Tuesday, March 29, 2011

California Dreaming

Our old house.

Before there was Utah, there was California. I was born in Ojai, a little burg about 2 hours north of L.A. I don't know if it's having a little soul around that reminds me of being a young'un, or if I have just been missing the warm weather, but California has been on my mind lately. Not Cali now...but Cali then.

When I was born most of my siblings were grown and out of the house. A few of the older ones still hung about, but pretty much it was just my sister Cristy, my brother Jeff, and little me. We lived on an acre of farmy-type land, with a big barn full of chickens and bunnies and a massive Eden-esque garden tended to lovingly by my mother.

Below is a pic of me and my first K-9 crony, Buddy, playing in our driveway.

Most of my memories of Ojai involve being outside. It seems like the weather was always nice, and we were always playing outdoors. Dan has often remarked that I hold a sort of ephemeral longing for Ojai that may not be based on reality...meaning...my memories of the place may be superimposed over it's actual glory...but I doubt that...

Ojai at dusk.

Here's one of us eating dinner at our old table. It was quite the set-up; a large round slab of wood resting slightly precariously on an old barrel. If you pushed too hard on any one end, you got a quick glance at the opposing side's dishes before the whole thing went toppling over. I think my folks still have this stowed away somewhere at their new place...I would like to see about inheriting it...but only when I have a much larger house to keep it in.

Sometimes we can get lost in remembering times that will never come again. I know being a kid again will never happen for me. But I can give my little one a childhood that is just as good, if not better, and let him create memories he can look back on later with great affection. Eli may not have any California dreams, but hopefully he will have fondness for the outdoor life he'll able to enjoy wherever we plant our family roots.


  1. Great article, Ojai was a special place, i wish i had that property to raise Mitchel on, our chickens would be happier living in ojai!

  2. I'm glad you like these photos.
    I'll try to get some more on there soon.
    I wish I had more shot of our place in Ojai though.