As an update to my previous post "The Gift of a Lifetime", there's a bit more to the story that I think you will enjoy. Along our journey in CA, I learned so many things about our cousin; for me, that was one the main reasons for my joy at spending so much intensive time with her. Once of the things that surprised me was when she said she knew all her trees in the Midwest where she grew up, but wasn't all that familiar with the flora of the West. I saw an Audubon Book of Trees (Western Edition) at one of the giftshops; of course, my first reaction was to buy it immediately for her, but I felt that she was overwhelmed by all that we were paying for her way along this trip; I thought she would "murder me" if I came out with yet another gift, so I reluctantly left it behind. I also learned when we were at the Santa Barbara Mission that she has been wanting a book about all the California Missions; but again, I hesitated and opted against making the purchase.
After we arrived back home, I couldn't take it anymore-Patty was due back here in Illinois the following weekend for her granddaughters 1st birthday, so I quickly ordered the two books from amazon and hoped like crazy that they would arrive by the time of her visit. Much to my delight, they were at my doorstep the day before I was hosting a small family birthday party for Elsa Claire. Although I thought she was going to be very angry with me, when I gave Patty the two books she was overwhelmed, incredibly excited, and very graciously accepted my gift. She kept saying, "I've been wanting these books for such a long time". In my head, I was saying, "Yes, I know, that's my "gift"; I listen to what people say and do what I can to provide them with things or opportunities that I can"!
A great time was had by all at the party; toward the end though, she jokingly said, "OK, we have to go-I'm so excited to start looking at my books!" Here's a photo of her excited reaction....I do know who was more excited though, she or I that she was so happy and not mad at me!