Since building and growing our side garden it has brought us closer to our community. Spending time weeding, watering, and transplanting in our garden has given us the opportunity to strike up conversations with hundreds of people. One of my favorite people we have met and come to know well is "Swannie". He and his wife live around the corner from us.
Swannie is a WWII vet. He served in the South Pacific and was sent on the invasion of Okinawa. He grew up in Troy, Idaho and moved to Moscow when he married Ervie. They have four children, three boys and one girl. He ran a service station in town for many years. We take him strawberry Jam, his favorite and he finishes it off in just a few days.
One Saturday I spent the morning with Swannie looking over old family history photos. As a photographer, I loved seeing the photos of his childhood. He told me stories of his mother who passed away of complications from childbirth when Swannie was just 2. He told me of his ponies and how he cried for days when his father had to sell them. He told me of how the community of Troy was struggling during the war but, that only made the community stronger. It taught them to lean on each other.
These people are gems to me. I love learning their history. It teaches me so much. This afternoon Swannie showed up at my door step with a handful of seed catalogs. Ervie knew we would love these! We loved seeing our friend and visting with him in our home. He loves being around the girls. He especially loves holding Emma.
He would probably be mad at me for sharing this photo of him but, I don't care. We give him a hard time and he gives it back!
(you can tell he was happy about me taking his picture.....)