"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Friday, June 10, 2016

Thank Goodness for Pictures

The beets are ready for canning, eating. New potatoes and the bulbs of onion and garlic grace the picnic table, drying for a day or two. Working my own little scaled down harvest makes me happy as I hear the roar of combines in the field across the road.  And it makes me sad, as you might expect. Do I miss working harvest, the dust and chaff, the sweat and allergies? No, not that part. I miss the camaraderie and the adrenalin and the sound of wheat berries pouring from the auger into the truck. 
    Once you let your mind go flying backward through time it is easy to miss lots of things, and people. The gathering of the souls who shared so much of our lives. Touching us everyday with their wit and humor, their hugs and stories and pats on the shoulder, or kisses on the cheek. Thank goodness we wrangled people into photographs now and then, often against their wills. 

 Every day is everyday, but some days are holidays (holy days) and graduations and birthdays, weddings and funerals and 4ths of July. We allow ourselves time to stop and sit and smile with those whose lives are intertwined with our own, and they are many and far flung. Here are four of the five of us all getting together at Abbey's graduation.

This is my grandma and me at the Thanksgiving after we had traveled together to the UK. We have a great bond here, Jim can see it from where he is standing. Time and travel spent together is a great thing, if you can manage it.    That is why we load up the children and take them to visit their grandparents, even if it is difficult to get there.  Isn't this lovely, two little girls wrapped in the arms of love, listening to their grandmother's voice as she reads them a book full of beautiful words and pictures.
And these two as well, sharing love and hugs with a grandma who did not have any girls of her own and, as a result, loved these two with a double dose.

The birthday boy here, the lover of Cheetos and Diet Pepsi, did not like to have his picture taken. You can tell. We took them anyway. I'm glad we did. Sometimes we simply hustle people together and snap a shot for nothing in particular. 
     There's this one. See the baby waving at his dad, who is taking the picture? That's how you know what year it is, by who is and isn't in the picture and who is the baby, and what clothes people are wearing. See that shirt I have on, the one with a loon flying across it? That is the shirt I bought in the airport in Canada on our way back from Nova Scotia the night our bags went on to STL and we stayed in Toronto. It was 2012, when Zane was only 2 and Danny is not standing behind me.

Yeah, looking back at pictures makes me weepy sometimes, but I love to see those much loved faces smiling out at me again. Even if the shot is blown out and the light is bad, seeing it again brings the night back into focus. I remember this night, Ann happening to be in the state for a visit, and she and Mom running up to Enid to grab supper with me after a wild day of Hawaiian Wednesday at my school. My goodness, look at my dark hair.

A lot has happened and more will, we can be sure of it. No matter. Keep getting on the plane, in the car, on the phone. Keep coming together to listen and watch and love each other.  Things happen.You think you will never in a million years forget what someone looked like when they were 3 or 7 or 12 but you will. It's good to have it on paper or in the cloud or on a hard drive (or wherever else the next thing will be).

  Here is that picture I promised to find for you Audie, the one we recreated the other day when we all visited Great Grandpa in Okeene.

1 comment:

manda_hladik said...

I love this. Then again, I love looking at old pictures. We've gone through so many at Mimi's house since her death. I love seeing the pictures of my relatives who I never met, because it makes them seem a little more real to me. I also love seeing my nephews in pictures...it becomes hard to believe they were once that little!