a girl, a guy, a tomato, a bean, and a bear

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Isn't she lovely?

We went home for Thanksgiving and had our first big family gathering in many years. Now that we've been stateside for a few months, I've stopped thinking of everything we do in terms of stateside vs abroad, but events like this stand out in such contrast because we weren't able to take part in the family gatherings for so long.

It struck me how special it was to be in the home where I grew up. Justin and I held Evelyn's hand as she walked around the cul-de-sac where I used to play with my brother and sister. The times we had back then...riding our bikes incessantly around that little concrete circle, imagining ourselves to be cops and robbers, wild animals, you name it. We used the curb as a balance beam to see if we could walk the perimeter of the street without touching the grass or road. So many happy childhood memories flooded back for me, and how special it was to be there again with my husband and daughter (and dog) and the rest of my family.

Even the air at night had that magical "Christmas smell," as I like to call it. Parking in that driveway, letting the dog out at night in that back yard, those trees, that back patio with its particular cracks and crooked benches my parents made so long ago--I soaked it all in and appreciated it in a way I don't think I ever have before.

My mother still has a good deal of my grandmother's things from after her death in 2006, and we took time to go through some of them together. There were pictures, photos, letters, figurines, a curious lockbox no one could open (I'm still dying to know what's in there...part of me hopes we can never get it open...) and it was cathartic for me to see my grandmother's things again. I came back from Germany in May of 2006, when her death seemed imminent, to have a final visit, but was unable to be there for her funeral that June. I was able to say my goodbyes, but I never have felt complete closure. I suppose it is just that way with loved ones who leave us.

Mixed in with these things we came across a set of class pictures of my mother from her school days. I asked her if I could scan them and share them and she said I could. Isn't she completely lovely? I must say my favorite pictures are the first (she tells of having just given herself a haircut secretly in the closet days before), and the last, when she looks so grown up and transformed at age 15. You really must click on the picture and then view it in it's original size on flickr by clicking the "all sizes" button.

isn't she lovely?

Now I need to find my old class pictures as well. I swear I never looked as put together as she did!


Kathy said...

I am sure glad that you do not have access to my pictures growing up! HAHAHA! These are too funny!
Aunt Kathy!!! :-P

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