TwelveOeight, how I named my blog

I have mentioned a bit about how I named
this blog, and why.  But I never told you the story.
This handsome couple are my maternal 

 Donald (Duke) Ellington and Edith Wicklund 

were set up by friends on a blind date and married
shortly thereafter.  
The adopted son of a wealthy Los Angeles 
couple, and the daughter of Swedish immigrants
fell in love.  They survived the remainder of 
the depression,WWII, heartache and joy.
  And the impact they made in my life
has forever shaped me.  My father, who I met
for the first time less than three years ago, was
shipped to Vietnam, and the divorce was final 
before I could remember.  So my grandparents
became surrogate parents, my mom and I
 moved back home,  I was the only kid 
on the block to have three parents,
 I thought it was cool.

This left my Mom, one of the two children my 
grandparents had, now a single parent in the 
early 70’s.  Without a college degree, (and 
perhaps with one), at the time her options for 
work were slim. While she sorted fruit in our agricultural
community, or worked caring for the elderly, my 
grandparents, now retired, spent their time shaping
and teaching one stubborn little girl who 
didn’t like rules, school, structure… 
I don’t suppose you may have had a bit of this
nature in you as well?
Thank goodness for insightful grandparents.
My Grandma was extremely nurturing,
my closest confidant and friend,
she went to be with the Lord in 2007.  My 
Grandpa was a Marine.  If you have had the 
pleasure of having been raised by a Marine,
you know that they are Marines.  
Not ex-Marines.  They will remind you of this
should you forget.  And he was wonderful.
I have yet to meet anyone with that much
personality.  He passed away
  in 1995, I sure do miss them.

So with a lot of love, and some much needed
structure, I grew up in the home they built,
{the address 1208}.  I asked my Grandma
to teach me at home and she didn’t think 
that would be good for me.  If your kids
struggle in school, or cannot sit still.  Be patient,
God has given them gifts they can discover 
with your help.  Grandma discovered I like
to make things.  But she still made me go to school.
I survived.  I created every type of 
mud-pie imaginable and they made a space
for me to create.  I searched the yard sales in 
the neighborhood to decorate my little 
mud-house which was a converted shed.  
{hoarding genes in full swing}
With stacks of plastic dishes,  an old 
tea kettle (and an outdoor sink with running 
water!) I was deep in creative, domestic bliss.
We farmed, ate organic food, raised cattle, 
and I spent countless hours running between
fruit trees, eating fresh carrots with some of
the dirt rinsed off, and learning about compost,
politics,and everything in between.

 We had a close family friend and neighbor “Sam” 
who was a master potter and taught at the local 
college.  When Mt. St. Helens blew in 1980
we had quite a bit of ash in Central Washington.
Sam created a special glaze using this ash for 
her gorgeous pottery.  Can you imagine what 
she could have done with internet access?
Sam had traveled the world, seen the Great Wall
in China, and brought home art from Egypt.
She listened to classical music very loud,
and drove a baby blue Nova.  
Charlie’s Angels had nothing on Sam.
And her backdoor had an old skeleton key
I would use to enter and take care of her house
when she traveled.  I think I was about six years
old then.  This is a reminder to me to give my
kids more responsibility, they can handle it. 
Thank goodness for neighbors who love strays.
 As the years went on, the core lessons had 
begun to take hold.  
Life happens, pain, joy, laughter, loss. 
I am still learning the lessons
that began years ago.

Flowers can grow just fine among weeds.
Just like these I found in my
garden this week.
To choose joy over despair.
To remember that this too shall pass.
To serve and give, you can’t take it with you.
To be silly and not take ourselves to seriously.
To remember that circumstances can change
quickly, don’t give up.
To remind myself that the most resistance
usually happens right before a breakthrough.
 Dig in and don’t lose your foothold.
Be kind.
Prepare for the rain.
So when I named this place that I give my
heart to each day, create and share from.
It had to be the place that I love, a name 
I could grow with.  But that held so
much meaning that each time I read it
or say it, it makes me happy.

Thank you so much for reading this 
online journal of mine,
twelve O eight.
I count it joy to be able to share with you,
and appreciate you so very much.

Hugs & blessings
xo, Tanya

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  1. This is such a nice post and tribute to your grandparents! Grandparents are such a huge influence in their grandkids lives. It was interesting to learn how your blog got its name!

  2. Beautiful Tanya! I loved reading this. It sounds like a majical childhood filled with incredibly special people! Have a great weekend, Jen @ City Farmhouse

  3. Oh Tanya, I love love love your story!!
    Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Wow – what a great story!

    My childhood was very different from yours, but I was also very greatly influenced by my grandparents and remain close with my surviving grandmother to this day. When I visited her last fall, she told a friend that I was practically her fifth child because I'd spent so much time living with her. I was really touched.

  5. That is one of the most uplifting stories I could have read today… And it's only ten in the morning!!
    So special. Glad to know more behind the name : )

  6. This is such a great story! I always wondered about your name thanks for sharing it!

    And what a wonderful way to grow up:)

  7. ooo how fun to read! I always love to hear the "story" behind the blog! It's my first time here, following with blog lovin now! Would love for you to stop by my blog sometime.

  8. What a wonderful, heartfelt story!

  9. what a neat story! you chose a meaninful name 1208

  10. Tanya, what a beautiful story of your grandparents' love and commitment to their family! I'm so happy you shared this with us. What an incredible blessing to be able to have your blog home be a reminder of such an important place in your history. Thank you for your inspiring story, and words of hope and encouragement!


  11. Our family and our history shape us and make us who we are. Thanks for sharing your special story. ~di @ Musings

  12. Me again. I wanted to recommend a storytelling sight, it's called Cowbird, you might like to join and share this story and other stories there. ~di @ Musings

  13. Hi,
    Lovely to get to know you. I am following you at From House to Home – I Choose Joy.
    Many blessings,

  14. I was always curious how you got the name. What a wonderful story!
    –Gena from

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  19. s48X8Y pretty practical stuff, overall I think this is worthy of a bookmark, thanks

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Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: And these awesome parties: