The main photo for this post is of my grandfather Lorin Hansen. It was one of those days when everything seemed to be right. We went up to his land in the hills of Southeastern Idaho, the flowers were in bloom like no one could remember for a long time, it was warm but not terribly hot. We wandered around the fields, picked some flowers, nothing profound, but nothing that I have experienced since then.
We went to Idaho to celebrate my grandfather or grandmother’s birthday or wedding anniversary or it was just an excuse a lot my mother’s side of the family together. Who cares why, we were there and it’s was such a wonderful memory. My grandparents got a chance to hang out with their friends, and family.
My grandmother watches her grand and great-grandchildren picking raspberries or whatever we were doing.
Picking berries like a pro, Leif is in the background, how was he ever that young?
She loved the garden, when I was younger they grew corn and other vegetables in the field behind her. What was most impressive to me when I was younger was the large satellite disk they had, cable televiosn had not made its way to their part of the world, they had a party telephone line until the 1970s — for those of you who do not know, the party line was a single line into a group of houses. Each house had a distinct ring, you would never know if someone else was using the phone line until you picked it up. I am sure everyone spied on each other. The satellite disk was only used for a year or so, then cable arrived and the disk just sat there. I thought it was the coolest thing, Star Trek came to life right there in Firth Idaho.
The other cool thing was this gate with my family brand below my Grandfather’s name, it is also my middle name and I passed his memory onto Leif with his middle name too. I have not been back in some time, my grandparents died within two weeks of each other (well might be a little longer but it was close timing, and terribly sad, even thoughtI did not see them very often as an adult, I miss them every day).
I also hope someone saved this belt buckle, it was his favorite, I love how well worn it is. I often wondered what he was thinking when I made this photo, I am sure my relatives in Idaho were not sure what to make of me. I probably came off as some arrogant San Francisco snob, and I hate to admit, I probably acted as such too often. Did my grandparents, or other family members for that matter, ever know how much they mean to me? I tell their story with pride. We did not agree on politics or religion, and that did not matter. The examples of honesty, work ethic and pride in the work they, plus the sense of fairness and justice and love of family are what I cherish most from my memories of my family in Idaho and brag about to anyone who will listen to me.
And, I am so gretful I was able to bring Aurelia and Leif to meet my grandparents before they died. I did not get that chance with my father, he died when they were two weeks old, or my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family, Grandfather Swift died before my kids were born, and Grandmother Swift was seriously ill with Alzheimer’s by the time they came along, and died when they were one or two years old.
But, I learned so much from every one of the adults in my life, took the best knowledge and experience and was able to help raise two amazing young adults.
It was a perfect day, and I am so happy to have lived it.