I am looking at the posters while sitting at my desk. I have a California Classic Rincon Point Poster and a poster of the coastal redwoods. I am really missing California. It had been over six years before I had been back when I went back in December. Things had really changed. I did not remember so many flowers growing during the winter there. The reason I went back last was for my Dad’s funeral and it was during the spring/early summer so you would expect flowers but I do not remember even noticing flowers during that trip. I found the newspaper article last night while I was cleaning the desk at home so I guess that is why I am thinking of him right now. It was a fairly large article the newpaper had printed and they called him the Gentle Giant. It had a picture of taken him a few years before he died and a picture with a train when he was in the army. He worked on the Army Railroad bringing supplies to the troops.

He was really a good husband and father even though no one is perfect and he did have his falults. Even thought I was the only girl with two half-brothers and 3 brothers he always let me tag along with them and it did not matter if it was fishing or throwing baseballs. I never felt left out. Most likely he was partly the reason I was a bit of a tom-boy to the dismay of my mother. I do not every remember him yelling at us or hitting us but we always had a lot of respect for him and he usually only had to tell us once to do something. Our mother always seemed to be yelling, putting us down or trying to hit us so he was like a safely net. I do not blame her, even though I have some resentment, she just did not have the skills needed to take care of five children and most likely that was how she was raised. My aunts and uncles tell me my grandfather had a really bad temper. In the end even my half-brothers had a lot of respect for my father.

Well, anyways, back to California. Roses, Bird of Paradise and other flowers were blooming like crazy in December in California. It was so pretty. Here in Kansas my garden is brown, brown, and more brown. Okay, there are a free green things growing like the tiny pine trees I planted two years ago. They seem to be growing at a very slow rate.

Well, anyways, it was almost like LA from the LAX airport to Ventura. Ventura has really changed so much. It has really built up from what I remember it was like. New construction is everywhere and buildings are torn down. The worst thing is that there were very few orange or lemon groves left. It is just not the same with out all the trees. I remember smelling the sweet scent in the spring. Oh, it is such a wonderful scent.

I also drove past the barrio called La Puente I lived in in LA on the freeway. This was before Puente Hill and all of the newer middle class areas. I lived there from birth to about age 12 when our family moved to Ventura. As I drove by I was not brave enough to go off the off-ramp into the area. I do not know who lives there anymore since I have not kept in touch and as barrios go you should not just wander around them. I do remember it being very rough with gangs but I still miss the place. I remember a lot more friendly neighbors than any place I have lived. I asked my mother and she feels the same way.

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