I’ve been working on this vintage photo, late 1950s, for a couple of years to make a Christmas card. Haven’t settled on it yet. I decided I can’t eliminate the flash reflected in the window and that’s OK. It shows the technology and amateur nature of the moment. I’m trying some photo filters to see how they effect the mood of the photo. Our memories are filtered, coloring some pieces more than others and holding out unneeded or missing chunks, highlighting and projecting forward other ideas and feelings. Only some parts remain and we have to choose to keep them or modify them until our reality shifts and rests where it will, still pliable. Memories can change over time. Maybe that’s why I keep returning to this photo. It shows in black and white a moment in time.
My parents no doubt made this shot before we got up and discovered what Santa left. One of those sets of wooden skis is my first pair, just a strap over the boot, dangerous and exciting. They decorate my home now, one with a tip broken off. My grandfather made the doll bunk bed cribs for his daughter, my aunt, and now they were handed on to me. I handed them on to my daughter when the time was right. My uncle crafted the spotted horse for my little brother. Notice the springs that attach it to the frame; it bounced magnificently! We didn’t care that the paint ran on the spots. The giant shiny red wagon was for my older brother. In summer we caught multitudes of wiggly tadpoles and put them in it, with water and a great big toad. Mom called us to lunch and we pulled it home and parked it in the shade of a willow tree. When we came back to it only the toad was there. We always had maps on the wall and I still do. Living in a small rural town we were curious about the rest of the world. My grandparents brought the maracas for Dad when they went to Mexico. Mom played that huge upright grand piano. It’s in my music room now. Our living room was small, but the piano belonged there. We belonged there, cozy together in a time when everything was right for the children and we hadn’t a clue what our futures would be like, and it didn’t matter. We made our dreams and they evolved as we grew. We lived in the moment then. I try to live in the moment now, too. I realize many people don’t have pictures from their childhood and many did not have an extended family, active in their upbringing. I know I am lucky beyond measure.