Discoveries circa 2002

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In a frenzy, recently, I cleaned out the Hoosier in my kitchen. The top cabinet had become, over the years, a repository for just about everything. Pens, pushpins, boxes of tea, Red’s nebulizing medicine and equipment, scotch tape, buttons, check books, my husband’s prescription receipts, scraps of paper with phone numbers written on them, pins and IKEA S-screwdrivers, the odd Playmobil thingummy that held the houses together.

Amongst all the detritus, I discovered 5 rolls of unused film (which I gave to Dusty, the family photographer) and three rolls of exposed film. I had no idea how long they had sat in there or what was on the rolls, if anything. One was color, two were black and white. Like a lot of things, at some point, my husband, who had previously enjoyed taking pictures, gave it up. Abruptly. I don’t know why.

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So, at a certain point, I became the family photographer, documenting the children’s growth. There are boxes upon boxes of photographs in the bedroom closet and many flash drives and hard drives filled with digital photographs.

Two weeks ago, I took the rolls in to be developed. Today, in the middle of preparing for a (non-event) snowstorm and dealing with my mother’s recent hospitalization, I picked up the photographs. I gave them to Dusty, forgetting that they weren’t photos she’d necessarily taken. She pulled them out, amazed. “What…who…when was this?”

The color roll was ruined. Blurred photos of nothing distinguishable. The black and white ones, though…..

The first was a series of photographs of the first real beach vacation we took with Dusty. She was 18 months old. We stayed in a horrible, noisy, hotel with a kitchenette. What stands out for me about this vacation was that Dusty ended up with a stomach virus that landed her in the hospital by the time we returned. She’d gotten dehydrated and had refused to drink anything but her soymilk. Which only made matters worse.

But before that stressful end, we’d had fun.

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Dusty loved hats. And there’s something about a mirror that attracts any right-minded toddler. Pretty sure we played this game for long stretches when we weren’t out on the beach (the ocean was another thing Dusty loved and still does). These photos remind me that despite the bad ending to this weekend, we had some fun nonetheless.

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