Going to Seminary | Photos 1973-74

by Elouise

1973 Christmas Altadena opening presents

I’m so nostalgic today I can scarcely bear it! It’s a good feeling, though. The kind I get from looking at old photos. Here are several taken during our first year in Altadena, California.

The photo at the top speaks for itself. Christmas 1973. We’re in the den of our new (to us) house.

A few comments about what you see above in the background.

  • The bookshelf: D and I put several of these together our first year at seminary. D used a simple design from a magazine; I stained and sealed the lumber. They can be taken apart, and have traveled with us every time we moved.
  • The Christmas tree is artificial. No watering, no worry about dry needles, easy to take apart and store for next year. Most of the ornaments are home-made. Those we bought are tastefully crafty and sweet, of course.
  • D and I stained the roll-top desk. A bargain purchase. Too bad we had to leave it when we moved back to the East.

After Christmas Day, the next big event was the Rose Parade
in Pasadena! January 1, 1974.
Here we are bundled up in southern California cold weather gear,
waiting for the parade to begin.
In the second photo you’ll see our daughter looking at
one of the floats up close in a park, after the parade.

1974 Jan 1 Rose Parade Pasadena 2
1974 Jan 1 Pasadena Rose Parade Sherry at barrier

Next landmark: Valentine’s Day 1974.
Grandma Elsie (D’s stepmom) gave our children their first kitty!
We named him Ivan. Here are a couple of sweet Ivan photos.
Unfortunately, Ivan developed feline leukemia and was put to sleep early in his little life.

1974 Feb Little Ivan on the rug 2

1974 Feb Scott and Sherry with Ivan
The next three photos were taken in our living and dining room area.
First, son walks into the living room, explaining everything
you’ll ever want to know about the new house!
Second, daughter sits beside houseplants, feeding her beloved ‘Elephant.’
Third, we celebrate daughter’s 4th birthday, with a surprise guest.

1973 Sept Scott explains it all


1974 May Sherry's 4th Birthday in Altadena 2

Ivan decided to join us! D’s brother brought the table cloth from South Africa where he studied and did research for several years. The green bottle on the mantle, with wheat from Grandpa’s wheat ranch, is the (empty!) first bottle of wine friends gave us in California. A honey mead, as I recall. D’s father made the small pottery vase. D’s Mom brought the temple rubbings from Thailand. Daughter ponders her wish before blowing out the candles.

Finally, two more photos that capture our children’s early,
lasting friendship with each other. The first is in our driveway.
The second is at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, not far from where we lived.


I’m grateful for many things, most of them intangible. Not for sale. Things like unexpected kindness, beauty and friendship. I pray these unassuming gifts will pop up in your life this week to remind you of Jesus, the Christ child. The Greatest Gift of All.


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 21 December 2015
Photo credit: DAFraser, 1973-74 in California