Monday, April 25, 2016
T minus 3 - Photo journey through our life
Once again Sunday we headed back out to the 'scanning station' in the trailer about 10 am to continue the daunting task of scanning 30+ years of photo prints into into a digital format.....some may think "...well, you've been married 44 years, why not 44 years of photo prints?", and that would be a valid query, but with the advent of the digital age about 14 years ago we stopped using film, and began storing all our pictures on our computer hard drives. We are both thankful we got into the digital age quickly as trying to scan more than 30 years of pictures would take a week, or two. We are now (after Sunday) 2 days into this scanning odyssey and I think we are half done.....maybe.
Our HP Envy printer/scanner
As we sat there for our second 5 hour day scanning picture after picture it suddenly occurred to me that we were basically treating ourselves to a review of our life.....30 years of raising children, soccer games, school pictures, vacations, dance performances, etc. Sometimes as I think back on our life it almost seems like it was somebody else's life, but seeing the picture evidence of that life brings back all the emotions and experiences of seeing our children born, watching them each crawl for the first time, walk for the first time, talk for the first time.....these two intense days of essentially reliving 30 years of our life in about 10 hours has had a sort of surreal feel. I see a given picture and memories come flooding back about that time in space.....and it is just a moment....a split second in time that is captured by any picture.
I realize now that any picture only tells the truth of that split second in time when life was frozen in time......you see a child smiling....in fact you mostly see people all smiling.....no one deliberately decides to look unhappy when posing for a picture, right? Pictures don't really tell the entire truth of a life.....the highs, the lows.....they show a split second in time when everyone appeared to be happy. No one who has lived a long life believes that everyone is happy all the time, although as individuals we make the mistake of judging the quality of other people's lives, relationships, etc. through brief encounters. If they seem happy when you are interacting with them you tend to believe, mistakenly, that they must be happy all the time. Of course, everyone has one, two, or three really good friends who they know like the back of their hand, but in general we don't know many people that well....that deeply. A wise man once said, "....the only happy people I 'know' are people I don't know very well". You have no way of knowing from just looking at someone else's pictures whether they have had a happy life, or a miserable life. You only see the staged moments in time. For me, looking at our pictures yesterday, I know the back story.....I know we had a happy life, a good life because my mind can fill in the 99.999% that is not shown by the picture. As we scanned the pictures I would look at a picture of our daughter Katie in a dance uniform and fill in with my mind all the experiences that made her in the woman she is today.....I see a picture of Sharon on her first bicycle, of Chris playing soccer (he was very good), of Meredith hugging TLE around the neck when she was 3, or 4 years old, of Tim playing with his older sisters.......I know what they have become.....good men and women.....I know how they started out and everything in between......I know in my heart we did a good job.....needless to say I spent a lot of time smiling.
Fortunately the weather has cooled off significantly, which made working in the trailer quite comfortable, but around 3 pm TLE called an end to Sunday's scanning festivities and we began to clean up our work station for the day. We had plans to meet Rod, Sharon and Brayden James at Zendeja's Mexican Bar and Grill in Rancho Cucamonga for dinner at 5 so around 4 we got ready to make the 10 mile drive, and were in the car by 4:30 arriving just before 5 at the restaurant.
We know we will not be seeing our kids, and grand kids for a number of months now and are making the rounds getting hugs and kisses which will have to hold us until we come back through SoCal in September.....by that time Brayden should be crawling, sitting up, teething, etc.....he will be a totally different child when we return in four and a half months, but that is the lot of us who are nomadic in nature.....
His future is bright....what kind of a man will he become? I'm pretty sure he will be a good one!
.....and by the time we return there will be another grand kid, and the cycle begins one more time....thanks for stopping by!