Friday, December 23, 2011


One of my favorite Christmas memories from growing up is sitting in my grandma's basement on Yellowstone Drive in Grandville, Michigan viewing slides of my mom and uncle's child-hood.  We'd all pile onto couches and chairs, turn off the lights, set up the projector and laugh at sixties clothes, hair styles, and prom pictures for a couple of hours.  It feels like we must have done it every year at Christmas while I was growing up even though it was probably just two or three times--but that's how it is when you love something--you feel like it was just yesterday because you remember everything about it.

I loved looking at those slides because it was like seeing my mom as a brand new person.  Sure, we all know our moms played the piano, went ice-skating in the backyard, fought with their little brothers, had junior high boyfriends, learned to drive, decorated floats for homecoming parades, went to prom, and had crazy hair styles but it's another thing to actually see it in pictures amidst the context of their adolescence.  You see these glimpses of who you know them to be now, but in a young adult version, and that's pretty cool.

I wonder what Georgia will think of me when she looks back at pictures of me dressed like Joan of  Arc for a high school project (don't ask), dressed up like my dad for a church talent show, climbing through the ruins at Mesa Verde, exploring Elvis's plane at Graceland, swimming with my sister in matching bathing suits, speaking at my high school graduation, moving into my first college dorm, or dressed up like a Spice Girl in college.  I think what those slide shows taught me is that it's really important to have a lot of pictures of life--just doing normal things--so that our kids can put a finger on their heritage and see it in action, not just in stories.  It creates a genuine feeling of nostalgia and nostalgia is a good thing, because it makes you appreciate the past.

I "borrowed" a few boxes of my grandma's slides from her basement this year to have made into a DVD for the family to watch.  It's been years since we looked at any of these pictures and who even owns a slide projector and screen anymore?  I'm thrilled with how it turned out, Henry Mancini music and all, and I can't wait to pile onto couches tomorrow night, with plates full of appetizers, a fire in the fire-place, and the family to laugh together again at these crazy pictures of my mom and her brother and my grandma and grandpa.

Here's a few for all of you to see though.......and if you're friends with my're welcome........I know you'll appreciate these!

So cute.....I love this picture of my mom at the piano......reminds me of so many she has of me playing the piano too.  

My uncle.  Such a classic picture.  Love it all.......the hat, the lighting, the dock, that cute little fish.  

My grandpa Bob.  We called him Oatmeal Bob because for as long as I can remember he ate oatmeal everyday morning for breakfast.  He was the epitome of a grandpa.  

Oh yeah.  This picture really happened.  As the story goes my mom sent this to her cousin in Vietnam who didn't have a girl-friend so he'd have a picture to brag about too.  No one had to know who it really was.  Dang girl.............

Love that one of my mom and uncle dressed up for Halloween.  My husband said, "Wow.....they were actually really cute kids."  Typical son-in-law. 

Christmas dance.  No one does this anymore and that's a shame.  Every middle school girl needs a red velvet dress and a corsage. 

My mom?! Never would I have guessed this was her.  But it is she assures me.  

Hope you all have a great weekend celebrating Christmas and making a lot of spectacular memories that one day.......your kids can pull out in the form of pictures......and laugh over.......laugh at your skinny jeans, fur vests, ballet flats, Uggs, feather earrings, sequined tanks, and cardigan sweaters.

Merry Christmas.

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