C is for….
Calla lilies. California. Cats. Children. Curiosity. Crafts. Cross stitch. Confusion…. And some many other things that start with C.
That’s the problem with an A to Z challenge — what to pick for each day’s letter.
Calla lilies — my favorite flower. In all the colors. I have a small pot of pink and purple and white ones on my bedside table. When we lived in California, they grew abundantly in the yard without any tending.
Carnations — another favorite flowers, especially when they have a heavy scent. I love their spiciness.
Cats — I looooooove cats. I’d probably be a crazy cat lady if I thought I could get away with it. I see all the cats at the shelters and with the rescues and I want to save them all. We’ve always had cats. When I was young, it was an orange tabby named Kitzel. Then I had my own brown and grey tabby named Peek-a-boo. My brother had one of her babies, Smokey, a grey tabby. And their was Kaiser, a long haired tortie we rescued who eventually went feral, coming back occasionally to visit. When I met my husband, I had Caleb, a beautiful black domestic short hair. Now we have Charlie – a long haired flame point with blue eyes, and Caesar – a seal point mitted Ragdoll.
I also love wild cats — jaguars, leopards, ocelots, African wildcat, lynx, bobcat, mountain lion, all the various wildcats around the globe. Did you know there’s a Scottish wildcat? Forest wildcat? Steppe wildcat? European wildcat? Usually when people talk about wild cats, we tend to think of the big ones, but there are still a lot of wild smaller ones. Our housecats are most likely descendents of the African wildcat. And did you know that despite centuries of domestication, our housecats are not very different from their wild ancestors since their breeding has not been as rigorously controlled as has dog breeding?
And I love that my MacGillavray ancestry is part of Clan Chattan, with the motto “Touch not the cat” and a wildcat on the badge.
Crafts — Throughout the years, I’ve tried many different crafts — my grandmother taught me to knit when I was 12; I taught myself embroidery and crochet and cross stitch; drawing; painting. I don’t do too much with them know. When I was working full time, with my long commute, there just wasn’t the time to keep up with any of it. But in the past, I had knitted myself a sweater; baby blankets for my two oldest children; scarves for all three of my children; blanket squares. I’ve crocheted doilies and snowflakes and granny squares. I’ve cross stitched and/or embroidered pillows, wall hangings, pictures, and ornaments. Recently I’ve thought about digging things out and starting some new projects — I’d like to learn how to knit socks and mittens and hand warmers. I’d like to paint and draw more, improve my skills. Of course, first I’d have to find all my supplies, still boxed up and in the store room since our move.
California — I’ve lived 20 years in California, although it’s now been 12 years since I last did. I lived in Northern California, the East Bay area of San Francisco from the age of 2 years to 11-1/2. We lived in the same town my father grew up in, where grand parents and great grandparents had lived, and his family all still lived there. My grandparents had a ranch with cattle and horses. I spent many hours wandering the acres on foot and horseback. I even went to the same elementary school my father had attended and had one of the same teachers. When I was 11-1/2 we moved to Washington, but frequently went back to California for visits.
I moved back after graduating from university, in the early 1990s, for a job in the greater LA area. I lived in a harbor town, worked with fishermen on their boats, got to spend time along the coast both north and south of LA. It’s where I met my husband and all three of our children were born. Most of our time there, we lived less than two blocks from the ocean, on the seaside of a hill where it was only unbearably hot when the Santa Anas were blowing. I loved to walk along the cliffs, well protected from falling by a secure concrete barrier or other fencing (otherwise, I’d have never gone close as I have a horrible fear of falling). The sunsets were often glorious, out beyond the Channel Islands. The crash of the waves, the swelling of the tides, the waving of the kelp beds…. I loved it there. I used to take the two oldest down to the tidal pools where we’d catch hermit crabs, and find sea stars and sea hares, crabs and snails and tiny fish. We’d stick our fingers in anemones to feel them squeeze shut around us then search for sea shells to bring home. Sometimes, if we were really lucky, we’d see dolphins or sea lions or seals.
But our growing family required we move and we couldn’t afford anything in that area, so we moved to Orange County, near Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm. It wasn’t as nice as being by the sea, but we liked being so close to Disneyland that we could easily go whenever we wanted, and sometimes just stay outside the park at night to watch the fireworks.
However, that lasted less than a year before circumstances led us to move east, to Illinois.
But California is part of us. We go back every few years. And I still have family there to visit, up north.
Posted on 3 April 2014, in A to Z Challenge, Family, Memories, pets and tagged #atozchallenge, 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge, a to z challenge, California, calla lilies, carnations, cats, crafts, family history, letter C. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.