In the spring of 1988 we were well established and enjoying our new home in Sacramento that we had purchased the year before, and my wife was doing a wonderful job of adding her decorating touches to every room.
We used to go for walks as a family every evening through the nearby fields and new housing subdivisions being built at the time, and here I am in our front yard with David and our dog, Mädchen – which means “little girl” in German.
Another picture of David, Mädchen and I in our front yard in Sacramento, ready to begin a family walk in the late afternoon setting sun.
David is about 15 months old at this point and enjoys “play time” in the backyard, as our newly planted landscaping in the background begins to show the first colors of spring.
David had such a presence and personality from the very beginning, and I have never seen a child enjoy such a heartfelt belly laugh as he could produce.
We were often left in stitches as David found humor and mischief in the most routine of places, giving my wife and I the most unexpected of gifts.
My wife and I were always kept on our toes, and never new what to expect when David found humor in the most sneaky and unexpected pleasures; and from the very beginning David shared his mother’s sense of humor – and she could read his thoughts like a book.
My wife knitted little sweaters and outfits for David when he was just a little munchkin – and here is an example.
This is another matching knitted set that my wife made for David when he was still very young – her touches were on everything, defining who we were as a young family.
My wife’s mother and grandmother visited us from Germany that spring, and we toured the Napa Valley one weekend and this vinyard reminded us of the Mosel vinyards back home in Germany.
Another beautiful Napa Valley property that I photographed during our trip, but I don’t recall where it was or what winery it belonged to.
The sign on this Napa Valley winery says Sutter Home, and the palm trees were an exotic touch that we all enjoyed on a beautiful sunny day.
We visited San Francisco, and here is a picture of Pier 41 at Fisherman’s Wharf, with Alcatraz Island in the background on a “picture perfect day” in the Bay Area.
We visited the Golden Gate Bridge, and I really like this picture of the entire bay area captured while driving on the freeway with a clear view of the City – while the foreground remains a blur.
David and I go for walk in a San Francisco park during our visit; we were “best buddies” from the very beginning – and you can tell from this picture that David is the very image of his mom…which was a good move on his part!
Our dining room table is all set for Easter “Coffee and Cake” with my wife’s hand made cake decorated with little yellow chicks on the table and her handmade lace curtain in the window; in Germany “Coffee and Cake” is a wonderful 4:00 p.m. break in the day – and my favorite German tradition!
Here David enjoys having his picture taken in our living room rocking chair, which was our way of measuring his progress against the back cushion as he continued to grow into a big boy, seemingly right before our eyes.
I constructed an enclosed deck and overhead trellis around our back porch, which gave David a safe place to play outside, right out our kitchen sliding glass doors; and here I am finishing the first coat of white paint on the overhead trellis.
David inspects our front yard landscape to see if it meets with his approval, and enjoys the new spring flower beds that my wife and I have planted.
David checks to see if the planter on our front porch needs watering; from the very beginning he was like a “little man” with a thoughtful and almost grown up mentality about him – because that’s the way we always treated him.
David pauses for a moment with his inspection tour of our front yard landscaping almost finished – I think we received a passing grade in the end; and his yellow spring clothes contrasted nicely with the deep green grass and background flowers.
David investigates his own shadow in our front yard, and what an amazing experience it must be for children to see and learn about something brand new every day of their young lives – like the innocence of investigating their own shadow.
David points out something in the front yard and his finger seems to not be pointing where his eyes are looking – just a minor technicality when you’re a little guy.
Once I finished painting the white lattice work and overhead trellis, it was time to turn my attention to the deck itself; and in the meantime David investigates the patterns of lattice work, shadows and a white chair on a beautiful California day.
David checks out the gate into the rest of the back yard, and with the white paint finished it was time to train the new climbing roses and English Ivy to climb up to the overhead trellis; the only place the structure attached to the house was at the overhang in the right corner with a metal brace.
I was quite proud of our newly built enclosed deck and overhead trellis work, and the fact that I did it all with only handtools and my own original design was especially satisfying to me.