Today I did not cook, I did not brew, I did not do anything that this blog is about. Today, I went back to my old home, to the ground that I trod as a child. I spoke of old times and old men that my Aunt and Cousin never got to know in the way I knew them. I walked with my mother's childhood friends, in my Grandmother's garden, through the skeletal frames of nearly a century of a communities lifeblood, the greenhouses and packing houses, the boiler sheds and vegetable gardens. And I am happy, unreasonably so, even as I was flooded with the sadness that so many of the people I knew and loved have gone. We spoke of my aunt's and cousin's wonderment of how so much land and so much engineering, of how they could scarce fathom that roses and carnations built this place, built these families created a family and community that endures even now.
Today I spoke with a man, not even from this community, who started off researching trains and found our little community and it's grand history, we spoke of how he could not believe what he saw and read, of countless hours of research over many years. His respect and wonder for what my family and all of the families and friends had built since 1900 driving him to collect the stories and photos that document out world. I found in me, the old stories and the old wonder, I thought of the Issei (first generation) who pioneered this little community, the Nissei (second generation) who built it and gave my generation the chance to pursue our dreams. I thought of the Yonsei (fourth generation) who I now hear speak at funerals and gatherings, who speak of their elders, I wonder if they know the stories, if they understand the work, if when they look at a flower, they see a piece of their history, their futures so bright, yet distanced by time from the greenhouses and fields. I am glad that I was asked to share what little I might know.