We know you as a good friend, a jeweler, a budding artist. And I wonder if everyone also knows that you were a Garden Goddess. How do I know that you were a Garden Goddess? The best cucumber I have ever eaten came from your personal garden. I remember once when I came over for dinner, that, in addition to the delicious cucumber, you also harvested—minutes before dinner—the greens that made up the salad. I remember your wise mother saying: “Dinner is almost ready—time for the salad!” You walked into your backyard to your raised bed and collected the ingredients. You prepared a perfect salad dressing after washing your harvest and delivered to the table the finished product: the freshest best tasting salad that could only come from a Garden Goddess.
I miss walking with you in the gardens.
by Veronica Howard
I was born on September 14, 2001, at Stanford University Hospital. My family was very happy when I was born. When I came home my eyes were still closed. My family adored me so much.
I was two years old when I first went to Death Valley. It was December, 2003, and we were camping at Furnace Creek. They have a golf course and a wonderful restaurant. They also have a pool and you can ride horses. We go there every year for Christmas.
I got my stuffed animal, Gingy, in 2004. Gingy is one of my favorite stuffed animals. I got it because my mom was shopping and I was bored so I grabbed a stuffed animal to play with. We walked out and I was still holding it. Then my mom saw I was still holding it and we went back in. My mom could not make me let go so whe bought it for me. I called him my man because I did not know how to say gingerbread man. Now I call him Gingy. He has three buttons and a big red nose. It was a really good day.
I went to Disneyland in 2007. The rides were so much fun. My favorite ride is called tea cups. I went there with my family and friends. We went on a ride where you go on a fire truck and you pumps. We also went on the Indiana Jones ride. It was scary but fun!
Now I am in 3rd grade. It is February 2011 and I am nine years old. My family is still very happy and I still love Gingy.
I first met Ana in fourth grade at Alta Heights Elementary School in Napa. We were close friends. She was so smart and so interesting. There weren’t many of those kinds of kids out there! Every day she had a Hershey’s chocolate bar in her lunch; lucky girl, I thought. I don’t remember when she moved, but I saw her again at Silverado Middle School where we picked up our friendship and continued with it more intensely at Napa High School. She always looked the same; she never changed. We used to follow John because he was the smartest boy in the school. She was the only girl who could understand his questions in math or science class, and wasn’t afraid to challenge or questions any of his thoughts or of the thoughts of our teachers. Every day at the end of science class, she would hang back and ask Mr. Schroeder, our biology teacher lots of questions. John would be there too, as well as the other two or three “smartest boys in the school.” Our teachers probably hungered for students like Ana to ask intelligent questions. She truly wanted to KNOW.
I was always shy, and Ana challenged me with, “Let’s do this!” for things I would NEVER have done. She wasn’t afraid to be social. I needed that.
In college, she came to my dorm freshman year, all the way from Cal Poly and she convinced me to get a pack of cigarettes from the machine in the dining hall. We tried them in my dorm room. I never tried it again, but I’m grateful that Ana got me to experience things I would never have done. Really. It’s a funny memory.