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LYDIA GILLIS

My Humble Beginnings

August 11, 2020

Filed in: Personal, Travel

When I think of my childhood, I think of my humble beginnings, I think of this place, El Tecolote (The Owl). This is my maternal grandparent’s ranch. The place where I was born. Where I took my first breath, my first steps. Its the place where I spent every summer up to my teenage years.

I’m so proud of my heritage, of this place and my motherland. I’m also very thankful for my homeland, the USA. They are both a beautiful combination of who I am today. I was born in Mexico and my parents brought me to the USA when I was eight years old, but this place will always hold a very special place in my life. It has always been important to me that my husband and my children know my roots and my humble beginnings as these are such a big part of who I am. It has been a goal of mine to introduce this place to my family. And while I can’t say this goal has come to full fruition, I’m thankful that Curt and Jeremy were able to join me on two different occasions (The pictures I’m sharing today are from two different trips) as I took each one individually down memory lane. My goal is to one day be able to go as a family and bring Vanessa along.

There is nothing fancy about this place but all the memories and my grandparent’s legacy make up for all the modern commodities. This place has no running water or electricity. Nowadays you can drive to the ranch but back in the day, the only way to commute was by horse or donkeys. The voyage was four hours from our small home town. Every summer at the end of our last day of school my grandma (my grandparents raised me) would have the donkeys saddled up and our bags packed. We traveled very light. We were only allowed two outfits. The one we were wearing and an extra one that was packed. We grew our own food so no need to pack food other than some bean tacos to have as a snack on the long journey. We spent every summer at the ranch and went back to our town the day before school started. Those were some unforgettable times.

This place is such a big part of me, of who I am and I have been wanting to share it with the world for such a long time. I can’t believe I’m finally doing it. It’s been long overdue! I’m so grateful for life, humble beginnings, and family roots. 

In honor of my birthday month, I’m sharing a piece of my heart!

Friends, welcome to my humble beginnings and make yourself at home.

This rock where I’m sitting is my favorite place at the ranch. Every morning as a child I would wake up and go straight to this rock and watch my grandfather milk the cows as I waited patiently for him to bring me a warm cup of raw milk. I can’t drink raw milk nowadays. I actually don’t drink dairy milk at all.

This is the corral where my grandfather milked the cows. He built the rock wall on his own. I definitely got my work ethics from him.

A room with a view. This is the room where I was born.
The outside of the room where I was born.
My brother Sergio and I. We both have so many memories of this place. I absolutely love this picture of us.
This here was my favorite playground. During summer which is the rainy season, there is normally a brook here. I used to love playing here. While my grandma did laundry the old fashioned way, we would bath here, eat mangos and run freely.
Growing up, the only way to communicate with the outside world was through telegrams. Who knew iPhones were going to be a thing.
This is our neighboring ranch. I use to bring the family milk every morning.
On my visit with Curt, I got to explore more of this beautiful place. We went for a hike and even though we were not able to make it all the way to my dad’s family ranch, I was able to show him the view. If you look closely the ranch is in the middle of the picture.

Thanks for letting me share a little piece of my heart!

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LYDIA GILLIS PHOTOGRAPHY is Denver based Seniors, and Personal Branding Photographer as well as educator. She helps photographers run a profitable and sustainable business. 

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  1. So beautiful, Lydia! Thank you for sharing this piece of you – it’s amazing to know your roots in that way.

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