We left the hearts in San Francisco…

photo(20)Recently I had the good fortune to travel to San Francisco with my youngest daughter S and her oldest daughter H.  I had been to California a couple of times before but this was my first trip to the lovely city by the bay.  I have a serious case of “love at first visit.”

Thanks to Tony Bennett’s famous “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” there’s an ongoing heart presence in various sites around the city.  The hearts pictured in this post are the ones that are on the four corners of Union Square.  photo(21)The only permanent heart is the one Tony Bennett painted.  (See the photos above and to the left.)  Can you believe the fabulous singer is also a painter?

Click here and/or here if you would like to learn more about the San Francisco heart project and the noted artists who have participated.  I am enamored by them and have been thinking maybe I could commission my gifted grandchildren to paint some for my yard and house.  It could happen.

I think this blue one might be my favorite.  I’m a bit of a blue/green girl.photo(41)  I posed my girls in front of it.  I think they added to its beauty.  Moments later a very kind woman came along and took a shot of all three of us. That one’s on my daughter’s camera so I don’t have a copy.  We were grinning and obviously having a fun time.

This notion of taking each  grandchild on a trip after his/her high school graduation started when my ex-husband and I took our first granddaughter to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  She chose the location.  D and I had been there before but Granddaughter E had  not.  We loved going again.  But most of all we enjoyed the company of our 17-year-old.  I still laugh when I remember E’s indignation as security pulled her out of the line, made her take off her hiking boots and answer additional questions while I stood behind the agent and mouthed “Be Nice”.photo(23)  She couldn’t help rolling her eyes.

There are six grandchildren still to graduate and I keep thinking “Ahh, the best laid plans…”  I can’t help feeling a degree of nostalgia.  D and I had planned these little trips together.  I have learned, though, that I’m quite capable of doing them without his help.  And have fun in the doing.

As it happens I will have a granddaughter graduate each of the next four years.  Then I have a break before my second boy graduates and an even bigger break before my little one finishes up.  I’m planning to stay physically strong and financially solvent enough to travel with every one of them.photo(27)  That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.

I never know where my writing is going to take me.  I started out intending to write about the glorious time I spent with S and H in San Francisco.  My fingers took another direction.  Sometimes I think they have a mind of their own, kinda like my unruly hair.

Stay tuned for San Francisco, Part 2.

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24 thoughts on “We left the hearts in San Francisco…

  1. Reblogged this on kennethagnello and commented:
    Can’t help but feel a little sentimental, even lonely, right now, as each day passes and time keeps slipping away. My daughter Victoria, away at college, texted me and informed me of a very touching song about a dad and his daughter. As she stressed, “It’s the cutest father/daughter song ever written…” She urged me to listen to it and focus on its relevance to, at this point, her hypothetical future wedding. She urged with warmth and an upbeat charge, as only she knows how.
    So I tuned in to “I Loved Her First,” by Heartland, a sort of country-flavor song based in good old fashioned sentimentality about a dad’s release of his daughter’s hand to her groom on her wedding day. The song, as the title suggests, is a touching testament to a father’s look-back in time—retreating to the fond memories of his daughter’s infancy, to the growing child, to teenage development, and finally to her wedding day, a quick snapshot of time remembered with a seriousness of purpose that is unique to fathers. Dad indeed loved her first. The song speaks of happiness and encouragement, as the daughter is effectively celebrated for her move to a new level in life. But the dad, too, is to be celebrated, saluted for his years of devotion to his daughter’s well-being, a presence that could not waver, even under the most difficult of times. That the song is cloaked with a touch of melancholy is not so surprising. The dad, after all, witnesses before him what is only inevitable, a bittersweet reminder that his little girl, well, just doesn’t need him the same way anymore.
    I began to trace back my own steps in time, and realized just how short the passage is—it seems like just yesterday that we went from diapers, to book-reading and story-telling, to playing sports and games together, to watching her develop, and to witnessing her move from me to her friends and boyfriends. She is 18 now, and I began to cringe; could it really be 18 years? What dad hasn’t said those words as he watches the reality that his children are no longer children? The days of serving as role model and entertainment-master are gone, and in the process a cold reality sets in: children evolve, dads age. As time marches on, the dad is more relegated to the sidelines, a bystander on the outside looking-in, thereby locked into sudden aloneness.
    An ironic twist of life is harbored: once elated while bouncing my baby girl on my knee, by holding her hand while walking with her for the first day of school, and by teaching her to throw a softball or hold a tennis racquet, I am now deflated by the loss of that same little girl. Maybe somewhere in the end there is a meaning to all this. Maybe it is found in looking forward and not behind me. Maybe, just maybe, I will believe that someday. Maybe that song was written for me.
    Ken Agnello

    Like

  2. Can’t help but feel a little sentimental, even lonely, right now, as each day passes and time keeps slipping away. My daughter Victoria, away at college, texted me and informed me of a very touching song about a dad and his daughter. As she stressed, “It’s the cutest father/daughter song ever written…” She urged me to listen to it and focus on its relevance to, at this point, her hypothetical future hypothetical wedding. She urged with warmth and an upbeat charge, as only she knows how.

