Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Tree in Memory of my Grandmother

Two weeks ago, family and friend gathered at the park at the end of the street where my mom lives to plant a tree in the memory of my grandmother. My grandmother, Ofelia, passed away back in April at the age of 96. She was a member of the Women's Club of Artesia and Cerritos. The WCAC has a tradition of donating a tree and having it planted in the memory of their members after they have passed on. It was a spectacular morning - clear and cool.

The City of Cerritos sent a couple of their maintenance workers to dig the hole and place the tree in it. Several shovels were also provided to add in the dirt, which was piled to the side. Before we began, my mom greeted all who attended, and then said a prayer. My sister Donna then read a poem she wrote, which was previously included in the funeral program. Here's Donna reading. Her husband Louis is to the left holding their baby, Jonathan. Our nephew Jacob is in the foreground:

Here's a shot of the tree. The family didn't get to choose where it would be planted; that decision was made by the city. It's a little too close to this baseball diamond in my opinion. It didn't help that there was a girl's softball game going on. Most of the spectators of the game split their attention between us and the girls on the field.
The first shovel-fulls of dirt were put in by my mom and her sister, my aunt Dolores. No one calls her aunt Dolores; she's known to all as Nina Lolita. No one calls my mom Norma; she's known to all as Mama Norma. Anyway, here they are:

Everyone who wanted to got a chance to shovel in dirt, and my wife Laura took several pictures. I'm only going to show a couple more - Brady and Nina (with their cousin Timothy in the foreground):

And me:

After we were done shoveling in dirt, we moved to the shaded picnic tables and had sweet pastries, juice and coffee. We talked and visited with each other. My mom introduced all of the family to the WCAC members. Decorating one of the tables was this flower arrangement and picture of my grandmother:

One of my grandmother's favorite songs was Sunshine on my Shoulders, by John Denver. What an appropriate song for the day, as it was beaming down on all of us. My sister Denise sang the song for us while playing her guitar:

More visiting and conversations continued until it was time to go. Laura had me pose with my mom and the kids before we left:

It was a beautiful day, and a great way to honor my grandmother. Her favorite tree was a Magnolia, and we were so grateful that the city granted the request by the WCAC to have a Magnolia planted in her name. If you are ever in Cerritos, you're welcome to stop by Frontier Park and visit Grandma's tree.


Saturday, November 08, 2008

Oak Glen - Part 2

Well here I am again to bring you part two of my family's outing to Oak Glen. The event took place nearly a month ago, and part 1 was posted about 3 weeks ago. Well, what can I say? I have nothing but time on my hands, and I forget to work on my own blog. Yeah, right.

Oak Glen is picture opportunity heaven, if there is such a place - at least in my wife's opinion. Before we headed up the road to visit another area of stores, restaurants and attractions, we made sure we took plenty of pictures. Here are Zoe and Mia goofing with Brady:

And here is Mia kissing her cousin:

Please note: it was still cool enough in the morning to have the littlest one covered up in a sweater, with gloves and a beanie.  Later in the morning, it warmed up nicely.  Here's Nina's friend Frankie basking in the sun and resting on some pumpkins:
We decided it was time to move up the road so we packed up our stuff and left.  Once we arrived at the new location we had to find parking.  That was a challenge, but once that was done we were on our way to explore.  The place we went to had more attractions compared to the area we came from.  There was a museum, a petting zoo, an area for kids to play - which included a jumper, and an open area for people to eat while listening to a band.  There were also more places to shop, including an open mart similar to a swap meet.

Reanne and I took Nina, Frankie, Zoe and Mia to the museum, while Laura, Brady and Laura's grandmother (Bertha) walked around the swap meet area.  Laura's grandpa (Gil) stayed with Mimi (their dog).  I saw more dogs than I saw signs saying dogs are not allowed.  I guess they weren't enforcing that rule.  After the museum, Reanne and the kids took a train ride.  Here they are:
With all the walking around, we got hungry for lunch.  Our plan was to go back to the park where we started, but it had gotten so crowded there, we couldn't find parking.  We decided to leave the Oak Glen village, and drive down the hill to Yucaipa.  We had passed a huge park on the way up the hill, and thought that would be a better place for lunch.  We were right.  We found some empty picnic benches, and set up our stuff.  The kids went to the playground nearby, as the adults fed their faces.  Here's one of many pictures Laura took of the kids playing in the playground:

All-and-all it was a wonderful day. We had a great time, the weather was perfect, the company was pleasant, and the food was terrific. We took many pictures, only some of which I've shared in these two posts. We even decided to use the family picture that you saw in Part 1 as our Christmas card this year.

I'll leave you with a picture Brady took of himself. He would have a fit if he knew I posted it, but he doesn't read this blog, so he'll never know. I'm not even worried about Laura telling him, because she rarely reads this blog. All my best -