Sunday, October 28, 2012

What We Keep II

As you may recall, we were in Savannah a few weeks ago, readying my mother-in-law's home for a new owner.

It took several bittersweet days.

Betty loved her home and filled it with lovely things in the 20 years that she lived there. It took some time to figure out what needed to go where, particularly as she was one to keep things tucked throughout her beautiful home.

She had even saved a letter I wrote to her and my father-in-law in 1980 when I married their son, detailing what their friends had sent to us as wedding gifts.

("Gosh, Mom," our daughter later observed. "You typed this on a typewriter.")

(I am, if nothing, quaint.)

In the kitchen, there was a drawer filled with unused 35 mm film. While Betty was a keen traveler and had amassed (I am not making this up) thousands of photographs, there was one roll that had yet to be processed.

I dropped it this week at Walgreen's.

This is what popped up:

I'd guess Carcassone in France, except I think the sign on the left is in Italian. (Aren't crenellations great? Another fancy we shared in common.)

There were a few more photos in the crenellated vein, and then there began a new photo stream:

Christmas. At our old house. In 1995. (I had to check my albums to pinpoint the year.) That's 17 Christmases ago.

We were in braces and flannel then, with more hair, fewer pounds and a passion for American Girl dolls, precision skating, horseback riding and dog-themed clothes. All the excesses and possibilities of Christmas under an artificial tree that fell down a week before this photograph was taken.

(There appears to be a marijuana plant in the foreground, which has me completely flummoxed. I have no memory of this.)

What I do remember is a luxurious morning of laughter and gifts and cinnamon rolls and non-stop chatter.

It's nice to look back, especially since we looked pretty good back then.

Thanks for the memories, Betty. Then, and now.

Naperville Now participates each week in Mrs. Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. See what other Alphabetarians are writing about here.


Pondside said...

When all is said and done, cleared out and packed up, it's the memories that are the true keepers.

Sharon said...

What a find, those hidden, forgotten cameras can reveal!

Nancy said...

What fun to have an unexpected blast from the past! Thanks for sharing! FYI you still are a lovely bunch!

Johanna said...

You made me cry again! How Mom loved her Granddaughters! Now that I have one and 2/3 Granddaughters, I understand. Mom also loved Christmas and always made it so special for all of us. Again, a fabulous blog.

Kathy and Freddy said...

Wow, I also had some messages from the past this week. It must be in the air.
Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?
Great fam you got over by der!

Naperville Now said...

Thanks, Kathy and Freddy. Back at ya.

Betshy said...

That is so sweet! And so much fun to look back!!

VBR said...

What a wonderful surprise for you all. Seeing those photos, it is obvious there is a lot of 'happiness' in that household. You all look so glad to be together. Just lovely!

EG CameraGirl said...

I love the look of the 17-year-old photos! What great memories you discovered in the unprocessed roll of film!

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

What a delightful post ~ you are blessed ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

edenhills said...

What a wonderful surprise! The plant would be a schefflera plant. :-)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Oh...what a great find! Looking back can be fun, and sad and fun and sad...



Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

I have a camera that still has an old roll of film in it. I'm not sure if it's any good because one day I opened the camera not realizing there was film in it. I closed it quickly, but it might be ruined. I really should try and get it developed. I might find a nice surprise just like you.

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

How wonderful to find some family memories! I have some old rolls of undeveloped film -- I figured they wouldn't be any good but after seeing yours, I'll have to get them developed and see!

Esther Joy said...

What a neat surprise! Reminded me of a disposable camera my husband found a few years ago. We weren't sure whether the pictures would still turn out, but they did. The big surprise was a BEAR that was looking straight into the camera, and we weren't at all aware it had been there!

anitamombanita said...

Great find! My hubs has been working all week to clear out his "treasures" from our garage ... ahhhh, so happy I am. :)

Jenny said...

What a wonderful gift for you all!

It must have been incredibly difficult for you all to sort through a lifetime of memories.

How wonderful that you were rewarded with this roll of film!

Thanks for a touching link this week.

Xcellent story!