The Love Runs Deep (200th post)

I had already planned to write about these two photos today before I realized it would mark the milestone of being the 200th post. Now the post seems even more appropriate for the occasion.

The two photos I'm sharing in today's post are of my great-grandparents, El and Bill Munce. I am very fortunate to have hundreds of candid photos like this of them, their families, their outings, their lives, and their silliness.

These two particular photos are part of the early part of an antique album that is in the loving care of my aunt. The album spans the entire 16 years of their marriage (their marriage ended prematurely due to El's tragic death after the birth of their youngest son).

The photos were taken around 1910 here on the rolling hillsides of the San Francisco Bay Area with my great-grandparents' simple little portable camera of the time (hence the slight blur in the photo of El). If the photos were in color, the hills would probably be a lovely green because that's when the wildflowers that Bill and El were out hunting and picking would have been in bloom--probably sometime around March.

Bill was a lover of gardening, grafting, planting, growing, and roses. I love this photo of him with an armload of wildflowers. This is my kind of man. The photo of El with the armful of flowers seems expected, but not the one of Bill. It's literally a snapshot in time--a special moment between two young honeymooners captured in perpetuity. I can imagine them out as a couple traipsing these hills I love so much. I can imagine their excitement at taking the snapshots and then their anxious anticipation for when they would get the photos developed so they could relive the moment.

I'm glad they captured this moment. Somehow it gives me a sense of who I am. I feel a connection to them, to these hills, to the flowers. It all helps me feel grounded, rooted. My heart swells with a gratitude for the legacy they have left--a legacy of loving nature and gardens that has been passed down through their daughter to her daughter to me.

I garden in almost the same climate as my great-grandfather gardened in only a half-hour drive away from where he gardened. When I am out in my garden tending my fruit trees, pruning my roses, or tying up my climbing vegetables, I feel him near. I've seen so many photos of his garden, I know it is much like my own.

Thank you, Grandad, for being the man that you were. Thank you for loving all the things that I love, especially the roses. Thank you, Grandma El, for loving the flowers and for loving nature so much that you hiked the hills and valleys in those dresses you had to wear. And thank you, both, for loving each other as deeply as you did.

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  1. What a lovely testement to your great grandparents and fitting for your 200th blog post.

  2. What lovely pictures. Congratulations on your 200th post!

  3. What a wonderful tribute to your great grandparents Cindy! They were a handsome pair. The photos ,especially the one of your great grandfather with arms full of wildflowers, are beautiful.

  4. What a beautiful tribute - they would be proud of their great grand daughter! Congrats on the posts!

  5. That is so incredibly special! I like the way they photos aren't posed too.

    Congratulations on 200 posts!

  6. Cindy, what a lovely post and how wonderful that there are so many pics of your great grandparents. Both of them look lovely and I was struck by your great grandfather with his arms full of wildflowers too.

    It's good to feel connected with those who came before us as without them, we would never be here. The love of nature, flowers and gardening has been passed on from generation to generation in your family which is great as it is such a wonderful gift to receive.

  7. Cindy,
    Thanks for sharing some of your family history and the wonderful flowers. I've become more of a historian as I've gotten older. Family history should always be recorded whenever possible to be shared with future generations.

  8. I think I understand what it means to you to garden in more or less the same area that your great-grandparents lived and gardened in. I'm in the same town my mom's family has been in since the 1920s. You can't help but feel your ancestors with you when you garden in the place they called home.


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