Friday, May 26, 2017

Celebrating 100 Years - My Grandma Jody

May 24 was the 100th birthday of my precious grandma Jody! After a week of celebrating with family and friends, she's about over it, but I am still thrilled that she made it to this milestone. Everyone always asks about her, so I thought I'd share some pictures here and also a little bit about her long life.

It still amazes me that she was born when most people still used horse and buggy. She has seen so much- the beginning all modern innovations happened during her lifetime- the car, the phone, television, radio, refrigeration, the computer and much more. She remembers them all. She even has recollections of sitting on her front porch when they heard Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic from New York to Paris in 1927!

Josephine Mary Eaton Fleming was born in Walla Walla, Washington in 1917. Her childhood was spent in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, where her father was a cement contractor and built the town pool, where she learned her love of swimming. Sadly, the depression hit and the cement jobs went away. To make ends meet, her father Cody and mother Edith joined other family members as migrant fruit packers all up and down the West Coast. They would travel from Washington where they'd pack apples and pears, to the Bay Area with it's abundant apricots, down to the Inland Empire, where they'd pack iceberg lettuce. Grandmother went to high schools in Oregon, San Jose and El Centro, California. It was a hard life, though quite lucrative for the depression. They only owned what could fit in a car and rented the same homes each year as they traveled the fruit circuit. 

 Grandma's yearbook. She's the middle left and in the group photo, third row down, second from right.

One stabilizing factor and bright light in her life was her own grandmother, Mary Eaton, her father's mother. She lived on Lake Chelan, Washington and doted on Josie, as she like to call her. She attended some high school in Lake Chelan and spent many hours swimming on the lake, sneaking into boat houses, and learning to sew from her grandmother. 

She also learned a lifetime of good eating habits from her grandmother as her grandfather was a diabetic who was diagnosed before insulin was invented. Healthy foods and grains were something she used even back then to keep her husband healthy. They grew their own vegetables, canned and ate from the giant sauerkraut barrel that was in the yard.  Her grandma would put a hot water bottle in her bed on nights when it was cold, and she treated her to little things like her favorite jars of Pimento Cheese spread, when no money was to be had for extras like that.

Grandma right with her mother Edith and my dad, Ray. Isn't this coat chic?

One of my favorite photos of my grandparents on a swing in the 1940s.

Grandma married my grandfather Ray in 1937, when she was 20, the same year the Golden Gate Bridge opened. He like so many in this area, was in the fruit business, having his own market stand and was later in sales in the orange juice industry which brought them to Fullerton in Southern California. They lived for a time in a cute Spanish Mediterranean home where my dad, Ray Jr, remembers going to school barefoot on warm days (no one made sandals for children in the early 1940s), and watching Disneyland get built in nearby Anaheim. They moved back to San Jose just before it opened and he never got to go.

I love my Grandma and Aunt Wendy's Easter bonnets here around 1950.

A family road trip to Yellowstone around 1955-56. Grandmother always wore dresses and never wore pants until the mid 1970s. I remember the exact day she came over in a pantsuit. It was a big deal!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Spring Break in Scottsdale!

After a cold and wet winter, we planned this year's family spring break to somewhere warm and sunny- Arizona! Scottsdale has been our choice for a few breaks as it's just under two hours by plane from San Jose Airport. This year the boy's school breaks coincided with Max's 50th birthday, so it worked out perfectly as a little treat for him too.

The highlight of our Scottsdale trips have always been the hikes as we love the beauty of blooming cactus and desert flowers. This time we chose to stay at The Four Seasons at Troon North as it's right at the base of the mountains and close to one of our favorite hikes, McDowell Preserve.  Nestled between beautiful hills with the the most amazing plants and flowers, the resort feels like a sanctuary and the hummingbirds and wild baby bunnies add to the feeling.

Something about being in the Sonoran desert was peaceful and super relaxing and what we all needed- the kids time away from school, to just chill and for all of us to be together a bit. 

I could not take enough pictures each morning and evening of the flowers and views.

The adobe style architecture was cool too.

As with any Four Seasons, details and service are their strong points and everything at this resort was lovely. 

Our Casita room was spacious enough for the four of us with a fireplace, a deck with pretty views of the mountains and a spacious bathroom. What I especially dig at The Four Seasons are the huge closets where you can pile in everyone's luggage and unpack on the open shelves. So nice not to trip over your things (and giant teenage boy shoes.)

Loved our deck for morning coffee and bird-watching.