Hello My Beauty,
I grew up ~ from five to seven-ish ~ on Lido Isle in Newport Beach, California. My mom and dad grew up and met on Lido Isle and so, even before I lived there, this 250 acre man-made island was my home. My GG ~ my glorious, beautiful grandmother, Mama Gerry ~ continued to live there long after we moved to Tustin and then to Tahoe and then to Santa Barbara. Visiting GG was like coming home to me ~ one constant in my ever changing world. She moved from Lido in ’88, but my memories from my time spent on this magical isle are still strong within me. Lido Isle helped form who I am today.
This blog is a deep-dive down memory lane.
A Toe-Head’s Little Adventures
- Making drip castles with the sun pouring down upon my tiny little self, my Mama sitting beside me, helping create a small miracle
- Jumping into the pool knowing I’ll be caught, Daddy’s arms raised, a giant grin on his face
- So much Halloween candy, the bowl is bigger than my sister and my brother and I combined
- Olives smeared and smashed on my Grandparent’s patio
- The smell of jasmine as we raced our bikes and roller skated up and down the strata
- The 4th of July, sparklers, snakes ~ black charcoal worms inching across the patio, Piccolo Pete’s that make us cover our ears and scream in delight
- Sleepovers at my GG’s and getting to choose which beeaauuuuteeeful nighty I get to sleep in, the satin flowing over my little body and feeling so special, soo loved
- Tea parties with my great-grandmother, Mama Annie, and getting to pick which delicate teacup I would use for this special, just-because, day
- Teaching Pretty Bird, Mama Annie’s parakeet to say, “pretty bird, pretty bird”
- My brother’s toothless smile, my sister’s laugh, sporting short hair and wearing a red bandana
- Playing dress-up in the garage with at my GG’s house, wearing clothes from the 30s, 40s and 50s, hats and gloves, crinoline and satin, the smell of cedar strong upon the air amidst our giggles and the magic of play
- Milk delivered in glass bottles by the milk man ~ icy cold and fresh
- Neighbors I grew up with; friends who became family
- A robin eggshell-blue velvet couch, gold foiled wallpaper, barstools that twirled, mini cans of soda, black olives ~ one on each fingertip, ready to pop into my mouth. Yum!
- The smell and taste of Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas eve dinner
- Birthday parties where the resident artist made birthday posters ~ caricatures of loving friends, so much laughter, cocktails swirling in highball glasses
- Mingling, happy hour, cigarette smoke swirling upon the air
- So much friendship and love it thickened the air, embraced you in its warmth and acceptance
- The parrot next door saying, ‘hello’ to anyone and everyone who passed by
- Living two blocks away from my grandparents and the adventure those two blocks presented every time we ran them
- The little beach by the bay that was all ours ~ the merry-go-round, the jungle gym, the swings, the warm sand between our toes, the roses that lined the small stretch of beach an invitation into the salty green bay
- The home that stayed a constant when everything else kept changing
- The death of a grandfather, the quiet despair, the rallying of friends and loved ones to hold my GG up until she could hold herself up once on again
- The Peanuts’ blue and red sleeping bags, pink Barbie suitcases, red faux-fur jackets hand-made with love
- Pink and Baby blue nightgowns given and received with love every Christmas eve
- Matching outfits for myself, my sister, and my baby brother
- The magic of opening one gift each on Christmas Eve, and the giddiness knowing more surprises awaited
- Welcoming home two uncles from Vietnam, both safe yet changed
- Sailing upon the bay, bright orange life vests tied tight across my chest
- Diving into the green, salty water, holding my breath until I burst to the surface giggling
- The thrill of jumping off the tall tower into the bay’s dark waiting depths
- The salt drying upon my skin, rolling in the sand, the gritty wonderfulness of being scrubbed clean
- Sand crabs tickling my cupped palms as they burrowed beneath the sand I’d momentarily captured them in
- Clam shells found and colored with care, rainbows and curly-qs, creating something new from something old
- Arts and crafts every day with my Mama and sister and brother and friends
- School on the beach, our playground the Pacific Ocean
- Songs on the radio, swimming pools ~ my home away from home ~ family, friends
- Making an advertisement, still life images stuck in my head of playing house, a red wagon full of blocks, shoes too big, a dress below my knees, joy
- So much magic, a time out of time
- Love…. Have I told you lately?
Taking a moment to truly recall where I came from, to feel the love and the joy and the adventure that was my every day, has filled me up. I am so grateful to my family and to my friends who made my time on Lido Isle so idyllic, so full of love, and so full of the freedom to laugh and to run free. Re-inviting this part of myself into my life today is a precious gift I didn’t know I was missing.
And so, My Beauty, I invite you to take a moment to revisit your childhood ~ to remember the little adventures that helped make you, YOU. While you’re at it, thank that little girl, or boy.. She, or he, are the seed you grew from.
And I, for one, am soo thankful you are thriving in the here and now.
Thank you for being you.
Love always and in all ways,