Friday, June 02, 2006

Why I am homesick, I couldn't begin to tell you. Why this is affecting me now...don't know that either! Maybe it is hormonal!

My family moved to Santa Cruz when I was a year old. I left once for four years and then returned for another four or five years. A total of about 19 years spent in this little town on the coast of California


It was a great place to grow up. A small town nestled at the edge of the evergreens, complete with palm trees and the most beautiful begonias you have ever seen.

These are a few pictures of what most people associate with santa Cruz...

The "Big Dipper" was built in 1924. My Mom used to work at the "Coaster Lunch" which was a small little walk-in hamburger place that used to be right under the roller coaster. Now this is a large restaurant with a different name. This is a fond memoryto me as my Mom used to work evenings alot and would come and kiss me goodnight every night when she got home (still in her uniform). She smelled slightly of her perfume and french fries. I didn't know for years what the smell was, just that it was "Mom" and she was home.

On the days that Mom worked the morning shift Dad would drive her to work as we only had one car, and we got to see the guy walk the tracks to make sure they were safe.

The tourists come in droves for the beach and boardwalk, and the wharf, and then usua
lly venture to downtown to wander in and out of the very unique little shops found there.

Here is what the beach and boardwalk looked like when we first moved down there. Sorry it is taken from a slide and somehow got flipped so what is on the left is actually on t
he right.

That is the "Coconut Grove". Don't you just love the old striped umbrellas? Yes folks, this picture was taken in the fifties!

Here's a better view! Remember they are backwards!

Back then there were several beaches for the local people and basically only the Boardwalk beach that the tourists used. The cement boat and beach is in a state park and my grandparents had a state pass so we got to go there alot and we would go fishing on the boat. This picture is so old that it was all still above water. It is partially closed off now and about half of it is under water. Who ever heard of building a boat out of cement?

I used to live by an old lagoon in the third house we lived in. That lagoon is now the Santa Cruz Harbor. The house was still there last time I went down for a visit. Still the same pi
nk as it was then only, since the sixties it has been adorned with a huge white peace sign on the whole front of the house. Forever to be known as the hippie house!

Life was simple back then. We walked after dark, went for early morning walks on the beach and listened to the sea lions and the sea gulls as you walked your dog on
West Cliff Drive.

When I was pregnant with my first child my husband and I lived in a studio apartment over looking the ocean. It was a spot where their was a lot of surfing. This proved to be a constant source of entertainment for me as I did not drive at the time and my husband worked swingshift. I would walk in the evenings or sit on our balcony and read or watch the goofy surfers changing in and out of their wetsuits. Did you know that they don't wear underwear under those things? I didn't before I lived there.

I used to love to sit on the cliff in around all the iceplant and just watch the ocean. I never could get over the immense power displayed right in front of me. It made me feel very small. I have to go back every so often to fill up my soul. I was not a Christian then and didn't realize that I was seeing the awesomeness of God in action, with every wave that broke on the shore. I just knew that there was something very special about it, and somehow I was a part of it, just by being there to witness it!

Would I like living there again? No probably not! It is way overcrowded now. And who could afford it? I am happy in my little home in Northern Idaho, with pine trees and mountains and lakes. But I do get homesick, and it probably won't be long before I head down again to refill my soul!


Blogger Katherine said...

Wow, great pics! Sounds like a great place to grow up, too.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Melanie said...

Make sure you take me when you re-fill your soul. That is the only place I ever feel 100% whole.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Les Becker said...

Thanks for the great photos - especially those of "how it once was". I've never been to Santa Cruz or California (or Idaho, for that matter!), and yet I still want to know "how it used to be".

Found you through BlogMad.

9:52 AM  
Anonymous blueturtle said...

You might then like Mendecino has an alternative ... less people, cooler, more charming. Love the ocean shots - that's what I miss the most. Idaho has some nice open country,,,

7:31 AM  
Blogger Karmyn R said...

What a nice remembrance! Thanks for a heart-warming read.

9:18 AM  
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