Slice of Life #30
For wifi I drove into the town of Ashland out of Valley View countryside where I am happily having tea and an orange biscotti in the coffee house of the bookstore. Heaven. This is the kind of place my pd partner in crime, Lorena, and I could talk about writing workshop and teaching EL writers for hours.
Today has been a do-whatever-I-like kind of day. After tea and toast this morning I drove to the hardware store where I purchased windshield cleaner, garden gloves and art supplies. Love these small town stores. And the local coop had organic dry cannellini beans for $2.19 per lb. which is four times less than what I pay in the SF bay area.
After getting the water stains off the windshield with this miracle product, (I really know how to vacation) I started taking pictures of the old family photos I brought my sister Peggy. Her hobby (after horticulture) is genealogy and she’s unearthed an entire generation of the Brown family we didn’t know, and she can tell a bunch of crazy stories which make TV sound boring. She’s been studying history county by county. And it turns out I brought a copy of some family history that she didn’t have.
I photographed the old photos so that there’s a digital file. Tricky not to get skylight shining on the glossy ones, and keep the tones of the black and white ones. After touching up each one, I put them in folders on the new memory stick.
And that means I have been looking at old pictures of my siblings and ancestors quite closely. There is a funny disconnect sometimes between the smiling lineup in front of the Christmas card-bordered door — my dad and the four children, me the eldest. The taller in the stair steps. We are in morning pj’s and unwrapping presents mode. It is a nice memory and yet, if I let myself into the picture, my father’s face and that fourth grade year for me…well, it wasn’t all smiley. There are the moments and then the memories in between.
The old photos and digitized copies are a gift to my sister. We are the two surviving children of four. The two other gifts I have in mind this week are to make a photo essay of the Hobby Farm, as we refer to the 2.5 acres she and John built from scratch over 30 years ago. I also bought some watercolor crayons and paper so I plan to do a sketch that turns into a painting of the homestead. This documentary work is because J & P think they are going to sell their place to move closer to the granddaughter in Portland. Mom and I have certainly had some great road trips up here and spent lovely days here.
I want to honor their history. And I love to make photo essays.
It is good to remember good times. My sister is at her computer searching for Ebenezer Brown’s data by locating the railroad he worked on in Kansas. I can hang out in this coffee shop as long as I want and comment on other teachers’ blogs with Two Writing Teachers.
I am grateful I get to be here at my sister and brother in law’s with mother for the week. We’ll take good memories home.
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