Today is Clark’s Birthday. Hurray!! He’s my fabulous Hubs! Happy Birthday, Clark!!
It’s easy to remember his birthday because, well, I’ve known him for about 35 years. I’m also pretty good at remembering birthdays. Sending out cards is another story. I tend to either send them out late or not at all. I’ve had an ongoing deal with myself for longer than I can remember to work on that personal flaw. Each year when the New Year rolls around I challenge myself to not only send every single person I know and love a birthday card but to also send it to them on time. And, each year I break that vow. Not on purpose, but because I tend to be a bit unorganized. (A sign of creativity I’ve been told – *probably by my mother*)
When I woke up this morning, I put on my robe, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed towards our basement. I walked down the stairs into the messy, cluttered, musty space under the first floor of our home. I needed a picture of Clark. I needed a picture ~ or two ~ of him to post on Facebook. It’s been a longtime tradition of mine – along with everyone in the universe – to start our loved ones birthdays off on the right foot by publicly posting old, forgotten pictures of them and attaching some sort of sentimental blurb under it. We plaster these Jpgs (pronounced Jaaayyy-pegs) out onto the World Wide Web and into cyberspace for the whole world to see. Well, I exaggerate. But if you’ve Googled your name recently you’ll find I’m not too far off on my statement
At the bottom of my basement stairs, I walked back through a slim, cluttered hallway and towards what was once a working darkroom that Clark and I had built in a cut off, private section down there. I passed up stacks of stored once treasured objects laying everywhere that had once held coveted spots in the rooms upstairs. I got to the door of the old photo room, opened it and carefully stepped into what now looked like a cluttered room where most of our accumulated treasures from 30 years of marriage had landed. I looked around and thought to myself, good grief, we’ve become hoarders…
There were boxes and boxes of photos in that room which were saved in their original envelopes and stuffed into drawers. Jammed drawers that you could barely open up because there were heavy stacks of boxes upon boxes filled with junk and memorabilia crammed all over the place. The walls were also filled with cabinets that held a bonanza of old photo albums. Eventually, I got down to work and started searching for a few pictures that were Facebook worthy.
Not too far into my task I became unfocused as I sifted through what seemed like a million unorganized photos. It’s easy to get sidetracked when you’re looking at a photogenic history of your life. The sentimentality of the task pulled at my heartstrings. I started to examine the content of the piles of photos I was sifting through rather than finding photos of my hubs. Photography sure had changed…..
- The Selfie – Those popular self photo’s taken with smart phones and hand-held digital camera’s, which are usually flattering and an attempt to *appear casual* had definitely not made it onto the scene yet. It seems that back before the digital age and social media, people took more pictures of the world around them than they did of themselves. Clark, being the nature lover that he is, seemed to be fascinated with landscape photos. I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at. He also shot tons of photos of birds…..and animals at Zoos. But, no selfies.
- Photo Bombing – When I did come across the occasional photo of Clark from the olden days, I noticed that a few had some pioneer photo bombers in the background! They were different though than the photo bombs of today where the pranksters purposely put themselves into the view of the photograph with a goofy smile or waving as to tell you that they’re back there and they GOTCHYA!! These photo bombers were mostly elderly Aunts, Uncles or family members simply misplaced in the backdrop of the photo. Often funnier than the bombers of today.
- Hairstyles – They will always give away what decade you are looking at.
- Labeling Photo’s – I was always told to label the back of my photos with names and dates because one day I’d forget that information. I scoffed at that bit of advice knowing I’d never forget people or names or places. So, I didn’t label anything. And, for the life of me I could not place who half the people in the photo’s with me were. We must have been close pals though because mostly we were hugging and laughing together. Huh??
After a few hours of walking down memory lane, I had finally found a handful of pictures that would work as a tribute to my Hubs. They were awesome photos and during a time when we first met and started dating. His hair was long and he sported a thick, full mustache. He wore t-shirts with pictures of rock bands on them and cut off, frayed jean shorts. He drove a convertible and had a wild streak in him that caught my eye right away. These days he’s traded in that youthful attire and look for work slacks, ties and weekend golf shirts.
It was odd-looking back at those old photos. It’s odd how you don’t realize how much you age and mature from year to year until you look back. It hit’s you then and you think solemnly to yourself, wow, I’ve aged…. You wonder where the time went. How did thirty years fly by so fast. And, were the memories recorded in those old, treasured photo’s really as glorious as our minds would love to convince us they were? Or, is it true what they say; that it’s fun to remember the way things used to be, but the way things used to be probably could never live up to how we recall them. We tend to glorify the past with fabulous stories and timeless photo’s that make you think ‘all the world’s a sunny day…’