Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Really Wordy Wednesday - Mis Abuelitos ~ My Grandparents

While digging through the old photo album I found this picture of my grandparents on my dad's side of the family. This is my abuelito Julio and abuelita Anna.

I have to say that I remember them vaguely. My grandfather died when I was young. My grandmother died a few years later. They lived in Costa Rica so we only really saw them once a year if that. I remember when we were little we would go to Costa Rica and we would stay at their house. My grandfather was a coffee plantation owner and their house was on a hill in a little town called San Pablo in Heredia. It was old and beautiful. It had a wraparound porch with a view to die for. It had stained glass windows and Spanish tile all over. The floors were beautiful and it was probably one of the prettiest houses I had ever seen when I was little. It had two stories and a grand staircase leading up to the second floor. I remember that at the top of the stairs was a little room where you could stand and look at the window at the whole town, the Cathedral and beyond. The house is actually still there but it is no longer so grand and beautiful.

I remember my grandfather being a kind man but very stern. My grandmother was sweet and always working. They adored us and we were spoiled when we went to Costa Rica because we were the little gringa princesses who only visited once a year. I remember how large the property was and our grandfather would take us walking but he was a man of few words. I always remember my grandmother cooking on a wood stove in the backyard although she had a full kitchen in the house. She would make the best olla de carne. And when we visited she would set out a feast for us. There was every type of food imaginable because since we were little American girls, we were picky about what we ate. I also remember the chickens and animals all over the yard. Oh and the fruit trees. There were tons of fruit trees and they would pick us fruit from the tree to eat on the spot. In fact, I think it was at my grandparents house that I learned to love green mango with salt.

Because we were so spoiled our other cousins really didn't like us that much. And we have tons of cousins. My dad had 5 brothers and 4 sisters. I know there were more but some died when they were very little. All our aunts and uncles had tons of kids too. If I had to guess, I would say we have close to 100 first cousins on my dad's side of the family.

Anyway, when we got into town the cousins would try to do bad things to us. Not really bad but mean kid things. One time they took me and my sister around the plantation. We got to the river and they said we have to cross. The only way to cross was on a log that had fallen across the river. So we had to cross carefully or we would have fallen in. Remember me and my sister were little city girls from Los Angeles so we had no idea about these things. So anyway once we got to the other side of the river they took us to see a huge bee hive. Then they proceeded to throw rocks at it and they ran off. They left me and my sister out there alone running from the bees. We also had to run across the log. We could have been hurt. Boy they got in big trouble for that because you didn't mess with the little gringas! I think we got candy and hugs and they got the belt.

They would tease us and taunt us and I remember one time I had to punch my cousin Eduardo (the little boy in the red, the other little boy is my cousin Enrique) because of his nonsense and shenanigans. It was like my cousin Eric and the Hawaiian Punch. It HAD to be done. They say, because I have no recollection of it, that I punched him so hard that he hit his face on a fence and got a big gash. It couldn't have been that bad since I was only around 5 years old for pete's sake. How much damage can a little precious girl like me really do to a big old bully, right? But every time I see my cousins they hash up that old incident. I was 5 people, let it go!!!

But visiting my grandparents was fun. I have good memories of those times. The picnics, games, the exploring of the big giant plantation house, the food are memories that stay with you. I remember sleeping in the old house and it always fascinated me because I would swear up and down it was haunted. I wish I had a picture of it when it was in its splendor.

I also wish I had known them better but that was not meant to be. They did come to Los Angeles to visit us. Here is a picture of them with my mom. Look at me in my red mary janes shoes and ponytails. I remember taking them all over. We went to Knott's Berry Farm, Disneyland, the beach and everywhere else you take tourists in L.A. It must have been very daunting for them as there was nothing like that in Costa Rica way back when.

But I will always remember how kind they were to us and how much my father adored them especially his mom. It's funny as I look closer at the picture, I realize how much my father looks like my grandfather. I never noticed that until now.

R.I.P. abuelitos!

18 comments:

  1. Wow that was really wordy LOL But well worth it =) Love the pictures amiga!

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  2. wow - 100 first cousins?! Back in the day the families were always huge and I remember the same for my mom's parents but we never got close to her relatives growing up. I know there were tons of them and if I ever saw them I never knew WHO they were!

    Thanks for sharing the photos! Happy WW!

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  3. You were so darn cute in that red shoed picture!

    I loved all of your descriptions and the house sounds incredible! They must have been very wealthy. Your cousins were little pigs though. Boys are such jerks!

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  4. What a wonderful post... I love walks down memory lane (even when it's not my memory)! I also had an abuelito and abuelita (Avo and Mamina) from Cuba. I was lucky enough to know them well and I still am very close with all of my cousins on my Latin side of the family (of course we only have 10 vs. your 100... geez!!) Let's hope that all of our abuelitos are having a good game of dominos together and looking down with smiles on those of us remembering them today.

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  5. I love looking at old pictures like this, great post!

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  6. WOW, that is a HUGE family! Fantastic old photos.

    I LOVED this post. Your cousins sounded like little snots back then.

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  7. I also have a big family, on my Mom's side. My Mom is hispanic and my Dad is caucasian. I am pretty convinced at this point that most hispanic families are HUGE.

    Mis abuelos son muertos tambiƩn. Los falto mucho.

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  8. those are great pictures to have, I wish I had more of my family like that! Great stories too! :-)

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  9. Those are wonderful pictures and I loved your story. It is great you have such fond memories of them.

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  10. That was like reading about my own dear family. I come from a sicilian family that we counted every cousin we had including 1st, 2nd and 3rd etc. Your grandparents even look similar to mine. lol Thanks for sharing your memories. I am your latest follower. Won't you stop by me if you have time to become mine?

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  11. I adore large families! Thanks for sharing your with us!

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  12. I love the emotions and stories old photos drag up.

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  13. Aww very sweet.

    Hearing about what your cousins would do to you and your sister though reminded me of the silly pranks played on me as a kid. O kids.

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  14. Ok, anyone who is named Julio is "down with me," but seriously, I LOVED the photos and the love of this blog. Everyone has such a unique perspective, and yes, que vivan los abuelitos

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  15. Caro, I love the picture of you in the red shoes...and oh my gosh, those primos sound awful! Glad the gringa got the Punch in. (carrie from tiki tiki)

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  16. Your abuelitos are the cutest! They remind me of mine! In their honor, I think we should have some abuelitos in the #tweetnovela. Whaddayasay, huh?

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  17. These are nice pictures, and so many nice memories. I only knew a teeny bit my grandparents on one side of my family about all I remember most are hugs from my grandmother.

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  18. You have such nice pictures and so many nice memories. I only knew my grandparents from one side of the family, and recall only a teeny bit, mostly hugs from my grandmother!

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