Monday, August 17, 2009

love at the little green house

so we spent our sunday afternoon visiting with old friends. very fun to eat great food and talk with friends who we have known forever, but haven't seen in a very long time. friends who were just a house away at one point, and a boy who became my pseudo son. was at my home almost every day when my kids were small. in the summertime-he was permanently there...always found a sleeping spot on the couch or even the floor. he became an integral part of our family. he was always with us. i can still see him in the rear view mirror of my suburban, in the back back seat. he frequently led the kids on treks in the fields behind my home looking for large tadpoles in the spring ponds. they were carefully brought home to a makeshift aquarium then watched over while they became large croaking frogs. after their miraculous morph, they were let loose in my yard. their constant croaking became a reminder of the fun experience. he was a walking science experiment. one time made "snail soup" in a bucket after his chore for the day was to gather all the pesky snails from the yard. added all sorts of "ingredients". all boy he was, and i loved every minute spent with him...and so did the kids. he was always respectful and helpful. was the first one out to help bring the groceries in...he climbed on the roof one day (without my knowledge) and thought it was fun to jump off of it into the grass below. my innocent little kids all lined up looking on in awe,
too chicken to ever do anything like that.
he did that once.

so i got to see him yesterday. he is all grown up now, but i still see the same little boy in that big, lanky body now. his big blue eyes the same clear naive orbs i looked into years ago. i love him and his family...his mother a cultured, educated woman who loves beautiful things and is a talented artist...who my eden would quietly find then climb onto her lap during church. i can still see eden walking up the aisle by herself after i located kathy in the congregation, then pointed her out. she was all of 3 or 4. we talked yesterday about the time we went to the beach in la jolla where she introduced my kids to snorkeling...eden at that time was about 2 or 3 would NOT wear a bathing suit. kathy and i (i think were the only ones who thought it was cute) proceeded with our beach day like she was fully clothed. one old lady commented to kathy..."you may think that is cute, but it is not!" my friend kathy wasnt phased. she shrugged her shoulders
and we continued with our beach day,
naked child in tow.

we ate yesterday at kathys oldest daughters cute little green bungalow in orange...nicole, an intellectual genius...a darling, beatnik bookworm and kind hearted soul. she's travelled abroad extensively and was beautifully educated back east. she teaches high school to ap kids and loves it. she has found her niche. i am sure she is the favorite of all of those high schoolers. she was always there for my children when they were young as my favorite babysitter. she swam with them, painted with them, and even changed many a diaper. she, becoming the older sister they always wanted. her little home now a quaint hideaway, complete with beach cruiser on the porch and an old fashioned hammock on the tucked away lawn.
love her owl collection too.

and the bonus for the day...i was thrilled to get a glimpse of the wild parrots who live in orange. a simply amazing sight. numerous noisy green parrots in a tree...unbelievable. supposedly a truck carrying the birds crashed and they escaped years ago. wonder if that is an urban legend...AND fell in love with old orange.
super cute little city tucked away in the middle of the OC.

so thank you nicole for your generous hospitality. loved every minute spending time with you,
my old, very special friends.
seemed like a family reunion.


Jared and Katy said...

So glad you posted this...I totally miss the Gharda's!

Nicole Gharda said...

Let's try this one more time. I want the world to know how much I love the Johnsons, even though I sent many of these words to Shawna in an e-mail when this didn't work before. As I said there, they have been in my life at all of the most critical moments: with a parrot and banners when Chris came home from spending a month or so in total isolation after his bone marrow transplant, with laughing kids to keep us feeling full of joy, with information when I called in panic from London because my family was MIA while my dad underwent open heart surgery, with Easter dinner and an escape one especially frustrating spring at BYU, and with open arms after driving me over to the hospital to hear about my older brother's death.

And I miss you, too, Katy, my old monopoly friend! I can't believe you're all grown up and married!