Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Mountain of Memories

Mt. Shasta

 I took this photo of Mt. Shasta 30 years ago. I hadn't seen it in almost that long...

It was the negative I couldn't quite make out on the short strip of four. I asked my husband to scan the three I could identify. I had horses on my mind, you see. I wanted to see the three images of Arabians on that strip. Fortunately, he did this one as well. Seeing this image awakened memories of the reason I had this particular view through the window of my dad's car.

My dad and oldest sister had driven from San Diego to Northern California to pick me up and continue on to Oregon, for that is where my middle sister was getting married. I don't remember how long it had been since I'd last seen Jacqueline. All I know is this trip with my dad and oldest sister was special. Unusual.

The intimate garden wedding was casual and suited the new couple. The following day we saw Jacqueline and her husband off at the airport. This was the last time my dad, sisters, and I would be together for quite a while. Jacqueline and Dad, well, they're both gone now...

Dad and Jacqueline

On the way south we stopped at Crater Lake for a short visit. I was always interested in taking photographs of beautiful places and animals at that age. And it was so stunningly beautiful there...

Crater Lake

If I remember right my dad and sister took me straight home where we said our good-byes.  I would see them again in a few months. There were three photos to take to finish the roll of film. I don't know if it was a conscious decision to take them of horses at the farm where I worked or just convenient. I am thankful for whatever reason because they were the only ones I have from the year I was there. Some say "It's never too late."  Well, I don't believe it for a minute. Not when it comes to documenting one's memories. One's life. When we're young we think we'll always remember. We say things like, "I'll never forget this moment for as long as I live."  Well, in reality, that is far from accurate. We do forget those "unforgettable" things. Those things that, at the time, were so important.

Back to those three photos of the horses. The first was of one of my co-workers and a young gelding. For the life of me, I can't recall her name or the horse's. The third photo was of a suckling colt. I've tried to remember, with certainty, his sire and dam, but all I have is a guess. The second photo, though. Even looking at the tiny pre-scan image I knew who she was. It took me a little while but I finally remembered her name. Apparently, she is memorable.

Tryket (Fadjur x Fadneeka)

I'm determined to try to "fill in the blanks" of my life. Photographs are strong reminders.  I very much regret not taking more. A journal. Why didn't I keep a journal? It was never because I didn't think my life was worth writing about. No, it was because I hated my handwriting. How utterly ridiculous! I often think if we'd had the technology available back then that we have now—personal computers, digital cameras & camcorders, quality printing at home...I could have taken thousands of photos without a thought given to the cost of film and processing. I could have typed my journal entries, like I've been doing for 14 years, without any hypercritical concern about my less-than-perfect penmanship. I could have taken digital videos with a camcorder the size of my hand (highly convenient). Instead, the few home movies my dad took were lost decades ago when the original was always the only.

Those photographs buried under the bed or in the closet? Get them out. Look at them. Scan them. Share them. Those memories you have of an ancestor, or job, or horse, et cetera...write them down, type them up, make an audio recording or a video. Make copies. Share them before they are gone.

They do matter. They will be important to someone. They should be important to you. Okay, I'm done nagging...for now. ;)


Unknown said...

All of the photos are beautiful, the Mt. Shasta photo with the rising clouds is really impacting!

I'm sorry that Jacqueline and your father are gone. That's a beautiful photo of them.

It's things like this that remind me to appreciate everything and everyone in my life.

Thanks Virginia!

Margaret Hill said...

I'm so glad you have the inclination, talent, and the space to be the family historian. So many precious memories would otherwise be unshared, scattered, and lost. Thank you, Baby Sistah! Thanks, also, to the digital technologies we now have!

Anonymous said...

Lovely photographs and even lovelier words. You may not realize always that you DO inspire me in this area, and that I AM slowly putting bits and pieces together. I am. Thank you Vee for sharing your life with us and encouraging us to document ours.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures, Va. And what wonderful memories you are sharing. I love the way you express yourself.

Mary Jo

Amy Leaton said...

What a great post! I love the old pics. Isn't it something how one picture can bring back all those memories. You are right, we should all try to document those moments somehow.

Amy L.

Virginia Hill said...

Thank you all - Amy, Margaret, Paula, Mary Jo, and Amy L.! Regret about what we didn't do is not as bad as waiting until it's too late to do anything about it.

*Go Paula!!!