You never know when you're making a memory.
~Rickie Lee Jones
My grandparents moved up to Mariposa, California from Anaheim in the 1970s. My dad told me my grandfather had worked up there in the 1930s during the depression, building roads through a government work program. He said my grandfather had been nostalgic for the place and had decided to retire up there.
As a kid, the drive took forever and my dad would have to pull our '66 GTO over to the side of the road because I would always get carsick. It seems like it would always hit at about the half way point of the trip. It took around six hours to get there from Ventura, after stopping for pancakes and egg McMuffins at the crack of dawn.
It was blazing hot up there in the summer but we'd walk to little man-made lake, go fishing, play pinball with our cousins at the arcade and walk to little market to buy bubblegum and sodas. On occasion we'd ride in my grandpa's old jeep and sometimes make the drive to Yosemite which was only about 40 minutes away.
I hadn't been back to Mariposa since my grandmother passed in the fall of 2001 shortly after 9/11. My Aunt and Uncle moved up there about 15 years ago, sometime after my grandfather passed away. After my grandmother passed, they moved into the house my grandfather built.
My aunt hasn't been feeling well so my parents and I finally made the trip up last weekend. (We do see my aunt. She drives through Ojai pretty often on her way South to visit her grandkids in Orange County and San Diego.)
Oh, and on this trip I took a half a Dramamine. I was drugged out and drowsy but I didn't throw up!
The road to Aunt Darlene's ...
The edge of town ... not sure what those buildings are, but I love the red.
Mariposa means Butterfly and it just happened to be Mariposa's annual Butterfly Festival, with chalk paintings along the creek and booths with homemade jam, crafts and various crocheted items. There was also entertainment and even a hometown parade!
They release hundreds of butterflies after letting each of the kids hold one. Who knew butterflies like oranges so much!?
This is where my grandma Mabel had her huge garden. I remember helping pick berries for her delicious jam (half would end up in the basket and the other half in my mouth) ... I also remember my grandmother running outside in her slippers to yell at the deer and chase them out of her garden.
This is Scooter, my aunts Jack Russell/Poodle who barks like crazy at humans
but not at the deer that now have their babies under the deck of the house.
The deer love my aunt. They think she's Snow White.
They come when she calls them
and some even let her pet them!
I got another picture with about six deer but after taking the photo my dad laughed and told me I'd caught a couple of the deer ... well let's just say they were being "romantic." So, in the interest of protecting their modesty, I posted these two girls.
Being up there brought back so many memories and made me so nostalgic!
Life is all memory except for the one present moment
that goes by so quick you can hardly catch it going.