Friday, December 21, 2007

Where in the world is Fort Wayne, Indiana?

This months GPP Street Team Crusade is "Where in the World?"
For more details on this crusade, please check Michelle's blog for the lowdown.

I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana right now. It is not a place I ever imagined I would have called home. Funny thing is, my grandmother (pictured below on the far left) was born and raised in Northern Indiana, leaving in 1925 with her husband to make their home in Southern California. Fast forward to 1996 when my son (third generation Californian) happened to follow a girl to Fort Wayne. I followed seven years later. So, here we are as a family back in Indiana - coincidence? I think not.

Family photo - Buena Park, CA sometime around 1967 0r 68. I'm in the shorts in the front.

I grew up in Orange County California - Buena Park to be exact. Not far from Knott's Berry Farm. Some of the 'old timers' remember when Knott's used to be a place for a great chicken dinner and wonderful jams. Somewhere you could take the kids to feed the ducks and check out the ghost town as well as look at a replica of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell and it was all FREE. Now it's a rather sizable amusement park with many of the places of my memories paved over as parking lots.

I remember being surrounded by orange groves and dairy farms when growing up there... all gone now. We used to have a weekend 'cabin' in Lake Elsinore when I was growing up - that area is now a bustling community of it's own, not just for weekends!

I left Orange County in 1997 and headed north for a job in San Francisco.

View of downtown - Transamerica Building

Golden Gate Bridge

I lived in the East Bay - Concord to be exact on the border of a town called Clayton, not far from the foot of Mt. Diablo. There are spectacular views from the 3849 ft. summit. On a clear day, it is possible to view the mountains of the Sierra Nevada and the southernmost mountain of the volcanic Cascade Range, Mount Lassen more than 180 miles away. Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, about 125 miles (201 km) to the east, can be viewed with a telescope on a clear day.

There is a flower that can only be found on Mt. Diablo, it's call the Fairy Lantern, isn't it pretty?

Fairy Lantern - Mt. Diablo

Now you might be saying - nice tour of California, but what about Indiana? I'm getting there - I wanted to take you on a shortened journey of how I got from there to here.

So, fast forward to 2003. I quit my big job in San Francisco and decided it was time to move closer to my son and grand kids, a couple months of planning and *poof* DONE!

Going from California (South or North) is a bit of a shock to the system in several ways. The most prominent is the weather. I experienced my first weather warnings shortly after moving here. It's always something - rain, floods, ice, fog, wind, snow, extreme cold, high heat index, tornadoes - we have lots of weather here. But with it is quite a bit of beauty and actually a lifestyle similar to what I experienced in Southern California growing up in the 60's and 70's. Lots of farmland, decent people that like, know and help their neighbors, friendly strangers, manners in abundance, reasonable housing prices and cost of living - just an all around great way of life. I love it here.

I have access to so many wonderful things, I will list only a few...

There is an awesome old theatre downtown that attracts talented entertainers. The Historic Embassy Theatre is a treat for the senses. One of the main attractions at the theatre is the Grand Page Pipe Organ. During Downtown Fright Night we made our way to the Embassy for a Halloween presentation of The Black Pirate silent movie. The 80 minute movie was accompanied by the pipe organ. It was so much more entertaining that I ever imagined, really a treat.

Another historical landmark is the Allen County Courthouse. It is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen. The mural's inside the courtrooms, the gilded ceilings, as well as the stained glass are simply amazing.

There are the seasons...





With each season there are wonderful festivals and fairs. A couple of my favorites are..
Johnny Appleseed Festival
Hilgers Fall Festival
Wabash Herb Festival

There are many more - I could go on forever, but I won't - I'll spare you that!

And after all that - there is my backyard. It is peaceful and beautiful, a sanctuary to me. This is a photo I took not long ago - positively heavenly, don't you think?

I am so lucky!


michelle ward said...

Grace - thanks for joining the crusade and giving us more insight to you and how you got to Indiana. I have to say I've always loved living where we have to full four seasons. I can't imagine a winter without snow! Love the photo of your backyard....the only thing missing is an angel statue in the light you captured :) And how about that silent movie night with a pipe organ? Cooooool!!!

Jodi Barone said...

I do think it is positivly lovely. How wonderful you moved near your family! My kids are 5, 9 and 12, but I decided yesterday that when they are older I will do the same...regardless of how wonderful it is where I live. That lead to thoughts of ,"Well, what if they live far apart...." So I am enjoying there company and making myself not think about when they are not here. It is wonderful to see and hear your story...I feel like now I know how it can be done. I love that this life includes so many lives.
jodi barone

Anonymous said...

Your back yard is breath-taking. What a fantastic photo. Isn't it funny how so often we come full circle, and often it takes more than 1 generation. I really do think our roots call us home...

Hélène H said...

Wow, you are lucky, so much beauty ! Above all, so much love, warmer than any sun - I can feel it from here, it's wonderful :o)

tammy lang said...

hi grace and thank you for sharing parts of your journey with us:D
the pics are delights!
i could not live with out the four seasons and all the beauty they bring-i grew up in a small town here in ct-where there was open fields friendly people- more cows in town than people :D
i think thats where my love of mom nature and her beauty comes from
i too ended back in the same town that my family was orignally from
have a great christmas grace

girl_gone_thread_wild said...

Wow, that last picture definitely captures the essence of what heaven would look like... I'm in a daze over this photo...can I come sit a spell in your yard and stitch right along with you?

Janine said...

What a breathtaking photo of your backyard, as Michelle said, only thing missing is an angel! You are so lucky to experience all of the seasons... not something that really happens here and something that I do so enjoy when visiting the US. I often visit and stay with a friend in Concord and no the area well! Thanks for an insight into your life! Merry Christmas.

Grace said...

Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to comment, I find it amazing and wonderful how we can connect with folks all over the world via the internet. The encouragement from Michelle sure helps.

What a wonderful world...

Maggie R said...

Wow Grace, Your journey was facinating....The shot of your backyard is beautiful and such a peaceful feeling,,,,
You know I was at a quilt show in Fort Wayne a few years ago.... I forget where we stayed but we had a wonderful time...
PS.... I would be happy with 3 seasons...... I don't like the ice and snow!!!!!!! ask Tammy Hee Hee

Chris said...

Oh, my gosh, woman! Look at you! Going from California to the midwest! I went from the midwest to California! I started in KCMO, then to the Bay Area, now in So, Cal. So we've been on opposite paths! I love those kids' pictures. Such beautiful flowers, too. The midwest colors are great, and I think I even have an old photo from the late 60's in kansas city that looks very much like the group shot you share from buena park!

Fun to read, thanks for sharing!

Becky New said...

Wow! I'd say you went around Cary's Barn to get to where you are now... lol! I LOVE the image of your back yard sun and tree. :) Gorgeous!

Grace said...

Thank you to everyone that took the time to read through my post and leave a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it - seems everyone is in agreement, it's a GREAT backyard. I have to keep reminding myself of that when the grass needs mowing and I'm knee deep in weeds!

nickic61 said...

What a wonderful journey from California to Indiana! Your backyard is heavenly!

Any Smith said...

Your story was interesting. The photo of your backyard is beautiful.

Welcome to the midwest!

Xanthe said...

Beautiful photos! Great kids! You have a lovely backyard.
oooh the fairy lantern is a beautiful flower.

Thanx for sharing your story :-)

Roger Lee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman