Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

There is a story behind every picture, so I looked up the origin of the phrase that is the title of this post, and gist of the matter, is that you can use a picture to tell a story rather than the words. 
Well, I like words, and these pictures have a story.  The first part of the story is that they are all found together with hundreds of other pictures in my "doubles and extras" box.  Those are the photos that would be used when a kid needed one for a school project or something.  They don't happen so much anymore now that digital photography has taken over the world.  One can choose the photos printed or not print them at all, instead of printing doubles of all 36 photos of the 35mm roll that resided inside the camera in long or short periods of time. 

Grandpa Kleeb

Jim's dad lived with us for three years when the kids were little.  Lynette was almost one, when it was decided by the powers that be that he couldn't live on his own anymore.  So, he came to live in our chaos until he needed more care and spent over 5 years in the nursing home, increasingly succumbing to Alzheimer's, until he didn't know anything anymore.  It is very sad to watch a relative living in that condition, and hard to understand what lessons we might be learning in watching another suffer. 
Jim's dad was 91 when he died in the summer of 2005.  It was one of the hottest summers we had for a few years, and Jim's sisters came to be with their dad until the end.  It was pneumonia at the last. It's what used to be called the "old man's friend."

And, while we were sorry Jim's dad had died, it isn't so hard because he lived a long, full, productive life.

So, on to the funeral.  Jim had to have new boots, his Sunday ones being all worn out.  And I bought a new pair of shoes.  I wanted something that didn't look like they came over on the Mayflower.  I love those shoes, and I still remember why I bought them.  They are just a little bit too big, so I have to wear inserts.  My feet were swollen because of the heat. It was SO hot.  It was at least 110 degrees. Wearing funeral clothes and all, you just deal with it, because there isn't anything else to do.

And Nathan had to have a haircut.  We were having a hard time finding someone who would cut his hair so that both he and I would like it.  And who would do it for less than $20.  This wasn't it. 

But, here we all are, gathered for our yearly family photo. It's where family gathers.  

It's a time when the family you don't see very often can get together, to comfort and remember. 
And take pictures. 
We don't have so many of the "three kids together".
Pictures will be taken at funerals.  They always have, and they always will.  It is a gathering time.

Friends--for Now, Forever.

I don't remember when this photo was taken.  In the early 2000s I assume, because Luanne hadn't been living in her "out in the country" home for very long.  This was a ladies only outing.  I don't remember exactly the occasion or the date.  What I remember is that these are my friends.  Some I know well, some I don't.  Some I've know for a very long time.  Some for not so long.  We would look different now, all lined up together.  But, this is the way we looked that day.  And we enjoyed it.

My Cousin

My cousin Michelle was the first of our cousins to leave this life.  It is hard to say "the first one who died." But, she was.  She LIVED her life.  She did a lot of things.  But, she didn't win her battle with cancer.  It's been 2 years and I still cry. 

My mother's side of the family seems very healthy and especially long lived.  We've taken that for granted over the years.  I've always thought belonging to the Appleman's was something very special, and I felt sorry for the people that didn't belong to my Grandpa and Grandma.  Grandpa died the same year Jim's dad died, 2005, two months to the day, shy of being 100 years old, He'd had skin cancer surgery, but didn't make it through. Two years later Grandma died.  This photo was taken at her funeral.  Michelle was between cancer treatments and was feeling really good.  Her hair had grown in for several months and she was beautiful and full of life.  But, there was a dark spot in there, one that we weren't really looking at.  Those numbers, that tell somehow in blood work, that there is probably cancer there, were going up.  We had no way of really knowing that the next funeral would be hers. They sang my favorite hymn there, the whole congregation:
"Precious thought, my Father knoweth, In His love I rest, For whate'er my Father doeth, Must be always best.  Well I know the heart that planneth, Naught but good for me, Joy and sorrow interwoven, Love in all I see.  Precious thought, my Father knoweth, Careth for His child, Biddeth me to nestle closer, When the storm beats wild. Though my earthly hopes be shattered, And the teardrops fall. Yet he is himself my solace, Yea, my All in all!"

My Little Girl

I just think Lynette is cute here.  We always took our nicest clothes when we went visiting anywhere.  We wouldn't want people to think we just wore any old thing.  It sure seems like when the kids have a lot of choice, it wouldn't be mine.  I'm also guilty of saving too many things for "good", and then they don't get worn.  Lynette is on the play set of the elementary school where I went to school.  Only, they didn't have any fancy play sets, 30 some years ago.  Now the school is abandoned, and a new school is built.  So, someday, that school will likely be torn down.  What sort of use would a large two story building be used for.  It had too many problems to fix for school children.  It will have too many problems for anything else, too.

My Son

I love this photo. And his dad loves it too.  Every dad hopes his son will one day follow in his footsteps.  So, Jim was especially pleased to watch Nathan take to the excavator like a pro.  It seems to be one of those things, that comes easily, or it doesn't come at all. I can't remember what we needed the hole for.  Perhaps we only needed it for Nathan to learn to dig.

Matching Dresses

These are some of my favorite photos of all time.  Lynette's sewing Auntie, did the smocking for these dresses, and I sewed them up.  I was going through a spell of whatever I made for Lynette, I made one for her dolly, too.  We went out to some of our friends in the country who had a picturesque setting for the photos, and made ourselves at home.  (They weren't.)


Bonita Sue said...

Wow! That's a trip down memory's lane! Glad we have you as the family chronicler.

Maxine said...

That was a great trip! Fun to read all this & see the pictures.

parose said...

It's so much fun to "walk"own memory lane. It brings a smile to our faces to think of special times, special people and special children. : ) Thanks for sharing.

gkey said...

dear Pictured you there,

This could be a scrapbook project. A special little album titled: 'My~favorite~photos'. Here you have it....great job, and even the journaling done.

To see again and again

Renee said...

Ahh, how I enjoyed this post of yours. Such lovely pix...along with such delightful commentary.