Tag Archives: family albums

Happy Father’s Day to My Dad!!!

I had so much fun looking back through old photos of my dad.  Thought I’d share them with you. My two nieces are visiting my sister in Phoenix right now so thought they’d get a kick out of seeing these photos of their grandad and grandad-in-law as well. Click on any photo to enlarge it.  Clicking on them also provides explanations for some of the photos. My dad died at the age of 70 in 1974.

 

Family Reunion, Off the Grid

Click on first photo to enlarge all.  

 

 

 

Family Reunion, Off the Grid

We find the key to the lake cabin
there where it always was above the eaves trough,
enter that family space deserted for so many years
and claim our old rooms.
Bring in firewood piled on the porch thirty years ago
and draw together at the trestle table
over dinners gathered
from the ice chests in the trunks of cars.

Dependent for so many years
on cell phones, e-mail and Facebook,
we grow listless over the loss of cell tower and wifi,
fall back on family videos from the far past,
and having exhausted that sparse shelf,
resort to family albums, dusty with accumulated years.

Over those cryptic signals from the past,
we begin to remember more,
and recall scraps of ourselves
that give a meaning to the name of scrapbook.
With no single screens possible,
we draw together over simple common images.

Dad in the neighbor lady’s hat,
sis in diapers and my mother’s heels,
my tea towel sarong and doily hat,
Mother, young enough to be our granddaughter,
in a stylish hat tipped down over one eye,

Middle sister standing triumphant at the top
of the slide she later fell from the top of—
a past truth I might have never known
if not sealed up, like this,
away from the wider world
and those parts of ourselves
that keep flying off to it.

I take her hand, grateful for her survival.
Just the two of us, now,
everyone else sealed up in this peeling album.
We put them to sleep again as we close its cover.
In the morning, restore the key,
nestle the “For Sale” sign more securely
into its mooring place and divide to our separate worlds,
the box of videos under my arm,
the family scrapbooks under hers.

The prompt words are past, video, listless and dependent.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/ragtag-tuesday-past/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/13/fowc-with-fandango-video/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/listless/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/13/your-daily-word-prompt-dependant-November-13-2018/

Christmas Gifts

Click on first photo to increase the size of all and to read captions.

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My mother was the hero of Christmas. Decorated waste paper baskets from the church bazaar, that “Skunk” game I’d been begging for, played once and never again, that one last doll when I was eleven, purchased more for her own nostalgia than my need. The tree went up as the orange and brown of Thanksgiving was disposed of, and the jubilation of Christmas stretched on until New Years, when the tree came down.

For my dad, however, the end of Christmas was never quick enough. The tree lights hurt his eyes, he said, but I always wondered if there was more to it than that: some sparsity of the Christmases of his past that had broken its spirit in the heart of a young boy raised on a South Dakota prairie that furnished few rewards, let alone extravagent Christmases, but still expecting more, perhaps, than an orange in the toe of his sock. A pony, maybe, or a stick of hard candy, a jaunty new blue winter stocking cap or simply a mother  more given to Christmas than his own busy midwife of a mother, always off to somewhere else.

In our mad months of enthusiasm over tinsel, ornaments resurrected from the attic and the mystery of wrapped boxes, we overlooked the remnants of that little boy’s pain, but some part of each of us, detecting it by some subconscious radar, never gave up trying to heal those hurts of former Christmases with tiny Black Hills Gold tie tacks, new wallets and papier-mâché sculptures meant to prod him from his apathy. It never quite worked, except for that sculpture, ugly in its craziness, laughed and pondered over, then left to age and weather on their unroofed patio until its demise, giving one small hope of reviving a small boy’s wonder over Christmas and the unexpected. His forbearance over the years made him, perhaps, another subtler hero of Christmas, just in his putting up with it.

The prompt words for today are orange, game, hero, jubilation and quick.  Here are the links:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/rdp-tuesday-prompt-orange/
https://fivedotoh.com/2018/09/11/fowc-with-fandango-game/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/hero/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2018/09/09/daily-addictions-2018-week-36/jubilation
https://dversepoets.com/2018/09/10/quadrille-64-quickwrite-something/

Clouded

Version 5

Clouded

How many family albums have been thrown away
to make room for Tonka trunks and ruffled dresses,
Tinker Toys scattered across closet shelves?

Of what use are lives lived fifty years ago or more?
Store them neatly on computers,
sealed behind glass for all to easily see,
taking up space
only somewhere
in a cloud–floating above

so if the cloud is ever broken,
they will float down like rain
to soak white sheets hanging on clotheslines,
or onto windshields to be scraped away
by wiper blades–
like fine gnats or raindrops–

vertical memories
floating onto our horizontal world,
bringing the past to soak into the present.
Falling action becoming forward motion,
carried to the future.  All things indivisible.

Everything still here–
even if as ash
from burning albums,
curling crisply
and blown away.

The Prompt:  Do Not Disturb–How do you manage your online privacy? Are there certain things you won’t post in certain places? Information you’ll never share online? Or do you assume information about you is accessible anyway?