Photographs

I have been trying to get photographs moved from photo boxes to albums for 20 years.  Really. Twenty years. 

They haven’t been spread out all over the whole time.  I have gotten them out, sorted, discarded some, and boxed them back up more than once.  I couldn’t find photo albums I wanted until two or three years ago.  I got the albums and additional filler pages.  Eventually, I started loading photos only to find the first groups were too small to stay in the pockets.  I got black acid free paper and cut it to fit in the pockets and stabilize the photos.  Sometime in August, I set up the folding table and cleared the kitchen table and went at things again.  I have made very slow progress.  Slow progress is still progress. 

I find the task of sorting and deciding how to load them and the actual loading into the pockets tedious. The real challenge is seeing my tiny children in the prints.  I miss those little people so terribly much. 

I am trying to get this task complete because I do love mine and Rock’s two people and I want them and their girls, the Duchesses, to see all these pictures.

I want all of them to see all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, too.  The family connections and where we come from.  Roots matter.  That is one of the major lessons I learned from Granny Sally.  She taught it through family stories, through visiting cemeteries and explaining the family behind the names carved in granite, through cooking her mother’s dumplings for me when she could and pinto beans when she couldn’t.  

Mother was always pulling all of us together.  Family ties matter.  Something about knowing our people creates connection.  I try to get our children together whenever we can.  We have several friends who are closer than a lot of our family members.  They create an even richer connection for us. They are included in my party tribe these days. 

I don’t remember to take pictures enough when we are all together.  I am in very few of the photos scattered on the table because I was always behind the camera. We all have phone in our pocket to take pictures.  Yet, I forget to do it.  Another thing that I don’t like is having everything digital.  I would like to have a lot of the photos saved on the computer or my social media account or a thumb drive printed into those ready-made photo books.  One of my sister friends is scanning her old prints of photos on to her computer.  It’s all a bit overwhelming for me.  There seems to be no end to this project. 

Oh, well.  I will keep progressing.  Slow, no doubt.   Slow progress is still progress.  I will keep reminding myself. 

Socializing

I have had a few days of good socializing.  Friday evening our friends came to supper.  Last minute plans.  Saturday, I spent the day with our daughter at the Renaissance Festival.  Sunday at church, then a long lunch with my brother and sister-in-love at their granddaughter’s birthday party.  My nieces and nephews were there, too, of course.  Had a little bit of visiting and hugging time.

Today, my friend came to work on a project she has going.  She brought her computer so she could work, too.  Fortunately, her battery was low and she forgot her charger.  We were able to spend several hours talking about all sorts of things.  We always find ourselves in such similar situations or frames of mind.  We are the same age.  We have husbands of similar dispositions.  Our children are grown and gone from home.  She is semi-retired. I am basically retired with my little part time position to keep up with. 

We are working on the challenges and uncharted territory of our aging process.  Neither of us are terribly worried about anything other than the loss of energy and stamina.  Of course, we want to look good, but that is secondary.  The changing thought processes, the thermostat issues, the loss of energy and the need for a creative outlet are common issues.

No doubt ours is the story of so many of our peers.  I have been trying to find information for this stage.  There is plenty of information in our faces about the 20- and 30-year-old groups finishing college, launching careers, families, home building.  And the seniors fully retired, traveling, hobbies, dealing with their own set of challenges along with their adult children adjusting to the roles of care givers.  I don’t see much for our life stage.  I guess we are supposed to be having mid-life crises? Those have been made in to jokes and the underlying needs not truly addressed in my preliminary research.  If I wanted to have another career or go to college, sure, but not much for the settling in to our type of lifestyle.

My friend and her husband have one parent living.  She is in a long-term facility and in good health overall, but unable to live alone.  They don’t have grands, yet.  My husband and I have no living parents or grandparents.  We have our two little duchesses who come to visit and bring exuberance to our lives.

I find myself too isolated most of the time.  Even when I am at church, I don’t have a lot of adult time.  When he comes home, we have supper and he needs time to take care of a few chores and time to relax and rest.  I recall a time when my grandmother was isolated.  She seemed to have trouble putting sentences together when I would go see her.  It got better when she got around others and regained her socialization time.  These past few days, I have talked more than usual.  Today, I particularly noticed my voice getting tired from the several hours of conversation. 

Social creatures.  Even those of us who are introverted and enjoy long stretches of time alone need socialization. Time with folks whose company we enjoy to just let conversation flow and thoughts meander.  Today, we laughed at ourselves chasing squirrels in our topics.  We would start someplace and take a few detours before trying to finish the original topic.  I am sure we didn’t finish half of our trains of talk.  And that is just fine.  I am feeling very content after having a chance to hear my own thoughts out loud and echoed back to me with agreement, understanding, questions to help clarify.  New insights brought forth, clarity of ideas emerging.  Laughing and groaning at how human we are. 

I am so very grateful for my friends, for my children, for my family, for my Rock and for our Lord who brings us together.

Fall flowers in Tyler County, Texas.