Reflections of the Past
“Reflections of the Past” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland Rasmussen

Our seven year old great-granddaughter’s birthday occasioned the gathering our clan in Southern California this weekend. She will be attending the same neighborhood school where both her parents and their best friends, plus a number of other family members and friends went not so long ago.

It was especially strange to me as being in a military family, I seemingly moved with the seasons. When we met, at the age of 16, my future husband asked how many schools I had attended. I was in my junior year of high school at the time, and answered “twelve so far.” After graduation I counted three more.


A group of our family stayed in my daughter’s lovely home for the weekend, and as we all called out our good nights, I was reminded of the old TV series “Little House on the Prairie”. Their closing scene each week was the sound of each family member saying “good night” as the lights went out in each room of the large house.

As I heard each of my family in turn say their “good nights”, I thought of how nice it is to be the progenitors of these delightful people.

Painting is of grandson Matt at age 13 hearing the girlhood stories of his great-grandma Leita.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

13 thoughts on “GENERATIONS”

  1. Lovely to hear the family saying good night. I remember our kids watching Little House on the Prairie. Was that also the time of Zorro and Bonanza, or was that before their time? As a kid I loved Rin Tin Tin. Your water colour painting is very good and I like the way you managed to place the grandson’s head and blond hair against the dark backdrop of the fire place. The brickwork of the fire place is amazing with the way ypu gave texture to the bricks. I love memories that are so visual as well.


    1. Thanks Gerard.  It’s always amazing to me when the family sleeps in the same house to realize I have listened to kids, grandkids and now great-grandkids chatting away.  I am blessed beyond belief.



    1. Ha ha! You’re right!  Pretty funny huh?  I actually never really saw either program, but I remember the advertising for it, and John-Boy of course!  I’m sure my kids watched it though, and both were popular for many years.  I think there is a hunger for “nice” programming which isn’t thee anymore.  It is all so explicit and violent, and people lose the feeling of what a family should be.



  2. Silver dollars! For a time, an aunt gave me a silver dollar every year – for Christmas or birthday. I don’t remember which. They were kept in a beaded bag that belonged to my mother’s mother. The silver dollars are gone now, but of course I kept the bag. Lovely memories.

    I never saw Little House on the Prairie on tv, but when I was in fourth grade, our teacher read aloud to us every day for a half hour, and the “Little House” books were some of those she read. Do they still read aloud to young ones in school? If they would bring back reading aloud, twice-a-day recesses where the kids could play their games, and sack lunches, we’d be on our way to reforming the system. Next step? Actually teaching kids to spell, add, subtract, read. Then, music and art. Oh, couldn’t I just reform it all!

    Your watercolor is wonderful. What I like best is the sense of stillness around the young man. He’s obviously listening – that’s an art in itself, and one that too few young people have the chance to learn these days.


    1. I really never watched “Little House” either, and I just heard from someone that it was really “The Walton’s which had the “good night” closing!  Oh well, they were both good programs anyway, and I don’t think they have anything for kids to watch now.  Unfortunately from what I hear, kids just want to play X-Box or some kind of computer game, or play with an iPad.  Too bad.  I don’t think they read to children today, and parents seem to be so busy there aren’t bedtime stories either.  My mother-in-law was the grandma in the painting, and I remember her telling stories to my kids, and Iknow I sure read to them a lot.  One of my daughters was ill and quarantined for about two months when she was in first grade, and since my husband or I were the only ones allowed in her room, I think I went through all of Dr. Seuss’s books at least 3-4 times!  She became an expert in Cat in the Hat. The continuation of family tradition is so important.  The memories that are created are so precious.  All my grandchildren are grown now, and still ask about anecdotes from the past, both ours and theirs.  It brings families closer together in a time where everything else seems hell bent upon tearing family apart.  All parts of our family live elsewhere, so time spent together is so special, and we take advantage of it whenever we can. 



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