
He is a dedicated b-ball player and
it shows.
Good game, Griffin!

 This is his team.

 Holding his team treats after the game.

Colby is 11 and one of the younger and 
smaller members of his 11-12-year-old team, 
but he is scrappy and quick
and played well today.

Big brother Wesley and little brother Griff on the sidelines,
otherwise occupied.

Colby had a bigger team, they played the full court,
they kept score.
And they trounced the opposition.

 Colby played most of three quarters,
and in between
sat on the sidelines
sucking down water.

 And a picture of Colby with his after-game snacks,
but apparently,
an 11-year-old is a little too sophisticated to smile.

The trip home was spectacularly clear after that volatile
thunderstorm blew threw the area on Thursday.
These are the foothills in Ventura,

and a quick shot of a small slice of Halloween on the highway,

This is our favorite 20 acres on the side of the road north,
where we’ve watched strawberries,
and now berries-under-plastic
thrive for sixteen years now.

 And then, around the next bend, we begin to see the coast,
and we know we’re almost home.

Every single time I make this trip,
I am grateful 
to live where I do.
Close proximity to the ocean
is nourishing to me in ways
I cannot put into words
and I am still amazed
that God brought us to this place.

I have loved every place we have lived – 
six months in a 1-bedroom apartment 
in Santa Monica as a newly-wed college student;
six weeks in a single room at a
Christian camping center
right after graduation;
a concrete block 3-bedroom house
on the savannah of central Africa
for two years;
an apartment in West Los Angeles
and a rented house in Eagle Rock
when we returned to California;
three homes in Altadena,
each with memories and beauties
all their own.
But this one?
This ranch house we’ve pushed and pulled
and added onto and made to fit us,
this space that God led us to
just as we were ready to
purchase another,
far less desirable place –
this place is a gift of grace
and beauty
that God has used
to save me day, by day, by day.

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  1. It sounds like your weekend has spilled an abundance of love and beauty all around you. May the joy of the Lord and the beauty of Christ fill your sabbath. Love, Patricia

  2. Thank you, Patricia. And today our small group comes for our monthly gathering here. . . and it looks like it may be warm enough to met outside. The joys of living on the coast, right??

  3. Lindalouise says

    It is a joy to see life through your eyes – all the beauty Diana! Your daughter’s home is lovely and welcoming. I think she had a good teacher 🙂
    It is such a blessing when our homes are places of peace and beauty. It doesn’t take a lot of material wealth – it is those personal touches, those little bits of love scattered through the rooms that make the difference.
    Have a blessed weekend dear Diana.

  4. Glenda Childers says

    What a treat it must be to watch your daughter create memories for her own kids.

    And coming around the corner to … home … is one of my favorite feelings, as well. Now I am thinking of all the places we have lived.

    Happy Sabbath.

  5. Thank you, Linda. Yes, I think I did teach/model certain things for my kids. My delight, however is in watching how each one of the exceeds not only any expectations I might have for them (and I’ve tried, not always successfully!, to keep those in check) but just how wildly and wonderfully they have FLOWN all on their own. One of God’s greatest gifts, in my book. Hope you’re having a lovely Sabbath today.

  6. Yes, it is a treat. And I’m glad that my reflections made you think about your own home(s) – I think that’s a good exercise every once in a while.

  7. Love, love, love this. The making of a home, the welcome of home, the wonder of home. And to be there to see your boys play ball! I can’t wait to sit on the bleachers again.

  8. Amen to ALL of that, Sandy. I hope you’ll be on those bleachers soon – cuz that will mean that Gracee is all better.

  9. This is something I look forward to, being a part of my children’s lives when they’re adults. And having grandbabies 🙂 Which is possible a little too much forward thinking, given that my youngest is 2.5yrs old! But we think a lot about family and extended family, and the way we don’t really have it in our lives, and the ways that we want to be there for our kids when they’re grown with kids of their own.
    I love this glimpse into your family and how connected you are. You are blessed.

  10. Nothing wrong with looking forward, Donna. :>) And we have been SO blessed in our extended family connections – it’s a huge gift and we don’t take it lightly. As I wrote in a comment earlier this month – all 3 of our kids had all 4 of their grandparents until they were married and our daughters had them through the births of their children, too. (Our son started later as he and his wife went through med school and residency first). So we have long ties through the generations which are wonderful and rich. You can start those ties anywhere – so plan on doing it for your own kids and their kids. That’s a wonderful way to heal some of the pain of your own family tree.