Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Happy Huntington!

These are the used membership sticky badges we get when we visit the Huntington Library and Gardens. We did yesterday. I was so mad at myself because we went off in such a hurry, I forgot our new camera. They won't let you take pictures in the galleries but they will around the grounds and I bet they would've at the newest addition that we went to see: The Rose Hills Conservatory for the Botanic Sciences. It was "plantastic"! We had been watching this "glass house" being built. It looks like an old English "hot house". It is massive and has 3 parts, a main and two side wings all connected. It is probably 2 to 3 stories high in the center/main part. The glass is not "see through" but lets in light. It has permanent demonstrations of the "rain forests" around the world. One whole wing is labeled "cloud forest", another is "plant lab" with on-going experiments in botany. It is for kids, especially the grown-up kind...like me. We spent hours there checking out all of the fascinating displays and live/growing orchids, bromeliads, carnivorous plants and the microscopes to show their cellular structures. There were volunteer aides to help and explain all the displays. Most everything was labeled with the proper scientific names and popular names. Of course, after awhile, in that "steamy climate" you thought you were really in the rain forest.

Then, leading directly out from this glass building, is the Children's Garden, now fully grown and developed. It has the theme of "Earth, Wind, Fire and Water" for it's displays...all at the smaller child's level physically and intellectually. They plants trained on a mountain/volcano shaped arbor that has steam coming out of it to show "fire". There is particular care about the exploration of "textures", leaf shapes, etc. very interactive. Of course, again we were looking at it through our grandchildren's eyes with comments, "Wouldn't Soren or Stone or Layla love this."

When I was teaching I would take classes annually, sometimes twice a year to the Huntington. They surely didn't have anything like this back then. We went to the desert garden or the Japanese Garden or one of the Art Galleries or the Library itself, but never anything this interactive. No wonder they got such large grants and foundations for these latest displays. They do fill a need that is really not met in our schools or in the "field trips" we used to take.

When we go to the Huntington we try to have "High Tea" in the Garden Tea Room. Usually it takes reservations. This time we had none and it was later. We got right in. We love their 10 different kinds of "finger sandwiches", scones, and desserts. We almost feel like we are at the very "proper high tea" that we had at "Fortnam and Mason" in London. There they looked askance at us for wearing our tennis shoes. We had been walking and shopping. No dress requirements at the Huntington''s Tea Room.

We then have to see the "rose garden" and all the new blooms and hybrid varieties. They are not at their peak anymore this season. This time we "discussed" the remotest of possibilities. Would a person be able to secretively strew "the final ashes" of a loved one in and around these roses to "help them bloom"? Maybe bring them, stashed in a "camera case". It would seem so much better for our "remains" than "moldering" in a coffin somewhere or being "blown to the winds" at sea or from a mountain top. We both thought it would be "pretty cool" and something to "think about" for our "final instructions". We haven't really given it much thought otherwise. Just a "crazy idea" that may have been subconsciously "implanted" as we walked around the new Conservatory named "Rose Hills", a well-known cemetery in the area. Then we really would be "happy (at the) Huntington"! H.H. R.I.P. Bob ;-)


At 8:01 AM, Anonymous son#one said...

dad, is this where the craftsman light is?

At 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had some friends whose son, Tim died. They put his ashes in those little camera film cannisters. They called them "Timmy tombs"! They took these a bunch of places on their travels and Tim is now "fertilizing" in many different places, all over the U.S. and Europe.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Bette said...

That comment is from your sis. I still don't know how to use this comment thing, do I?

At 7:06 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Good guess on the craftsman light son # 1 but, nope...you've actually been to where it is with me and Soren recently. Dad

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous #oneson said...

is it disneyland?

At 12:53 PM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

Disneyland is very close...within walking distance or chasing Soren distance. Dad


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