Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Day in the Life : )

My previous post shows how man has found natural products will help solve and remedy many problems. I grew up with a love of Ancient Chinese & Egyptian cultures. Imagine they began remedies that are validated in the 20th & 21st centuries. I was fortunate in that I grew up in a small rural town {Fowler} in the Central Valley of California. The family who lived next door to my home were Chinese from China {they brought with them their language, cultural, and history}; they had no children my age but the wife spoke English better than myself. She tolerated the skinny, inquisitive girl next door : )
The screen on her back door had a bell on it and when I heard it jingle I would run over there. We had 2 things in common regarding property: 1 was a guava tree that was on their property yet when it was laden with fruit I got permission from her to pick the fruit and my Mom and I would make jelly and we had a Willow tree by our driveway and I would sit under the lacy branches and read or daydream plus I could hear her screen door bell very clearly sitting there. Oh, we had no fences or walls (she may have wished she had a piece of the Great Wall of China : )

Actually she would call to me to taste food she would prepare for her husband's dinner. Talk about I was HAPPY!!! She would spend hours and days preparing hand made rice cakes for Chinese New Year and I was the official taster. So, she would let me do dishes and it was fun because I first saw her hand wrought spider ladles made from brass. Ingenious tool; I still use a version to this day.

Her husband and she would sit out on the back porch, in the cool of the evening relating ways of life in China and America. They let me touch real Kimono's and spoke of their Mother Land with much love.

Her was red and a fuchsia pink silk embroidered fabric. To me it was the height of fashion and oh so beautiful. Remember I was a little girl and what little girl doesn't like bright jewel tone colors and mystery : )
The love Ancient Egyptology came at this age. I was given {or perhaps I begged for it} a chalk ware colorful relief bust of Nefertiti
{I literally slept under her head all of my growing up life}.

I was an original book worm {that means nerd/geek}. Library cards and book clubs were the candy of my childhood : ) So, I learned how the pyramids were built and how they used mirrors to
bring light way deep inside.

The mysteries are still just that: mysteries.
My good fortune is I grew up in a town that was culturally diverse yet all American.
Armenians (their dolmas {I use to pick grape leaves, wash them and then my friend's Mom's would pickle them}, pita bread with sesame seeds sprinkled on top {not what you find at fast food markets} and shish kabobs), Portuguese and their sausages, Italians (meat sauce that took all day simmering on top of the stove), Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans and their spicy foods, Good old fashion stuffed cabbage leaves, rice and meat spiced up for the bell peppers (I have to be honest as my Dad use to say I would rather cloth you than feed you : )
Every fall in October the Fowler Fall Festival was held, back then in the 50's at the city park. One corner is 3rd Street and Merced Street which is the main street of downtown Fowler : ) They would have booths set up with every nationality selling their foods and gift items. I remember the Baptist Church was directly across the street and they would have cup cakes, nut breads and home made cookies.
There were stands of home prepared jellies, jams, canned tomato's, cucumber pickles,
succotash, fried chicken stands, with home made hot water corn bread dripping with butter and honey. If you have never had real honey from the wax comb from a beehive you have NOT tasted heaven. They would always have a raffle at the end of the day's celebration and it always got very quiet when the caller would read out the name : )
I am so glad I am still a book worm although I think Darla is outdoing me in the book department : ) It is still so very interesting learning of the cultures of others. Where we have come from, where we have been and yes, where we are going.


  1. You had me riveted Carole!!!
    I love the story about your neighbor and her bell :)

    I would have been working at that Southern Baptist booth LOL!

  2. I love your stories. They bring back such wonderful childhood memories. I always was interested in Egyptian mythology. Anubis has been my companion. I met an Egyptian lady when I lived in California who taught me to read Cartouche. She was absolutely stunning. She looked so beautiful and stately as Egyptian women do. I went to the King Tut display when it was in Chicago a few years ago, something I have longed to do since I was a child. I could of stayed for days in there just looking at all the artifacts.

  3. Oh my goodness! What a great post Carole! I too love this culturally rich valley. From my Armenian son-in-law to my Mexican sister-in-law not to mention my Portuguese roots. I'll bet you were surprised last time you were home to have seen how much Fowler has grown.

  4. Great post! One of the things I love most about living in CA is the diversity of the people.

    Yep, I'm a bookworm, LOL! I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I rarely watch tv - so in the evening, after dinner, I'm reading.