Pictures from a trip.

I had this mashup of thoughts the other day.

I spent many summers with my grandparent’s in Athens, Georgia. I loved traveling by myself on an airplane across the country and other times they would drive all the way to pick me up and then back to their place. Spending nearly four days driving across the country was somewhat magical.

One of my grandpa’s things was taking pictures, not just a few but hundreds each time he pulled it out of the bag. While that might be a slight exaggeration, he really took a lot. I remember this one time my grandparents had just returned from another trip to Europe and Gramps had a ton of pictures converted into slides.

With a ton of slides came the slide show. They invited the neighbors over and we spent a chunk of time one night reliving the trip. The pictures waffled between our Irish family and flowers. I assumed the neighbors were bored out of their minds but maybe that is why there was an open bar. What stands out to me is how much he loved those pictures. I could see it in his eyes that he was reliving those memories and seeing his brothers and sisters again as we flipped though each image.

One other picture memory stands out about Georgia. The times we drove from St. Paul to Athens we stopped at a few outlet malls on the way down. These were not like they are today, these stores were more like lunch tables set up in the back of some factory. My grandmother would buy me a everything from underwear to shoes to Sunday clothes. New outfits meant many pictures.

My kids have occasionally asked me what my dream house would be, my dream house would be living in that small house in Athens. I always felt safe and comfortable there. I miss it.

This second mashup memory was about a class we took just before taking a cruise around the world. We sat on the floor as the lecture droned about some of the communities we were set to visit. One cultural norm was no photographing any person, they believed each picture would remove a little piece of their soul.

These two ideas came together while looking at a picture the other day. I thought of my grandfather, looking at this picture I was reliving a perfect day. It was like a tiny piece of my soul was left in that picture. Those people were almost right, a good photo is really like taking a tiny part of the takers soul and embedding into that fraction of time.

As I looked at this image I remember some advice I have given to my kids. If you can escape this world with just one friend, one friend who know all your best times and the very worst, you will leave richer than you can imagine.

There is a little piece of my soul in this perfect picture.

2 thoughts on “Pictures from a trip.

  1. This is a great slice! I love the ideas and reflections that came from this single, simple, picture. Thanks for sharing!


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