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Maravilla for Mom
Mom asked me to photograph what she always called "Maravilla," so when Dad (John T, Jack) and she (Mary) retired to San Antonio, she'd remember it. I'd shot it many times, but that time was special. I saved them all to what I thought was my most reliabe hard drive. Then it crashed, taking a half a terabyte of stuff with it. Including those precious memories.
I didn't want to disappoint Mom, so I didn't say anything. Then, the Wednesday before, Anna reminded me Sunday was Mother's Day, and I suddenly realized I could gather the photographs I did have, from Christmases, summers, birding trips and other visits to Camp Grandma and Hotel Grandpa and do what I could. This is what I did.
J R Compton
Julie, Jack and Jay
I tracked down every shot I could find. Anna delivered hers, and I discovered I had a 'roll' of Mom's own photographs near the end of their stay there, some of which I had shot. Those are marked here as OMC (on Mom's camera).
Jay, Jared, Joyce and Tom
What this project became is images of people in rooms and spaces in and around our long-time Lower Rio Grande Valley home. Those lost photos were of objects and places, not people, though there are plant pictures here, too. There'd have to be. Along with all of us, that's what Mom did.
Julie, John, Joyce and Jay
Zapping that hard drive may have been The Universe's way of popping me on the nose reminding it's people that make a home, not things. These photographs are inhabited by the best people in the world, family.
Julie, John and Jackson
And many of these shots have never been seen by anybody but me, and I'd forgot I even had a lot of them. (Turns out I'd also forgot another page that has about a dozen of these same photos — though not as large or nicely produced.)
Boys with flags
I used to think I could remember every photograph I ever shot. But I don't anymore. I do think I remember shooting this and the next pictures in Mom's kitchen the day Anna and I filled a U-Haul truck with stuff from Maravilla. OMC
Carmen, Mom and Lucha
Even some people who really aren't family really are. OMC
Joyce unlaxing in the kitchen
I've delighted in mixing time and visits and people on this page that's like an informal walk around the house. First in it, then out and around it.
Patsy finds a bottle
Some of these are moments I remember. Like when Patsy got up on a little ladder to bring down a bottle for a special celebration. Maravilla is many moments gathered here.
J R, John, Mom, Dale, Tom
Many of these are posed pictures of who we are. The guy in on the left is me. I assume Anna shot it. In the middle is Mom, for whom this page is a Mother's Day gift. Here, I usually refer to people by their first names. To know who everybody is and how we're all related, you'd need a souvenir program, but there aren't any.
I didn't really plan this. It just grew.
I expected it would revolve around specific places in Maravilla, and that started with the kitchen, where most people — family, certainly — start at Maravilla. The hearth, the food, the social — pretty much everything begins and often stays in the kitchen, which essentially winds around three rooms.
More pictures are shot there than anywhere else except maybe the pool in summer. Oops! Just caught myself using the present tense for this place. Maybe that's how it always should be.
This adventure will wrap around
the house like a person walking, room to room, space to space.
Jay, John, Tom and Dad watching TV
As always, if you have any corrections, let me know. I'm terrible with names and might someday have to do that souvenir program I spoke of. My contact information keeps changing, but my latest email is always linked from my Contact page, and I'd love to hear from you, and I want all the info here to be correct.
John T and John M in the rec room
I'm not going to explain every photograph. From here on it's mostly pictures and brief captions. Thanks for taking this walk with us around Maravilla.
Haley trying to sleep
Chaz and Olivia
Out onto the patio
Joyce in the rec room
For his birthday, Dad gets as many $1 bills as he was old
Jackson sets the table
Joyce and Mom at the keyboard we got her
Note to Grandpa
A Christmas Star
Mary Ann and Todd
Looking in at the tree and the Jimmy Stewart movie
The whole movie's online and full-screen.
