Monday, November 21, 2011

The Family Patio


My grandfather, Dow, was the Vice President of a large bank in Arizona…

Dow Ostlund--Bank Portrait

…this was his portrait for the bank--isn’t he handsome?

Because he was well-known in the area, a newspaper scheduled an interview and photo time with the Ostlund family one sunny, 1950’s afternoon…

…and this was what appeared in the paper.  I’ve always loved this photo…the family all together, sweet, blind little Judy looking so happy, my mother, the beautiful teenager, in her homemade dress, my grandmother, Velda with spoon in-hand…ever the homemaker.  Even Jocko the dog posed properly that day!

Here’s the same patio, probably 7 or so years later…

JULIE, KAREN & VELDA on Kaler Dr. patio_edited-1 

…a little less posed, my mother now married, Judy was sadly gone by now…but here I am…toddler me…toddling around on that very same patio…

I never lived in Phoenix, but nearly every summer, our family would spent quite a lot of time there…all of our extended family was there, after all…a very special place for us to be…

hpqscan0001_edited-1 {you just don’t get to choose your thighs, do you?!}

Here’s me again, a year or two later, once more on that beloved patio…in the very same spot the family photo shoot took place a decade or more earlier. 

Even though it was always summer when we visited, I never remember the heat bothering me at all when I was a child, and I would spend hours and hours playing outside…

I remember that very patio so very well….pink-hued cement…smooth and warm (sometimes quite hot!) on my bare summer feet…I remember the sun-baked smell of that backyard so vividly…isn’t it funny how even smells remain tucked away in our memories?

Just beyond it was the lawn—a stiff, prickly & well-groomed Arizona lawn…I didn’t like to walk on it barefoot unless it was being irrigated, and then I would walk forever in it--soft, drenched grass , lying underneath a couple of inches of water warmed by the sun…an absolute delight for a child!

DSC07123_edited-1 {beautiful vintage prints and “tea cakes” tag found on Crafty Secrets’ 2nd soon-t0-be-released CD}

A new page made this last week for my heritage album…


I chose the colors very much on purpose…the vintage blue for the always-blue Arizona skies I remember in my childhood mind, and the warm, beautiful orange for the Arizona sun…

My grandparents moved away from the family home when I was about 11 or 12…off to a more modern condominium. 

I will always miss that old house on Kaler Drive, but my memory holds it close to my heart…

…I’m so very grateful for these lovely old family photos and my very own memories of the family patio.

See you soon with something new…



  1. Hi Julie, thank you so much for sharing these wonderful photos and your happy memories of your special patio with your family... I hope you visit there often in your mind... I love letting my thoughts drift back to my childhood and my family all around me... you look just adorable as a little girl! xoxo Julie Marie

  2. What a gorgeous family. Very handsome grandfather. I was just thinking of mine the other day all dressed up in his dress blues. Something of that era seems long lost. Thank you for reminding us it wasn't that long ago.. Beautiful page with the perfect colors...Happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you and your lovely family...Renee

  3. Hi Julie, I not only love your projects, but when you put your family photos in them, and then blog about it, well it just makes me smile. And we get to know and love you even more. (by the way, those were such cute pics of you when you were little)

  4. Hi Julie,
    What a most delightful post! I said to myself, when I first saw that gem of a photo, that it looked so good it could be a magazine cover. Wow! Just perfect, in so many ways. A treasure indeed. You my dear, were a gorgeous little thing. What charming photographs of you. Do you know who actually shot that series of photos of you that day? What fabulous memories, and the heritage page came out fabulous!
    Have a great Sunday!

  5. What sweet photographs and lovely memories!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  6. Adorable...and just look at you!!! Pure JOY. What a sweetie pie you were..and still are. xoxoxo Happy New Week to you! xoxo

  7. Hi Julie!
    You always have the most delightful posts! I'm naughty in not always leaving comments though because I have to re-sign in every time! Grrrr
    But this post made me do it to comment on how you brought back memories of my own 1950-60's childhood!

    Your photos are wonderful and what a cutiepie little girl you were that grew up to be such a gorgeous lady!! I agree with Maureen that they could be magazine covers of the day!!
    I also had an blind Aunt ~ Grand Aunt actually ~ who went blind at age 15 due to complications of childhood diabetes. I remember her as the happiest, kindest, most generous person I believe I've ever known! I love the way you said that your Aunt Judy makes you remember to LOOK at Life every day.

    It's funny that I was just the other day, thinking of how much I now just can not bear the hot weather BUT when I was a kiddo you couldnt get me to come inside during the summer! And you said the same thing!! The heat never bothered me as it didn't you also. Funny thing isn't it??
    You've inspired me to get out the photo albums and do some reminiscing in black and white. And I thank you for that :-)
    Sweet Blessings,
    P.S. I also clicked the link back to your precious Aunt Judy

  8. LOVE this post, but then I love all of your posts! LOVE the thighs too ~ LOL! Great photos and family tales.......lovely Julie!

  9. Wow! what great colors in your LO today! Adorable photos of you! And I think EVERY baby girl has the SAME thighs! {that's my story...and I'm sticking to it!} Have a great week!

  10. What a wonderful picture - so many precious memories - LOVE those thighs!
    Mary x

  11. Hi Julie,
    Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos and memories! So wonderful when you post such heartwarming memoirs.
    I think you out-grew your gorgeous thighs--I still have mine! LOL
    Warm hugs.

  12. You keep amazing me with your treasure-full posts, dear Julie.
    Happiest of happy hugs for a wonderful week xo xo xo
    It is so very foggy here, my curtains are open, I am enjoying the beautiful view safely ;)

  13. Love using orange and blue. Had to laugh at the chubby little you and the beautiful slim you now. Wonderful photos and application of elements as usual!

  14. Very sweet Julie. Like you, I never minded the heat out here growing up. It wasn't until a few years ago when my hot flashes got worse that the summers bother me now. Now, since I have chronic inflammation, I sweat so badly all year loooong!

    I used to play out on our patio for hours, too. My brother and I would draw roads all over in chalk and then run our matchbox cars all around like they were major roads. I'd make my own personal pool by laying out the hose in a circle and leave it running. It would create this little 1" deep pool that I would sit in and play for hours. It's still a strong memory for only being three or four. I can't live permanently anywhere but's my home.


  15. I love your photo and was so very moved by your story. It sure got me to thinking of my grandparents home and how I spent my Christmas and Summer vacations, thank you for that!!!!
    Love the pages as well they turned out great and the color combo is spot on!!!

  16. Great pictures! Love those 50's clothes. Mimi