Over Christmas break I spent a few afternoons visiting my Grandparents- something I always make sure to do while home. I’ve been blessed to know all four of my Grandparents, and to have three of the four of them currently still living makes life pretty good. There’s something about spending time with them that makes me feel good. Sometimes, I think it’s the simplicity of the lifestyles they now pursue… daily crosswords, daily soaps, daily walks… they live in ‘daily’ mode, never really worrying about the weeks to come but enjoying simple tasks.
Another aspect of their current lifestyles I enjoy observing is their uncanny ability to be obscenely blunt while taking no blame or guilt for their words. My Mom’s parents love to bicker and mock one another just for the sheer enjoyment of it…swear words often pop into their vocabulary and name calling is preferred, however smiles are always present and sometimes their playfulness even ends with a kiss. The bickering and the swearing might sound a little odd to you, but it fits their characters in my mind and rolls off my ears just like the creaking of the floorboards in their house or the ticking of their Grandfather clock.
My Grandmother’s obsession with storing and saving loads of old ‘junk’ is something I thought I would never appreciate about her. However, while doing some cleaning and decorating for her while home over break, my sister and I stumbled upon a large box of old photos. The box had photos from various decades, most from the 80’s and 90’s documenting the birth and childhood of each of the 20+ grandchildren, myself included. Towards the bottom of the box, the pictures changed. Faces I didn’t recognize appeared and the paper became rough and crumbly in my fingers.
An hour or so later I shared a couple dozen of the most worn and faded pictures I found with my Grandma, Aunt, and Mom. They were excited to remember the times and de-fuzz the memories and all eagerly shared with me the identities of those I didn’t recognize.
After making me promise to bring them back, my Grandma allowed me to take some of the photographs home. I’ve spent several hours pour over the faces, gazing back at my history, trying to know and recall.
I spent some time scanning the pictures onto my computer and am planning on using them in a series of digital art dissecting and sharing my family history not only with you, but also with myself.