    So I tuned in to “I Loved Her First,” by Heartland, a sort of country-flavor song based in good old fashioned sentimentality about a dad’s release of his daughter’s hand to her groom on her wedding day. The song, as the title suggests, is a touching testament to a father’s look-back in time—retreating to the fond memories of his daughter’s infancy, to the growing child, to teenage development, and finally to her wedding day, a quick snapshot of time remembered with a seriousness of purpose that is unique to fathers. Dad indeed loved her first. The song speaks of happiness and encouragement, as the daughter is effectively celebrated for her move to a new level in life. But the dad, too, is to be celebrated, saluted for his years of devotion to his daughter’s well-being, a presence that could not waver, even under the most difficult of times. That the song is cloaked with a touch of melancholy is not so surprising. The dad, after all, witnesses before him what is only inevitable, a bittersweet reminder that his little girl, well, just doesn’t need him the same way anymore.

    I began to trace back my own steps in time, and realized just how short the passage is—it seems like just yesterday that we went from diapers, to book-reading and story-telling, to playing sports and games together, to watching her develop, and to witnessing her move from me to her friends and boyfriends. She is 18 now, and I began to cringe; could it really be 18 years? What dad hasn’t said those words as he watches the reality that his children are no longer children? The days of serving as role model and entertainment-master are gone, and in the process a cold reality sets in: children evolve, dads age. As time marches on, the dad is more relegated to the sidelines, a bystander on the outside looking-in, and thereby locked into sudden aloneness.

    An ironic twist of life is harbored: once elated while bouncing my baby girl on my knee, by holding her hand while walking for her first day of school, and by teaching her to throw a softball or hold a tennis racquet, I am now deflated by the loss of that same little girl. Maybe somewhere in the end there is a meaning to all this. Maybe it is found in looking forward and not behind me. Maybe, just maybe, I will believe that someday. Maybe that song was written for me.
    Ken Agnello

    Like

  3. I’ve always had a fascination with SF because of those crazy steep hills we keep seeing in films but you mostly made me think I’ve no grandchildren and I would like some. You seem to have a lot of fun with yours which is lovely

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      • Once when we were there we watched an elderly lady walking down one of “those” hills and she just stayed close to the buildings and used them for a stabilizer!! We go back in November to see the kids, but unfortunately they are outside the city and our time with them short so we pretty much stay put..

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  4. It was great hearing you had a fantastic time in SF and enjoying the celebration of milestones with your grandchildren.
    Let me know about those ‘staying fiancially solvent’ plans. Any tips would be much appreciated 🙂

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    • “Staying financially solvent” is my bravado speaking so that no one will know I worry every day about having sufficient retirement funds to get through my “golden years.” I have a very good financial planner whom I trust. Any decisions are mine but Marty surely tries to steer me in the best direction. Wouldn’t it be nice to be independently wealthy?

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  5. Hi Tish. S will love your compliment. I wish I could take credit.

    Six weeks!? I didn’t realize you were staying that long. I think I could easily spend that much time in SF. I could get used to their mild summer temps, esp. after the humidity here. Speaking of cool–I’m looking forward to hitting Ashe and Watauga Counties in the fall. Should we bring up the zip line again? I’m game.

    BTW…H is loving UNCW and the beach. She teases us with ocean photos from time to time.

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  6. Glad to see your post, Pat. Was about to call or email you directly. I had forgotten about SF. S doesn’t look a day older than H. How could that be? Must be those good Mom genes. After spending 6 weeks in southern CA, I do believe I could live there. Hope the next time I head West we can do a weekend in SF. We have a niece who lives there and I’m like you and romanticize the heck out of it. So glad you had a wonderful time. Certainly one for the memories. See you in about 6 weeks in the mountains.

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  7. The idea of a trip with each grandchild at high school graduation is great! Three years ago I started taking each on a special trip at about seven, thinking they are old enough to enjoy but not old enough to consider their Mimi embarrassing! So far I have made three thrips and hope they will be special memories for each grandchild. May now consider a second round for graduation!

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    • Hi Kathy. You had a big trip recently, didn’t you? I enjoyed your photos on FB.

      I so enjoy individual time with all the grandchildren, no matter the age. I was in South Park Mall with my youngest last week. We had to play the “don’t step on the cracks” game. I remembered that the last time I did that in that place was when the oldest was S’s age. E and I had a laughing audience those many years ago. Fun! And I’ll be honest–I don’t worry too much about embarrassing them. Heck…sometimes they embarrass me. 😉

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      • Thought of you often and especially of those brown bear that you encountered!! We saw the grizzlies from the safety of an old school bus! I truly was in awe of Alaska and only wish Dad could have fulfilled his dream of seeing it.

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        • I wish he could’ve too. We were so fortunate that he got to see our photos and enjoy our bear tales. Oh, and the eagles! Is there anyone who doesn’t love the eagles?! I remember sitting at the table with him and your mom and regaling them (but especially Rod) with our adventures. I like to think he had quite an adventure vicariously.

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  8. Traditions – I’m glad you continue them with that flair that can only be yours. That’s an inspiration to me. Love & prayers going out to you – DJ

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      • I’ve missed you, too! I don’t have as much time for blogging as before, but I’m making time to visit old friends like you. It makes me feel all good inside to see you doing well. Looking forward to renewing our friendship.

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  9. Sounds such a lovely visit. And a great family tradition – that one-on-one time is so important. I went to SF in 1979 and swore to go back – never made it Glad it hasn’t lost its magic.

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  10. These travel plans concerning the grandchildren are a marvelous idea. It looks like they’ll keep you pretty busy for quite a few more years and create lots and lots of memories.

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