Thursday, August 6, 2009

Photo Gallery #2

Sit back and enjoy another addition of photos. I had to look through boxes and boxes of old family pictures in order to assemble this assortment, and I ended up organizing and sorting as I went through the process. It took me weeks to accomplish this task, or I should say partially accomplish this task, as Jim informed me yesterday that there are still a few more boxes...

Jessica is only four months old, and we're out on an early spring day soaking up the fresh air and abundance of nature. How do you like my long hair? Remember, these were in my hippy days of making candles in our basement to sell on the UW Library Mall. Jessica would come with us and we'd throw out some blankets on the ground in the mall and sell our homemade candles. Looking back, I wonder what made me comfortable with living day to day with little sense of the responsibility involved in being a parent and a lack of focus on future income potential. Maybe that's the definition of hippy.

Who needed fancy toys when you could play with your mom's hair? Our needs may have been quite simple, but we did share an abundance of love.

Good-bye to my hippy days and hello to the more responsible side of my life. I got this new haircut a short time after my divorce from just felt like the logical time to manifest outwardly the changes that were occurring inwardly.

This picture brings a big smile to my face because it captures the glowing essence of Jessica's true, honest, alive with wonder and curiosity as she confidently shares her thoughts, feelings, questions and beliefs.

Can you see how the camera was able to capture the intensity and deep interest in the story I was reading to her? She has always been a voracious reader and learner...and so easy to love.

Kindergarten in Chanhassen, Minnesota. This was the year Jessica questioned me about getting back together with Jon. We have certainly shared a rich history of love, growth and trust.

Another family photo that makes me giggle because Kathie and I have so much extra fabric in our pant legs, probably enough to make a new pair of pants for Mary. It must have been tricky to walk and not trip...oh, the price of fashion.

Our wedding day! I was nervous, but Jim was so calm that he and his best man stopped to get a quarter pounder on the way to church. I love that not much flusters him.

This school picture shows the mole that was malignant. Look closely on the side of my neck...I think it looks harmless. The picture was taken about three months before my surgery.

We were on our yearly family vacation when Jim took this picture. I had recently stopped wearing turtlenecks, so I wasn't sure about having a photo taken, but Jim can be persistent. I think I was still trying to talk him out of it when I heard the click of the camera. What was I so worried about?

This was taken in front of our Christmas tree the year Jim demonstrated how to put the tree lights deep into the branches. That's all I needed to hear...the following year I doubled the size of our tree and had to buy hundreds of new lights. I slowly became a true tree nut! I was out to show that bigger is always better, only I didn't know when to stop. I will definitely discuss this in a future chapter, but know that I am cured of my insatiable need to please and impress people.

Jim secretly saved money from each of our monthly paychecks for a belated honeymoon to Hawaii. He started talking about us going to Hawaii for two weeks and I said it would be hard for us to afford such an extravagant adventure, and with that he pulled out a savings book with more than enough for the trip. I was thrilled with such an unexpected surprise!

Jessica and I have always shared a profound bond. I think all of our years together as a two person family helped solidify our deeply rooted love.

Wow! We looked so young and innocent. Jim and I packed food, beverages and the grill so we could head out on a Sunday afternoon excursion in my new Jeep. Can you see it in the parking lot in the background? That was one fine car. The top lifted off (not a one person job) and miraculously I would be in my very own convertible. Jessica and I have fond memories of the day I was doing a bit of showing off while heading down Cottage Grove Road in my spiffy new convertible, when I was suddenly pulled over by one of Madison's finest. Oops! Luckily I was only going a few miles over the speed limit, so I only received a warning. No more showing off for me.

Mom and I are sitting at a favorite outdoor restaurant during my life-giving trip to Florida. It's obvious that I was heeding my dad's wisdom...bring your body and your mind will follow. Also, knowing Mom and Dad, I'm almost certain that we were partaking in the Early Bird Special.

Do you remember the joy-filled family Christmas mornings I wrote about? Well, here one is in all its chaos, mess and love. You can't see me, but I was sitting next to my brother-in-law, Greg, about two feet away from Jessica and out of the shot. Those of you who know our family will notice that there is indeed an interloper in our midst...maybe because he/she wanted to bask in the obvious love we shared. Who is able to spot and name our uninvited guest? A little aside to my friend Susie...does the bookcase in the background look at all familiar?

Jim was always a willing participant whenever I had to set up my classroom. He would take care of the heavy boxes as well as the high reaching decorating jobs. His friendly attitude and total willingness were above and beyond the call of duty as a husband, and for that I was grateful. He understood how important it was for me to create a welcoming environment for the students, so he'd roll up his sleeves and get busy. Thanks Bud.

Here's a little known fact about me...I do not like wearing skirts or dresses. Therefore, when you see me dressed in one of them, you should immediately know it's for a special occasion. Jessica saw this picture and wondered why her bangs took up over half of the top of her head, and I wondered why we look so stiff, serious and formal. Maybe it's because I never feel comfortable being all dressed up.

We gathered for the fiftieth anniversary of my parents, and that's the special occasion for which I wore a skirt. We celebrated for the entire, love, love was omnipresent. I truly treasure the love I share with my brothers and sisters, and the foundation of our connection was grounded in the relationship my parents modeled for us.

It's always fun to see a picture of the five of us because time goes by so quickly, with each of us looking different with our hairstyles and fashion choices...the changes make me smile. Do you notice how our dogs are an integral part of our life? These are Tyler and Muffles, our very first dogs who brought unconditional love to our lives for many years...such a gift.

Here's our whole family. Jim, being the official photographer, would casually arrange all of us, set the timer on the camera, and then quickly jump into the shot. Do you notice that this is the same living room from the photo taken many years earlier when I was quite young? Look, no more yellow rose-filled wallpaper.

Having my school picture taken each year was a bit of a challenge because photographers never let me look straight ahead...I always thought back to what Dr. Reese had told me years earlier. Then I would smile and hope for the best. This photo definitely makes me look like a friendly looking teacher, which I like, but what's with those gigantic glasses?

Mary has consistently been a major presence in our family, and she loves the dogs we've had throughout the years. Whenever the camera come out she requests a picture, so we oblige. This is a photo filled with love and joy, even though she looks quite serious...she believes it's best to stand at attention when she knows the flash will be going off.

This was a great year because it would be the first time I would be able to "loop" with my class, which meant I would be with the same students for first and then second grade.

Would you trust your child with this silly looking teacher? This picture was taken when we were allowed to have a Halloween parade and party in our school. Now it's more politically correct in our school district to not celebrate this holiday in school, but back in the day, we sure had fun. My fellow teacher and friend, Judy, went through the drive-up at MacDonald's with me in our matching witch costumes during our lunch break. Needless to say, we had fun ordering with our best witchy voices and watching the thrills.

I never wanted to take myself too seriously in the classroom, so I always tried to find a place to have a bit of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That was fun! What a fabulous trip down memory lane. Loved it.

    Okay, I saw the bookshelf, it is sitting in my family room right now since it is displaced from the dining room. Love it and I love it more seeing it in the past.

    Who is the interloper?

    You are beautiful, as always.