Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Alameda Bliss. Designed and named by (me!) sandra, tvgp



*****
...while I wait for all the pictures to come in from this very recent, highly blessed milestone experience; my daughter's graduation from UO, 

   I will write and capture in this blog, AKA: my external memory storage; this fabulous creative idea and experience:  ALAMEDA BLISS
I will start by sharing how I named it:   the first design on our front yard, out of God only knows how many to follow.  I did not name the design based on any materials that I used; did not name it based on anything it looks like, any color, did not name it based on any poem, or quote, or sentence or lyric or person I've admired..


I named it very specifically based on what I experienced internally, every single time we opened the garage and set out to start, and add on to it.    my sexy always getting out the music box, helping lift the heavy bags of  sand, mulch, bark to pour into the bowls/dishes I would carry around the front yard as I designed section by small section, handful by handful; him sitting in his chair with soft yellow cushions; encouraging me and keeping me company.  (me!), figuring out as I went, with no master plan at all, what I liked to see here, vs. there...

neighbors would smile and joke watching him sit while i carried the sand and was hand-designing
"i like the division of labor i see here"       

the next design will be more collaborative for sure, but anyway..
I named it, because while I was grabbing a handful of sand here, and handful of mulch for over there, I was repeatedly seeing a vision in my imagination; from my actual real memory files, flashes from when my mom and her husband rick took my children to Alameda Beach.   Over and over I saw this..   my children were very young.  Taryn, 6 maybe, which would make Jack around 4 years old.   And my mom is with an umbrella chair, and my children  -her grandchildren, are at the shore of alameda beach, with nothing more than maybe a pail and shovel; but maybe not even that.   Maybe it is just the sand, shore, ocean, soft waves, a cloud covered sun,  birds, and debris, and passersby, and little unidentifiable crawling creatures in the sand...   the company of each other.   and, they are there for HOURS.    NEVER BORED; ever!   just playing, walking around, discovering   -protected; free.. with love and snacks nearby

they were at those magical ages, and in a magical time.  it was before cell phones.  it is before they have to worry one second about what they are wearing and how it will look in a picture.   it is before indoor video games, and digital distractions of any kind.  it is what it wasn't, as much as what it was

   -it was not Disneyland or great America; not an amusement park; not a birthday party
   -it was not an obligation; it was not motivated by social media status in any way
   -it wasn't because it would generate 'followers'   or look good on a resume. it was untouched by Instagram and not inspired for or by facebook

-it was the purest form of truly happy experiences.  it was all they needed:  grandma, grandpa, a safe beautiful place to explore, some snacks..  water   /and sun screen...   

and this brought HOURS! of joy... 


my external experience   -having Robert's front yard as an empty canvas..   

 this is our front yard, he will remind me..  ours     our home...   not my home; our home..

***

I was the happiest I have ever been in my entire life every single time I added on to this temporary design in  -our- front yard.   no master plan.   just a little bit here, a little bit there, filling up the yard section by section.    along the way, we agreed our front yard is OUR empty canvas.   this first time being a complete experiment  -I did 99% of the designing.   but we will rake it up here shortly, and start with a new empty canvas, and split and share the pleasure.   come up with an idea together:  "fireworks for the 4th of july!"   and then draw it out, then design it together

because WOW! to the joy of being outside in the morning, listening to the birds sing, visiting with neighbor passersby, enjoying a hot cup of coffee, listening to music, and playing/creating in the front yard.   pure BLISS!   no agenda, no worries; all pleasure, just fun

and it is a win/win situation, because Robert does not want a lawn; he hates the time/energy of keeping one up.   I have only applauded him, because I know how many people have a lawn and resent it...  "a lawn has never been mandatory" I remind him, "a lot of people don't realize that.."  i said with a smile, and, borrowing from what Jacquie Williams Courtright often says, "YOU HAVE OPTIONS!"

and we have decided   2.  our front yard is a big empty canvas,  that 1.  like a chalk board, can be used, erased (raked) and used again, for 3. whatever we want!

and go back several steps and days and weeks, because what started this whole thing was a pure happy no~accident.    there was the prelude of Robert not wanting a lawn; yes..   and the prelude of the two of us de-weeding the front yard of hundreds of weeds post the rains and his surgery  -which took several weeks.   the diversity of weeds so astounding I took lots of pictures..

and, worth mentioning how Robert skipped pulling out the beautiful daisies from their random spot in the yard, and so, we both work around this bouquet of obvious happiness..    and, we work around, incorporate and celebrate, and even added to the poppy population which already thrives here..

 so, in what looking backwards appears to have happened pretty quickly; over an amount of time we paid no attention to whatsoever, the front yard evolved from a forest of unsightly weeds, into a colorful, happy, creative design like nothing else you or i have seen in any neighborhood yard to date

but I almost forgot to explain what I intended to explain a couple paragraphs ago:  the happy it was no-accident.     it happened over mother's day weekend, when I co-made the 'love u mom' display at alden lane nursery.   -when I was cleaning it up, you see...    I lifted one of the pots of sand to move inside the garden store, and there was a hole in it, so the sand started pouring out all over the place

the light sand fell over the darker dirt that houses the 400 year old entrance valley oak tree..

immediately I realized "the potential!"   -how I could draw, with sand,  on Robert's front yard of dirt...

what else might there be?   and so I searched through all the soil/bark/sand offerings at alden lane, and noticed the greatest contrast color wise would be: light sand; micro bark, which is red; and then black mulch.   and I LOVED the result!  love it so much!  loved every minute creating it..    love adding to it..   and will love raking it away too, so we can start again because it is SO MUCH FUN!

it is the creative process that yields the greatest joy; the result is just...    a tiny bit sad like when you finish reading a great book, or reach the end of an engaging movie..

and, so, i think of how many people have a permanent landscape they will maintain, but the landscape itself does not really change.  it is going to be changing it up that keeps us motivated, creative, having fun, enjoying the outdoors and each other.    i can't thank God or Robert enough for empty canvases.      hallelujah & amen!



 
 











Friday, June 14, 2019

To Our GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS from your authentic fans