My mother is trying to clean out the clutter. She’s pretty determined. I think she might actually succeed.
One of her projects is going through old slides and home movies that were my grandfather’s. During our Easter celebration this year my mom brought out dozens of photo albums and boxes upon boxes of slides and home movies. After my kids hunted for their Easter eggs (yes, my 13 & 17 year old still love to hunt for Easter eggs) we settled down and had a good old fashioned slide show.
The slides were set up chronologically and my grandfather made titles of the events out of alphabet refrigerator magnets.
“Best Christmas this family ever had,” I shouted out. (Obviously, as it was my first Christmas.)
CHARLENE TURNS ONE
CHARLENE TURNS TWO
If my grandfather was alive today he’d be rocking the Power Point presentation like nobody’s business.
I should mention that I was the first grandchild and the second one didn’t come along until 1969 so there were quite a lot of slides of me. In fact some of my
petty and jealous family members started calling it the Charlene Show. (And the problem with that is?) My kids were bored to tears. I thought it was great!
It’s possible that my mom, my uncle and I -the only three people in the room who actually lived the memories in the slides- were the only ones who truly enjoyed it after the first five or ten minutes. It was fun for us to try to figure out who the people were in the pictures and where the pictures were taken. I loved looking at the fashion. At the different era. There were slides of a dinner party my grandmother threw for her girlfriends where she set the table with her wedding china and fine silverware upon a crisp white table cloth. (As opposed to when I entertain my girlfriends with paper plates and cocktail napkins with martini glasses and snarky captions about being drunk.)
So many little snippets from my childhood.
My parents were so young and beautiful.
A family vacation to my great grandmother’s lake cabin that was hit by an avalanche and destroyed when I was eleven.
My paternal grandparents white Christmas tree.
My maternal grandparents overly tinseled Christmas tree.
My rocking horse.
The sandbox my grandfather built for me.
After a while we moved on. We watched a home movie of my mom when she was a baby. We started looking at photo albums. My grandfather was an excellent record keeper. Our family historian.
I found this picture of me holding my cousin when she was a baby. (You can see by our age difference why she didn’t want to sit through the slide show until she showed up.)
And then yesterday this picture was taken of me holding her son. (And please don’t ask why I had to take a picture of my phone – let’s just say technology is not being my friend today.)
History repeating itself with a new medium.
Now instead of setting up a projector or opening a cherished book we click through our computer screens, swipe our phones. It’s easier. More convenient.
But, like using paper plates when we entertain our dearest friends instead of our fine wedding china, it’s become a little too everyday and maybe not quite as special.