Harley RT: Inez, The Gardenista

Truly interesting people are few and far between, but usually area a bit older and have lived a lifetime of experiences.The Gardenista

Inez, my brother’s grandma (I guess mine too, but that’s another story…), is by far one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever met in my life. Coincidentally, she is a vibrant, young-at-heart and life-fulfilled person who loves three things:

1. Flowers
2. Telling stories
3. Cooking

My new nickname for her is “The Gardenista.” I think it fits very well. Since Daniel and I arrived a few days ago, I think I’ve been given five or six tours of her garden. Each time, she is so excited to point out a flower or a color that she has or hasn’t pointed out to us before.


Her favorite flowers seem to be the yellow ones. Of course, these are the very ones she takes to her late husband’s resting place daily.

Every time she starts telling one of her stories about her neighbors that she’s lived next to for some 40 years, I get lost. Each story is as exciting as the next. Of course, some of them do not make sense or she repeats herself a lot, but that is the beauty of Inez. Every opportunity she has to tell a story, point out a flower or cook Arroz con Pollo (rice with chicken), she puts all of her energy into it.

I guess we could all take away a lesson or two from the way she lives her life. In fact, I’ve written a few below that I’ve learned since meeting her a few days ago.

Lessons from Inez
1. Find a passion and be the best at it. For the Gardenista, her flowers are her passion. If you were to walk down her block, you would notice that her garden is the most beautiful on the block. “Que bonita and que preciosa” are the two expressions that are constantly coming out of her mouth.

2. Get lost in the moment. Inez loves to stop what she’s doing and tell a story about the old neighborhood. It usually lasts about 15 to 20 minutes for a story that would usually take about two minutes, but she is all about the details. She’ll tell you what day it was, what the weather was like and then give you a description of all the people involved.

3. And finally, stay young. Inez has the vibrancy of a little kid. She takes every moment for what it is and lives in it. She works out at the local gym, gardens all day, cleans her house, walks around the block and will visit with anyone that stops by… whether they like it or not! 🙂

Come to think of it, I believe we all have an opportunity to find our passion and get lost in the moment while staying young at heart. It’s whether or not we can take a moment for ourselves to really think about what it is that we want, how we’ll do it and who we want to share it with.

For me, I couldn’t think of a better person to spend a few weeks riding a Harley with than Dan Dan the Harley man himself.

What’s your passion? Have you stopped to take a moment for yourself lately? If not, take out a piece of paper and write down a few things you want to do… and DO THEM! 🙂


7 responses to “Harley RT: Inez, The Gardenista

  1. OMG!!!! I laughed out loud at your accuracy in describing Inez! Have I told you lately that this needs to be turned into a book. I literally have no words, or none that can live up to how I feel or could do justice next to yours!!!! Mom would be very proud of you both.

  2. After hearing of Inez for 30 years and never meeting her, it was fun to view this. We are enjoying being along for the ride, thanks for the next best thing, your writing clearly is one of your passions, you are blessed. Come home to us in one piece, we love you both.

  3. Sister Starr

    There’s nothing better than an afternoon with Ines, except maybe an afternoon with Ines and Starr’s kids looking at her saying “what did she just say”? SHe really does value life and everything surrounding it, she pulls you in and you can’t help but love her. Look forward to your updates everyday! Love you guys!

  4. You have all hit it right on regarding Inez. Curt & I have met her, always with your Uncle Charlie & Aunt Sharon along! I remember the time around Chritmas holidays when she had made jam and we were there to pick it up…Sharon & I discovered that almost of the jars had mold on them…well Inez insisted on opening each one and removing the mold and sealing them back up! We took the jars…but I will leave it to your imagination as what was done with the jam!

  5. What’s my passion? What have I always wanted to do? Play the piano!! My hands have been really bad for the past 10 years, but after being inspired by you G., I’m going to just go for it! Tom Cruise says in Risky Business: “Sometimes you just gotta say, ‘What the f***!’, and just go for it. Another thing I’ve wanted to do is face my fears: heights and spiders….I’ve slowly been facing the heights thing, but we’re not anywhere close on the spiders yet.
    I have passion also for my dogs, my family, and my love of all things nature! I love playing in the dirt! A trip to Moab vs. a trip to a 5-star resort…no competition – MOAB baby!!! show me the dirt anyday. Your road trip together has made me crave MOAB soooooo bad. Only 11 more months left to go. luv T.

  6. Pingback: Harley RT: The Road Home (Day 7-9) « Experience Experiment

  7. What an inspiration to come home from the hospital to. Have been on some of those scenic roads a few times in my life and they were vividly brought to life by your keen reporting. Gregory, along with your many passions, I certainly hope writing is one of them that you invest time and energy in. You’ve such a God-given talent, people will be deprived if you don’t.
    Loved hearing and seeing Inez. She is her own unique gem. But sorry you were both just down the street from us and we never got to say hello even for a few minutes. We are just up Washington Blvd (but, of course I was hospitalized thru May 7th). Please post the Tito’s picture or tell me the link. I don’t see that one anywhere. God Bless you all. ~Love Aunt Gayle, Venice, CA

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