I have a great office. It affords a wonderful view of the draw below us and the mountain we adjoin. I love looking out as I ponder the meaning of life.
It keeps me from addressing the interior, which is a clutter of piles and snapshots. The quilt of ribbons from my horse show days hangs in the corner next to the poster from “The Irish and How They Got That Way…”. And then there are the tubs of photos.
There is something of a method of organization. My shelves of books are categorized in nothing resembling Dewey, more so by genre and my ratings. I have set up a table in the corner dedicated entirely to scrapbooking. I had to take this hobby up because there are FIFTEEN years of photos chronologically arranged in those tubs. And I keep taking more. Random moments capturing memories that will hopefully be treasured for many years to come. A legacy of sorts.
I recently finished the first half of 1996. It was a seminal year. My daughter was four going on five and my twin sons were six months old. Both parents died that year and I had several surgeries. I was a bit punch drunk to say the least. All I could do was take the photos, have them developed and put them in the storage tubs.
So it was with satisfaction and pride that I put 1996 part one on the album shelf. But not before thumbing through each page with a smile. God, but my kids were adorable! I’m gaining on the years of photos. A strong sense of accomplishment follows what may seem a simple hobby to some.
Now they are semi adults. The time between then and now is nothing more than a series of blinks now preserved in acid free pages.
Blink, a man walks across a crowded room at a bizarre Christmas party. Blink, we are honeymooning in Hawaii. Blink, I am holding my baby girl. Blink, we are a family of five and running to soccer games, dance recitals, school functions. Blink, I discover that Land’s End overall can double as a containment handle on toddlers going in opposite directions…..
Blink, we are researching colleges. Blink, we are waving goodbye. Blink, I hand two teenage boys the car keys and keep my gulping to myself.
From the first blink to this one was just a minute apart.
There are more blinks ahead, of course. But I am acutely aware of how incredibly fast all those blinks accumulated to bring me here, to a house that is too quiet sometimes and I am holding my children in an open palm.
Should any natural disaster befall us, those albums will be the first thing in the car after the kids and dogs. And I take my camera with me everywhere to capture the moments of an ordinary day. They will become more precious than words in the blink of an eye.