12 August 2008

Looking into the past...

I've been going through my husband's parent's house the past 13 days. They moved into a retirement community, going from a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house they built in 1985 into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartment. Major downsizing. Cindy, my SIL, and I have been plowing through closets, pulling boxes from underneath beds, going through a ton of papers and finding trash and treasure on the way.

Some of the things we found that we didn't know (or had forgotten) existed were some photographs. Lots of photographs actually. I've scanned three of my favorites (so far) and am sharing with you. I find it interesting that this type of photography is now "in vogue" - perhaps it's a throwback to memories we have of what we feel is a "safer" time, when men wore suits not only to work but also to church services. When moms wore dresses when in public. When the holidays were a time to go get new clothing and get a photo made. When we ate Wonder Bread with peanut butter and jelly, brought to school in that new, metal lunchbox with Barbie or Huckleberry Hound on it.

The first photo is of my mother-in-law, Peggy. I think it must have been taken around 1950-1952. It might have been taken a little later as Mike wasn't born till 1955 and they married in 1953. Isn't she a knock-out? We've found several photos of her, both professionally done and square photos taken on a Kodak Brownie camera. They are all good!

The second family photo was taken in 1959 or 1960. My father-in-law, Pete, is on the far left. Mike, my husband, is on his lap. He is the eldest of the three children. His "little brother", Pat, who is now about 8" taller than him, is in the middle. Little sister Cindy is on Mom's lap. Mike still gives me this SAME expression sometimes which, when I first met him, was a bit disconcerting as it seemed to be sort of a "polite interest but I'm really bored" look - until I knew him better and figured out it's just the way God made his face go! :)

The third photo is of Mike when he was a few months old so must have been taken around Christmas 1955 or early in 1956. I see a lot of Mirai (our youngest granddaughter) in that face - the eyes especially.

This is a part of my husband's life that I can only glimpse through the lens, pockets of time frozen, printed on paper. I love seeing him as a little boy. I see so much of him in our grandchildren in ways I didn't see him in our own children. Perhaps I was overwhelmed with the task of caring for them day by day and grandparent-hood has allowed me to slow down and see things more precisely. Having said that, there were times when I said that I had done all the work and Mike got all the credit because the kids always looked more like him than me (except for Tim who definitely favors my side of the family and in particular his Great-Grandfather Crawford.)

But I love these photos and hope you enjoy them too. I may share more of them in the days to come as I delve into the boxes of photos I will attempt to organize for them. It's been interesting going into the history of the family in which I am now a part.

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