Bags were packed, boxes stuffed with various crap and the sand for the most part was left behind as we moved from the water and up the hill from Coast Highway. It was a soft sea breeze that pushed us those one and one-half miles to settle in yet another new abode. Seaward Road was gentle curving street that wound up even higher than where we landed, about mid-way would be my guess.
From the street the house had a cottage look, with those lovely windows you could both peek in and out of. The front yard welcomed visitors with the lush greenness of the lawn and a curving brick path that led you straight to the front door. Once inside, the cottage exploded into house with a roomy open plan for the kitchen, dining and living room. The split-level downstairs had a most generous family room with a wonderful brick fireplace.
The backyard was enormous, mostly grass with a noticeable slope to the back wall and huge tree that would years later become home to a neat tree house. About midway and to the left was a Coral Tree, with those beautiful spikes of red when it was time for blooms. But I had a major problem with this Coral Tree when it came time for pruning; it's a veiled beauty with thorns as sharp as swords, each pruning season it would be the Coral Tree that would be victorious.
The beautiful backyard was host to many events, from an outdoor wedding for my sister-in-law, to annual Fourth of July parties for my Irvine Company compatriots. When grandchildren arrived on the scene they too enjoyed this outdoor space, playing, climbing or just squatting looking for bugs.
A parade of animals made appearances over the years. There was Arthur, King Arthur, we often called him. He was a narrow shouldered black cat and hunter of all things great and small. Arthur wasn't really our cat, but belonged to the previous owners who had moved several miles away. The owners would be called and Arthur would be picked up, only to return again and again. Finally it was mutually decided that Arthur would stay, he obvious was part of the house. Probably it is more correct to say that Arthur allowed us to live in his home. Arthur was a part of our family for many years, ultimately meeting his demise on the very street he lived.
There was the wild baby kitten from the Laguna Beach Pound, which wasn't kept for fear we would be eaten during the night. Then there was Shirley, a white Persian like kitten, who I recall had a rather odd personality, but maybe I've confused her, for I generally am a great lover of cats.
The first dog to come and visit and stay was Maggie, who actually belonged to Susan's boyfriend. He was moving and had nowhere to leave the dog except our home. Maggie was a beagle who ate everything in sight and this is no exaggeration. I would accuse my children of eating all the donuts or brownies and innocent faces would tell me it wasn't them. At first I didn't believe them, but then I had to admit that none of my kids had ever licked a plate clean of its powered sugar remains or eaten whole cubes of butter that I can ever recall.
When Shirley was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer I opted to have her put down rather than take on the expense of treatment, so feeling so very, very guilty over my decision I bought a little cocker puppy for Linda. She named him Peppy or was it Pepe? And that he was a very peppy little pup, who had a tennis ball in his mouth from the time he could get it to fit. There wasn't a person, workman, deliveryman or gardener that could escape a few ball tosses when Peppy would present the ball with his excited invitation and with wagging tail and those sorrowful brown pleading eyes.
More on Seaward to follow…
*Let the record books note that while it shows 13 years in one location, I did run away to Berlin, Germany for a few months.