Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday Musings (on Family)

Today is my dad's 84 birthday. 

This is a passport photo of him with his mother.  Must have been about 12.  He was traveling between Venezuela and upstate New York, where he went to a Quaker boarding school.
photo by Steve Barbour

He has very fond memories of that school, and he is now on the Board of Directors.  He goes back several times a year for projects and meetings.

Tonight my younger sis and I are making his request: green chili chicken enchiladas with beans and chips and Mexican beer.

My husband took this color photo of my daughter and me yesterday.  We had all kinds of family for the weekend.  Steve's daughter and her family (whom I  had not yet met) from up north, his local daughter and her family, and my daughter and her family from Santa Cruz.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  All four of the grandchildren got along perfectly.  We figured out (because the older grands asked) that Eden is a cousin by marriage.

Steve and I really dig each others' kids.  What luck.  All of them are smart, sophisticated, liberal, funny and genuinely good people.  And the grandkids - whoa.  Obviously they reflect their parents' values and personalities.  My 'new' grand daughter I met just this weekend is particularly sharp: she was crackin' me up with her wit.  I think we have some future cooking projects planned.

I know that not all families get along.  I certainly don't with my mother's side of the family.  We've been estranged for many decades.  No loss there, I assure you.  This weekend was so satisfying in so many ways, and makes me incredibly grateful for the current state of family affairs.

My dad is working on his memoirs, and will be ready to go to print very soon.  He is a wonderful writer, witty and entertaining.  The book will be a treasure for the family, for generations to come.  Steve and I will be leaving our kids many books of our photography, and hopefully they will be cherished as well.  I love looking back at the generations.

Aunt Ama Lou in Balboa Park, 1940s.
Hopefully our kids and their kids will as well.


  1. Wonderful to hear about families that get along and value each other :)

  2. I love hearing about your blended family! I know that I've been reading your blog for many years, and I think I remember when you even got married, but I can't remember how you met your current husband and would love to know.

    1. Steve and I met taking photography classes at Sacramento State College. Friends for many months and I was dating women at the time! What a surprise for me!

  3. I grew up with frequent visits between my parents and their siblings. Very large and close families. Now my brother and I are not close (although I suspect he does not know that). He's a gun-totin' anti-Obama fanatic and we have little in common anymore. My husband does not communicate at all with his sister or brother. So sad.

  4. I love reading about your new big blended family, Tara. When family members are also friends of the heart it is such a wonderful thing. Sounds like a wonderful weekend and a grand birthday celebration for your dad!