Monday, November 29, 2010

Remembering our Sister Sally With Fun Family Photos

Sally & Nosey
By Cathy Scott

Cordelia has been going through our family albums, scanning pics, and has come across some incredible--and cute--photos, including one of Sally with Nosey, our family dog (left), at our back door.

And there's one of a very young Mike and Sally with our Mom and neighborhood kids.

Sally, 2 years old, posing for the camera
Really precious is this photo of Sally standing, with a big bow in her hair and a great smile on her face, in the family front yard. (And don't forget to check out the vintage car in the background in a nearby driveway.) Not to mention one of Sally with a wicker doll stroller.

Sally pushing a doll stroller
Then, there's a photograph of Sally, Cordelia, me and Mike with Mike's soapbox car. He was quite the soapbox builder and racer, and our Dad helped him build it. Mike was generous and took all of us for rides.

And there's a precious pic of Mike and Sally sitting on a zebra-striped burro (or is that a donkey?)  with our parents in Tijuana, during safer times.

But one of my favorite photo is us five kids on a porch laughing and having fun. Enjoy!
Cathy & Cordelia (front), Mike, Jon & Sally (back)
Mike, Sally, friends and our Mom

Eileen (Mother), Sally, Mike, and Jim (Dad)

Sally, Cordelia, Cathy & Mike with his soapbox car

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Reflection, More Photos

This is a portrait of our sister, Sally Scott, who recently passed away. It's believed to be one of the last solo portraits taken of her.

Below, is a photo of us girls with our Mother, who loved to treat us to lunch at La Valencia Hotel, on the  patio in La Jolla, or Anthony's Fish Grotto, either in La Mesa or at the foot of Broadway on San Diego Bay. Looks like we were standing in front of a courtyard after lunch. We were all very young!

Cathy, Sally, Mother, & Cordelia (all with Ali MacGraw hairstyles)

And here's a great pic of Sally and Michael, standing in the Scott family's front yard, on Raymond Place in the Mission Hills neighborhood of San Diego.

Sally and Mike Scott in the front yard

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Time of Loss, A Time to Reflect

Xmas 1975 (l-r}: Cathy, Grandma Rose, Jon, Mother, Mike, Sally, Cordelia

Life changes on a dime, and it’s not easy when it happens. We just lost our sister, Sally Eileen Scott. She was seven years older than Cordelia and me. Our brother Michael, 13 months older than Sally, was a true big brother to us all, and remains so today, especially through our grief.

At a friend's Laguna Mountain cabin '82
It’s always a surprise the things that flash into our heads when family and friends pass away. With Sally, I remember when I was in junior high, and ruffled, polished-cotton blouses were the latest fad. Sally, who was in college and still living at home, worked a few evenings a week at a clothing shop in downtown La Mesa. One evening after work, she arrived home to surprise us with two blouses, one for Cordelia and one for me. Our mother sewed most of our clothes, and, by then, we had already started making our own too, so it was a true treat to have a stylish store-bought blouse.

Sally, a baby, with our Mother
As kids, our father packed all of us into the family four-door sedan and, each September, drove us to Julian to the mountains of San Diego County, to pick grapes in a vineyard, straight from the vine. It cost a dollar a lug--and they were big crates--if we picked them ourselves. We ate our way through the vineyard and would drive home, stuffed.

Every Christmas, it was Sally who tried to teach us not to literally throw the tinsel--and it was real tinsel--onto the Christmas tree as we decorated. She’d slow us down and show us how to gently drape the tinsel, piece by piece, over the needles and branches to give it a washed-in-silver look. Try as she might, it would still have a disheveled look about it.

While she was in college, I recall Sally and her girlfriends, Georgette and Ann, driving us to La Jolla Shores, and once to Windandsea, to swim in the ocean and sun bathe. Sally loved the beach.

When Michael was a lifeguard on the Mission Beach peninsula, every Tuesday night our Mother would take us there, to the bay side, to meet up with Mike at the end of his shift. She’d bring hot dogs, chips and drinks, and we’d have hot-dog roasts around the fire ring with Mike and his fellow lifeguards.

Not long after that, Sally married and moved to Pacific Beach. Our mom would take us there to visit her and our first niece. Cordelia and I fell in love with San Diego’s beaches and, eventually, we each moved to Pacific Beach, then to South Mission. Sally’s mother-in-law, May, lived on the bayside in South Mission and we regularly hung out there as teenagers. May was always good to us and had bikes ready for us to cruise the boardwalk.

Mike with Sally's oldest in our pool
Sally, Cordelia and I played in the annual O-T-L tournament on Fiesta Island, our first team sponsored by Tug’s Tavern, at that time a popular beach bar. Sally, Cordelia and I always hung out on the beach, and every summer holiday we had barbecues. Spending the day on the beach with my son, Raymond, Sally's kids, and friends was something we did every Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays. The get-togethers became family traditions, and we looked forward to them each year. Mike and his family--his children Kevin and Heather and wife Sharon--who lived out of state, made it to one of those July 4th beach bashes.