Tom, the Puzzle Master
Sean and Amanda
The patio, the pool and the pump house
Jared and Jay watching TV
John measures the living room floor
Brian and Livvy
Jackson Renard Firecracker Compton
Flowers by the front window
Unfurling the Butterfly National Flag
Jennifer, Jay, Joyce, Patsy and Julie
The Great Joyce and Jennifer Maravilla Archive Project to save all the photographs and memorabilia from the long back hall. OMC
Blue bowl and green plant
Mom & Dad in the back hall full of family pictures
Anna sleeping in the middle bedroom
Tulips in there, too
Tangle of sheets
Mom as Butterfly
Shower curtain in the back bath
"Mary Ann's room"
Except, of course, that when it was last Mary Ann's room, it was green and purple. Always seems strangely comforting to see white instead.
My robe with end of hall on right
Mary Ann in the Sewing Room
Cocks and Doodle-doos
Hawaiian Print in The Boys' Room
Now we'll wander around some of the more outdoor spaces starting, of course, from the kitchen end of the house.
Pop in his workshop
Same Guy — but busier
Citrus ready for distribution
Welcome sign on the garage
Photo by Anna Palmer
Me and Dad doing some serious ratcheting
Usually when I do a page of photographs, there's none of me, because I'm behind the camera, but somehow I got a whole roll (er... memory card load) from Mom's camera, and this and the next and some others here are by her or on her camera. If I don't credit me or Anna, somebody else did it. OMC
John, Julie and Jennifer
Anna, J R, toothpick and U-Haul truck
The driveway unusually wet with rain
Dale and Dad
Mom, Lucha and her kids and her sister Carmen
I may have shot this one, too. OMC
Clare and Dale
Mom's cactus garden
The Ladybug mailbox
Anna Palmer photo
The driveway to Compton Drive
Palms on Compton Drive
3308 Compton Drive — fruit for sale
Anna Palmer photo
Compton Drive looking toward the Two-mile Line
Palms and a blue sky
Aloe Vera Forest
The JCs on the Porch
Left to right: John Compton, Julie Clifton, John Compton, Jennifer Connor, Jackson Compton, J R Compton, Jared Connor, Joyce Culbertson, Jay Culbertson posing on the front porch. My camera. Anna must have shot it.
Then there's everybody else, including the JCs. Let's see if I know these people: John T, Jackson, Julie, Mom, John, Amanda, Sean, Haley, Nathan, Mary Ann, Todd, Patsy, Tom, Anna, the digital J R, Jennifer, Jared, Joyce and Jay
Jennifer & Jared
Front of the house at Maravilla
Tom & John
Mom must have taken this picture. It was on her camera. It's wonderful of my next two brothers. Great smiles. OMC
Little red flowers
Towards the grove
Jackson and Jared
Dad in his little grove
If they're little enough to go through the ring, they're not ready to be picked yet. Dad's ring is attached, so he doesn't lose it out there.
Big tree with little grove
The back yard through the garage
Sunflower in Mom's beautiful garden
Budding Angel Trumpet
Jennifer and Maya by Mom's Poinsettias
Big blue sky from the pool
One of Mom's Birds of Paradise
Patsy and Tom smiling for Mom
J R floating in the pool
These two photos are by Mary Compton
Swimming pool covered for winter
Palms and a curling sky
Floating on my back in the pool, when I saw this, I turned around and swam back, so I wouldn't bump my head.
Up the Papaya tree
No numbers and hardly ever any rain.
Cheesecake on the diving board
I think I remember taking this photo and seriously wondering about the cheesecake antics of women photographed near a pool. Jennifer, Libby and Joyce. OMC
Yellow Cannas in Mom's Garden
Julie, Jackson, Jared, Joyce, Jennifer, Maya, Patsy, Tom and Jay photographing Mom & Dad
Mom and Dad sitting for photographs
Clothespins on the patio
Green and Purple and Pink
House Angel in the Patio
John and Cathy Conally, Mom, Bev and Russ Rutten and Margie Sweeney
Mom's painted rock cats
Stick Cactus before the snow
117 photographs by my count.
I'd be happy to entertain any corrections or additions that show Maravilla.
All contents copyright 2009 and before by J R Compton. All Rights Reserved.