10 July 2017

Golden Wedding Anniversary

My grandparents, MJ and Hazel Christensen, at their 50th.
I remember my grandmother's golden wedding anniversary very well. My mother made her a cake. We all dressed up and went to the party. I was awed by the fact that my grandparents had been married 50 long years. A desire was born in me to reach that milestone too.

In June this year it happened. We have now been married for 50 short years. On July 4th we celebrated with a family party. We had lots of family type fun. My granddaughter made me a cake. My daughter and son-in-law produced an awesome Kahoot! trivia game. We stayed up late and talked. I played volleyball with my volleyball playing daughter. We modeled our silly hats to celebrate the silly looking wedding veil I wore 50 years before.

We played ping-pong and my river-running sons took everyone who wanted an adventure white water rafting. Finally, I tossed my dried bouquet to the singles in our group and my 14 year old granddaughter caught it.

Around the fire that night we shared our love and commitment with each other. Each member of the family read a paper plate full of positive comments that the others had written about them. Then Jim and I talked about how much we love each other and our children and grandchildren.

And the day passed. And the celebration is now over. I don't really feel any older. It's kind of the same feeling I had when I turned 70 at the beginning of June. It seemed bigger in the looking forward than in the looking backward. I still haven't arrived. And our marriage hasn't "arrived" either.

How to hold onto some of the magic? Be aware, write, record and share. Today one of my favorite ways to do that is to produce a video. For this occasion, one wouldn't do. I made two:

Jim and Joy Wedding Video
Fifty Years of Family
Here we are last year at our grandson's wedding

Here we are 50 years ago.

13 May 2017

My Mother Line

My sister Jill once asked me, "Do you know your mother line?" She quickly recited several generations of daughter to mother. I hadn't thought about that before. I did know that my mitochondrial DNA was German. And so is my mother line.

I have pictures for six generations of mothers back. I love them all. As I celebrate Mother's Day this year, I'm thinking of those mothers. I know what it's like to be a mother. Our lives are all different, yet in this we are the same—mothers with daughters and granddaughters.

I made a video to celebrate my mother line. It's posted on YouTube here.

Do you know your mother line?

24 February 2017

A Photo Valentine Gift for Me This Year

A treasured photo taken in
Lyndon, Kansas, Feb 13, 1885 as a
Valentine. Alas, I don't know who
it could be.
We sat, entertained, as we watched a slideshow featuring family members of various eras engaged in similar activities. But the surprise ending caused a universal groan. "The problem is we don't know who any of these family members or friends are," the presenter explained.

I have many unidentified photos myself, some old, some new. Precious antiques or unidentified babies, they have lost their value when they are not labeled. As I scanned photos, I carefully scanned both front and back, but even then sometimes the two get separated and often the back of the photo still doesn't tell the whole story. I have tried to painstakingly add borders in Photoshop to write on, but there are other drawbacks to that. Some photos from my dad and my grandma had identification written across the front. That was a mixed blessing.

I had heard of metadata, the information about the photo that is actually saved within the electronic image, but how to enter that metadata escaped me.

That mystery was solved when I attended a Pictures and Stories class by Alison Taylor. (Recording available here.) I could enter data very easily in the Properties/Details space in Windows or I could use my Adobe Bridge program (free download) to even add metadata to a lot of photos at once. Alison's blog gives further details on Bridge which I found easy to understand and duplicate. I just followed along with her. It does take a little time, but for the first time ever, I feel that I am efficiently organizing my many images of photos and documents. Thanks so much Alison!

19 February 2017

Writing and Publishing Resources

Buffalo Story (Barajas Family)