Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Collection of Goddaughters

Dana, Victoria, Ginger
(Taken today.)

This school year and last, my goddaughter from Canada has been living with me while attending high school here. Legally, I am Victoria's guardian. However, there's simply no GUARDING required with this gal! She's on top of her school work, comes home at a decent hour, doesn't have a pesty boyfriend. Nope. I'm not guarding her at all . . . just relishing an energetic and delightful teenager.

Vic has four sisters and, one by one, they have adopted me as their godmother. (Actually, one by one, their godmothers assigned at birth finked out. Only Vic has been mine since the very beginning.) Each of them has done their college studies in Utah and so they've landed at my place frequently. Individually and collectively, they have a special place in my life.

Brooke is the eldest. She and my son Arian were dear friends, especially during their college years. This shot was taken during one my cookie decorating parties. She was always game for any event at our place and fit right into the family

Paige is next in line. She and my daughter Leah are the dearest of friends. In fact, Paige just got back from visiting Leah in Ohio and you can read all about THAT on Leah's blog.

Dana lives in California, but it's hard to really believe that! She's a frequent visitor and it's fun to hear her giggling downstairs with Victoria when the two of them get going.

Breanna, on the right, just left to serve an LDS mission. She was last year's regular bunker at Ginger's Bed & Breakfast, as her parents named it. She attended a college three hours north of here and often spent here weekends with her adopted godmother and sister.

So, that's the line-up.

MaryJoy (the birthmother) and I were childhood friends and we found each other again in SPAIN of all places. The relationship rolled on through the business of getting married and having babies and getting those babies married. (All of mine, half of hers.) Our families have traveled together and had a blast.

This (rather poor) shot was taken at Lake Osoyoos in British Columbia, Canada in 1996. Both of family dogs were in attendance. Victoria is leaning into me - front row. We had some great evenings around the fire at the shores of the lake. The kids slept under the stars.

Here we are in the Yucatan (Southern Mexico) back in 1999. We took along MaryJoy's parent's who are on the right with MJ herself on the left. (I'm behind the camera.) We did some fabulous snorkling in the clear Caribbean waters. Our cabana was right on the beach. No electricity.

Sometimes we get our family members through blood and sometimes through pure serendipity. I feel richly blessed to have FIVE amazing goddaughters (and their birth parents) in my life.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Late Fall

Late fall fills my heart with an aching. I think, perhaps, it's the intense and transient beauty.

The slant of the November sunlight.

The brilliant and subtle hues of the season's final show.

The red berries and translucent seedpods and earthy acorns.

I want to bottle it all up, so I can pull forth the colors when it's February and we're sloshing around in various shades of grey.

The blazing yellow maple (ABOVE) is the last tree to lose it's leaves in my back yard.

Up in Rock Canyon,
most of the leaves have fallen
and they provide colorful and fragrant carpeting along the trail.

The seed pods on this tree catch the late afternoon light.

There's lots of vibrant green moss in the canyon. Not just in the river bed, but also on fallen timber and along some of the north-facing cliffs. The colors are brighter after a spell of rain or snow. I love feeling the warmth of the moss in the depths of winter.

These mountains will be dressed in white after the first dump of snow. This shot was taken after crossing the five bridges which take you into the pine forests in the upper range of the canyon.

This last shot was taken at the trail head
. . . just a hop, skip and a jump from my home.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Reunion at Cafe Madrid

Over thirty years ago, I met these three gals in Paris (not Madrid). We became fast friends and spent six months together in Spain. The following year, we shared an apartment at BYU. Nowadays, we gather annually to stay connected, as we did last Friday at Cafe Madrid in Salt Lake City. (Hence, the shot above.)

While living abroad, we took some extensive trips through Europe, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Here we are, the four of us in Morocco (1973), trying our hand at the Bedouin life. (I'm behind my friend, Bones, who is about to send me somersaulting down the back end of the camel.)

PLEASE NOTE: scroll down to see additional time-warp photos now added to the previous post entitled "Merrymaking in Moab"

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Merrymaking in Moab

Last weekend, I went to Moab, Utah with
this gorgeous gaggle of gals.

The hiking just about as fabulous as the company.

BUT, it was NOTHING like the trips my husband and I used to take to Moab in the 1970s. We drank out of the potholes, slept under the rocks, and did some ridiculous climbing to enjoy the red rock vistas.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Babies Arrive!

Gingersnap Gems (this blog site) is a PHOTO JOURNAL of my meanderings. Through the camera's lens, I share my gratitude for everyday experiences - sometimes ordinary, sometimes extraordinary.

Guess I'll start with the extraordinary.

Two new grandchildren have made their grand entrances into the world, adding new depth and color to our family tree.

Arian (my son) and Jill (his AMAZING wife) were graced with a baby girl named Audrey Katherine on September 10th.

When Audrey's two-year old brother Kenneth saw her baby for the first time, this is what happened, without any prompting . . .

A week ago, I made my very first long-distance car trip to visit Audrey, Kenneth, and parents. We visited some hot springs where I often took MY children when they were little.

Jill & Audrey - Foreground
Kenneth & Yours Truly - Background

On my way back to Utah, one of my goddaughters was caravan-ing with me. We stopped along the way for a bit of hiking and red rock climbing.

On October 19th, my daughter Leah gave birth to her third child, Aspen.
Here's Avery, who just became a new sister for the first time . . .

Brinley, below, is my eldest grandchild . . .

Just after Leah came home from the hospital, my brother Ken arrived in Ohio for business and visited Leah and her gang.

Kelty, my youngest daughter, is now in Ohio helping her sister as she adjusts to three children. I'll be out there in a month. That will be the first flight since my spinal reconstruction in May. These grandbabies are the catalysts to some great FIRSTS!

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