I can’t count the number of long bike rides I took with Sally--up the coast to Cardiff-by-the-Sea, to Del Mar and back, and to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse in the Cabrillo National Monument. The longest ride was around 1990, when I won two trips for a Vermont inn-to-inn bike trek, and Sally went as my guest. Neither of us at that point had been back East. I treasure the memories I have bicycling beside her on beautiful winding, country roads, past plush farmlands. They were halcyon days.

One thing about Sally, everyone always said how pretty she was. She was a natural beauty and looked a lot like our Mother.

We were family. And quite a family it was with all of us--never a dull moment--chock full of memories we'll always have with us.

When Cordelia, at 10, had open-heart surgery, Sally stayed home with me at our house in La Mesa, while our parents waited at the hospital for the eight-hour surgery to be over. Our next-door neighbor, Mrs. Vetter, invited Sally and me to lunch at her house, to keep us occupied. I didn’t realize the seriousness of Cordelia’s surgery until Sally, so anxious about the risky operation, got sick to her stomach.

Our Dog Named Nosey

Nosey, in a doll stroller, with Cathy

One of my earliest memories is the day our family got a dog. We named her Nosey because she sniffed all around the yard and house when she first came home. She was a pound puppy, and she was loyal.

My twin sister Cordelia and I were 3 years old. I remember one Saturday morning running outside to the front yard and standing there in anticipation as our father pulled up to the curb. He had left that morning for the county pound, but we didn't know it. All we were told was he was coming home with a surprise. At the time, we lived in the Valencia Park community of San Diego, and our street was loaded with kids. Some were there with us, waiting.

Dad walked around to the passenger side of the car and opened the door. I've never forgotten it. Nosey practically fell out of the car, but I'm sure my Dad had carried her down. She didn't have a leash on, but she didn't go anywhere. All five of us -- my brothers and sisters -- started fawning over her. She was the cutest, sweetest little short, black-and-white puppy with floppy ears, part beagle, part Basset hound. I've loved short dogs ever since.

When we moved to La Mesa, a suburb of San Diego, we lived on a cul-de-sac, and Nosey was always outside with us. When we played softball in the traffic circle, she'd stay on the sidewalk as we played. I remember hanging out at our friends' house (Vickie and Sharon, who lived down the street), and Nosey would sit on the lawn in their front yard, waiting for us to come out.

Sally & Nosey
When I was 7, our father won a trip to a convention in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We drove there, stayed a week, and then went for another week to Missouri, where my father grew up. We left Nosey with family friends, who lived 10 miles away. A couple days into it, Nosey got out and ran away. Our friends looked everywhere and couldn't find her. The father decided to check our house. Sure enough, Nosey had made it home and was hiding in a corner of our basement. He left her at our house and went back each day to check on her, feed her and give her water. Nosey had never before been to their house, so it amazed us all that she had found her way home. She was there to greet us when we returned.

When Nosey contracted hepatitis shortly after we moved to La Mesa, when we were still in grade school, the five of us, without our parents, took her to the vet. My brother Michael, the oldest and probably 17 at the time, carried her across the canyon behind our house that led us straight to the nearest veterinary clinic. The vet gave us medicine and said Nosey had to stay overnight, because she was too sick to go home and he wasn't sure she'd make it. All of us said no, that she was coming home with us. We instinctually knew she had a much better chance at home. And we were right.

Once home, we laid her down on the living room floor on a blanket, where she stayed for about a week, barely moving except to eat a little and go outside. I remember that first day, laying my head on the carpeted floor next to her, petting her, and Nosey growling. She wanted to be left alone. So that's what we all did; we gave her space. Within a week, she appeared to be well on the road to recovery. In no time at all, she was back to herself. That illness was probably the only time she ever growled at any of us.

Nosey passed away at 15 years old after suffering a couple of years with arthritis. Even back then, our mother used a natural remedy for arthritis, but at the time we didn't know it was holistic. She had read somewhere that cod liver oil eased the swelling in joints, so she put it on Nosey's food. Nosey was then able to walk up the porch steps for the first time in a long while. It helped for a time until she could no longer move around easily. And she was loaded with either tumors or fatty deposits. To combat California fleas, we regularly put flea powder on her coat, which, back then, was in the form of diatomaceous earth, also natural. Every Sunday, Mother would cook a pot roast, and Nosey would get the bone afterward. Nosey would stand in the kitchen waiting for the bone, along with some carrots and potatoes thrown in for good measure.

Seeing Nosey as a puppy again in this photo brought back the memories. Our mother always called her "the doggie in the window," so she must have been at a window when our father first saw her at the pound (much smaller facilities back then). No wonder all of us kids became animal lovers. Our dad made sure of that when he gave us a puppy -- and, later, Guinea pigs, a parakeet, hamsters, rabbits, fish, a cat, and a horse named Star. Nosey was a member of our family. I still miss her.