Monday, January 05, 2009

a good profile, demo; now turn and face the camera--and hold the sign up so's we can read the numbers!

I think this will be short. I am still somewhat incapacitated from a fall on New Year's Eve (not attributable to alcohol--damn the luck!) and have been spending the last few days trying to make some sort of order out of the 200G or so of photo files that I had on 4 separate hard drives. I was able to pick up a 250G Seagate Free Agent (my bro works in HD development there and he said I made a good score at $52.50). I've been moving files from the other hard drives and deleting the extraneous document copies, etc.,. I just wonder how much of the stuff that I keep on my "box" is attributable to a desire to save records and how much is attributable to the familial "packrat" gene. My dear mother used to keep a daily journal of what she did, where she went, how much she spent and so forth. She kept it longhand (beautiful cursive script) in steno notebooks. I have no idea how many of the things she went through but I do know that, for her, to throw anything away was next to impossible. I gave her a set of salt and pepper shakers in 1970 (I got them while stationed in Germany) and when I was eating dinner at her house one day, several years later, asked if she still had them. "Oh, yes," she said, "I treasure them." I asked where they were. She told me that she kept them with her fine china (she had a set of Spode and another of Limoges, IIRC) which she also, NEVER USED! She thought they were far too valuable to ever be entrusted to the grubby mitts of her brood. The summer before she passed, while I was home on a visit she told me that she had been putting things aside and told me the salt & pepper set was in a box with my name on it. I told her that I appreciated the gesture but that I woud prefer she give them to one of my siblings as I would simply lose them. She was okay with that. She also had a package for me, in a large manila envelope. It included photos of her and my dad on her wedding day, photos of my dad in India--and his unit patch, done on leather--from his days in the USAAF during WWII, my natal photo (from St. Joe's hospital), various photos of me and my older and younger siblings, my class photos from every year I'd had one taken, my AF photos and every single birthday card, letter and postcard I had ever sent her. It was not anything like the sort of pile that several of my siblings had, but I was astonished that she had kept everything for so many years. I still pull out that envelope from time to time and I feel her presence in those moments. Several years ago I wrote a song, "Kodak Moment" about the experience of viewing those photos and the memories that they awakened. I will share it one of these days when I have the time, energy and requisite knowledge to record it and put it up on this blog or elsewhere. Well, I guess it was not as short a post as I was thinking it would be.


Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness - you fell? NYE was horrible weatherwise, wasn't it? Yeesh!

I love thought of your mom being so determined to write down everything on steno pads. I admire that. And it does provide a great historical record for generations even after the living memory is passed.

What a touching post this is, Demo.

democommie said...


Ah, if only we still had them. My non-packrat older brother tossed most everything that didn't have intrinsic value after my mom's passing. It's okay, he did a lot of other, very good things, as well.

I just got a holiday card from my late sister's oldest daughter. The envelope had that same beautiful, cursive script as my mother's.

I fell in the house, coming down the stairs, still hurt like hell.

Anonymous said...

oops - I'm saying all the wrong things today.

Sorry you fell. :-( Ouch.

Fran said...

I hope you feel better soon, demo!

My mom was just the same without the great cursive. She wrote down everything on her daily calendar. She kept them all. I have them all in a box, which I touch fondly.

Have a great New Year!

democommie said...


You said nothing wrong, thanks for the kind words {:>)


I know 'zackly what you mean.

Richard said...

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall." ~ Confucius

Or some bullshit like that. Get well soon!