Friday, November 9, 2012

Fifty Fridays #14

Another week.  I wasn't chained to the computer or the meeting table this week.

But I have been neglecting these kids for many weeks.  They've been napping in the sewing room and every week a few more have arrived looking for a home.  I just showed them into the room and told them to behave themselves...I'd get to them.  Soon.  And soon came this week.  I'm up to my elbows in Barbie clothes, shoes and hairstyles.  My babies are all bathed, brushed and bonneted.  By tomorrow, I'll be putting them all away again for a while.  I must get as many done at once as I can as the thrift store sells a lot of dolls between now and Christmas.

However, this is Friday and I must have a photo this week.  My daughter noticed!  Today's dig through the digital 'shoe-box' produced this lovely photo.   This is me and my Aunt K.  I'm the baby and I can only tell you that I'm more than 5 months old.  Clearly it's summery weather.  The notes say it was taken in PEI where we lived when I was a baby.  It could be near Summerside but since there's a car I can't tell you.  I'm guessing that the car is my Grampy's and they've come from Nova Scotia to visit.  But that's just a guess.

 What I can say is that my Aunt K was a very important character in the family stories that I heard from my mother.  Even though I never met her until I was an adult, I always felt as though I had a relationship with her.  I knew that we both were 'sturdy' girls and we both had thick, curly hair.  I think my mother talked about her whenever she brushed my hair.  Especially if I wanted to grow it long.  She feared the weight of the thick hair would pull the curl out as it did my aunt's.  What odd memories to have of someone you never met.

As she moved on with her life, I heard about her education, her first job and her wedding.  My cousins came along and all were as unknown to me as she was.  It always surprised me to think that I had real-life cousins because they were photo people my whole childhood.    I suppose they all felt much the same way.  It's hard to imagine now with all the ways that we can stay connected.  When I was a child, the only connections were letters.  Pale blue ink on thin paper written in my mother's pretty writing and an illegible note scribbled on the bottom by my father.  Letters from the east with older-style penmanship and less comfort with the writing  process.  Always received with great joy from my mother.  She loved letters. 

Photos would occasionally accompany a letter and this was always a cause for delighted scrutiny of the faces and backgrounds.  How they'd grown! Aged! Look what they've done to the house! Such things showed up in the pictures that no one ever commented on in the letters.  Just the stuff of day-to-day life.  For my parents, it was a recognition that the place they came from was changing as well as confirmation that many things stayed the same.  I'm sure for those in the east, it was a glimpse of a strange place.  Family known and unknown.  Grandchildren they would never really know. And yet, there was a familiarity with the way things were done.  As they had been done in the family forever. 

Photos can say such a lot even when the intended message is completely different.  I'm sure this one was just a photo of the baby with her Aunt K.  Now, I get all caught up in the landscape, the clothes, the house. 


Andrea said...

Thank you!

Empty Nester said...

I love the way you wrote this post. You put it all just right! And the letters? I'm afraid the art of letter writing is getting lost in the midst of all this technology. Don't get me wrong. I love technology. But, even more, I love getting a real, handwritten letter from time to time. Shoot, we don't even teach handwriting in school anymore. Shame. But your post is just wonderful!

Rudee said...

What a lovely post. Your Friday memories always move me.


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