My dad's family on the paternal side moved to California from Indiana in the 1880's following a failed apple harvest. They decided they had had enough.
Along with four other families, they packed it up and headed west, eventually arriving in Los Olivos, which is still a tiny town, inland a bit from Santa Barbara and just over an hour from where I now live.
My dad grew up in this house, minus the Saab and Home Depot boxes:
He had six brothers and sisters, so along with his aunts and uncles and cousins, they made up most of the population of the town. Dad's father ran the garage. His uncle ran one store and his aunt another. Another uncle owned the movie theater. It was like Mayberry, California style.
After coming back from the war (that would be WWII, Europe, where he was an Army Master Sergeant), he married my mom and they moved a couple blocks away to:
The famous tin-roofed house where they couldn't hear themselves talk when it was raining.
As I was looking for a place to have lunch, I saw a poster for a book signing for Images of Los Olivos, this little historical book, mostly photos, from the town's past.
I bought a couple copies and giggled as I ate my pizza, looking at photos of my dad's grandparents from 1912. It felt like someone had handed me the best present ever, like I had gotten back something I didn't even know I was missing.