Saturday, May 1, 2010


Willow has inspired me to post a Sepia Saturday photo. Thanks Willow!

This is a photo of my sister and me when we were young (albeit not really sepia it is more like black and white). I posted a photo a few weeks ago of how we used to spend "my" birthday and perhaps I gave people the impression that I didn't love my sister. I think that I said "it's not that I don't love my sister...I do" but just to clarify that: I love her.

This photo was GLUED in my grandmother's photo album! (Why did she do that?) But anyway, I ended up with the photo and I'm glad I did, despite the sad shape of the photo (all wrinkled, bent, thinned out on the back because of the glue, etc.---You can even see the faint remnants of a wrinkle over my head if you look close enough).

I am the one on the left; Nancy is on the right. Even then her hair was straight and no vestiges of perm seem to show---YET! What I love about the photo is what it evokes in me: sun-shiny days, tanned skin, warm short-sleeve weather, sisterly love, sharing, playing, the feelings I get when I remember where we lived at that time, and on and on. This is what photos do: remind us of a time in the past.

We can never recapture that moment in time. What we can do is remember it, cherish it, talk about it with our current family members so that they understand that slice of life and share it with others. Isn't this why we take photos really? We want to try and capture "that" moment.

One can never really be certain what impact a photo might have on someone though. Sometimes what they trigger in one person is not the same remembrance or feeling in someone else. The person who took this photo of us might have had a totally different memory. Maybe I was finally sharing something with my "little" sister. My sister, when she looks at it, might have a different response. Maybe she was mad because she had to ride in the back of the wagon. Photos can be ambiguous in that respect. They can also be fodder for stories we want to tell in our own voice. My point of view is not the same as someone Else's--- ever.

I guess that's why I like this forum: it allows me to show my point of view from the photos that I take. It also allows me to voice my opinion on something that might be mistaken by someone else. I try and be very clear and concise with the words that I choose. If I say "she often called me when she couldn't get in touch with her daughter" those words do not in any way say "her daughter was not there for her" (although that is what I was accused of saying once to someone). In my mind a word is a word. That is what my step-father said always. "Choose your words carefully" he would say. And "never write down something in black and white that you don't want others to read." He was a wise man in so many ways.

I was raised with a step-father who loved words. He, at one time, had gone through Seminary school to be a pastor but realized that it just was not for him. He had studied Latin and knew the origins of words; their roots. Every night for as long as I can remember we had "devotion" at the dinner table. Some nights we would play what I liked to call "the word game". We would each pass around a dictionary, pick a word and say it aloud, and he would define the word for us. I don't think I ever saw him fail at this game. By just knowing the root of the word he was able to define it for us. To this day I do that very same thing but in a more reserved way. (The word "itis" comes to mind---once you know that "itis" means "inflammation" you can figure out that "bursitis" means inflammation of the bursa. Tonsillitis, sinusitis, etc. Words are fun in that way.

I have always been "obsessive" about words too. I can't tell you how many times I have read a book and found mis-spellings. And I can't just let it go. It bugs me. I get out my dictionary and double-check. I have even been known to circle the words in the book, in the magazine, in the newspaper, in people's emails (!) etc. If someone corrects me, I appreciate it. I learn from it. To me it is a form of "the word game" or "stump the chump". Am I the only one out there that feels like this? I know that "spell check" does not do grammar very well. If you type "in" but you meant "inn" it will not find it. If you type "Nancy and I" but really it should have been "Nancy and me" or "Me and Nancy" it won't find it. My step-father taught me "games" to figure out which to use and when. What I do is drop the other person's name and if "I" or "Me" sounds right, then it is. An example: "This is a photo of me when I was young" would not sound right as "This is a photo of "I" when I was young." So, the phrase "This is a photo of my sister and me when we were young" is the correct one to use.

I loved these word games. I learned to spell arithmetic by reciting "A red Indian thought he might eat tulips in church". Not politically correct in this day and age but then again, I was don't do that anymore either. "I before E except after C or as sounded as "ay" as in neighbor or weigh." I even learned how to spell Encyclopedia from a song that broke it all down. Eeee-N-C-Y-C-L-O-P-E-D-I-A. (I think the song was sung by a cricket. Sound familiar to anyone?) I wonder if they still teach things like this in school? Or is that a thing of the past too? Luckily for me, I probably have a photo to prompt me into remembering!

1 comment:

  1. we used to have a game that was all about words...i cant even remember the name of it...and it was hard...spelling and definitions and you collected little bee hives kind like trivial pursuit...i love words too, just got to be careful, they have sharp edges...smiles. nice pic.


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