A Sense of Place, A Sense of Home
|My Grandparent's backyard Sacramento, Ca. |
Photo mid-to-late 1930' s
during the Depression & just before WWII begins
Who Took This Picture?
who took this picture, was it aunt marian?
I know you two were inseparable
the recipe on this envelope, (you always wrote on scraps of paper)
you gave that to me many, many years after this picture was taken
-- though you would not known this back then
I would have liked to have seen you walk into this photograph
sit in that chair, straighten you gown, my aunts fluffing it out at the bottom,
looking all pretty, smiling, buzzing with anticipation
what were you and my aunts gabbing about?
was grandma watching all this,
what about uncle jack and uncle bill, where were they?
I pretty sure grandpa had left you all by then
I bet this was an exciting night for you all.
Just waiting for that knock at the front door so your night could begin.
Isn’t it funny how dad was just getting to know you and the family
but when "we" came into being years later, that step really doesn’t happen,
no knock at the front door , we were just in
aunt barb told me about this dress in this picture that you had made
and how you would take it apart five more times,
to re-make five more different dresses to “re-wow” dad on five more different dates
she said you all had no money, the depression I know
but you told me many times you still found ways to enjoy that time
even though it was difficult
you often said to me " ... we didn’t need things we made our own fun"
she also told me about that “fake rabbit” fur coat in this picture
and that aunt marion loaned it to you for this dance
was this the night, it must have been that night
were most of that fur ended up on dad’s suit
she told me how devastated you were,
this was not the impression you were planning on leaving with him that night was it?
... we laugh now, funny when your young, the way you think about these divined miss-haps
“I” wondered, what aunt marian was thinking when you gave back her rabbit coat, minus the fur
anyway (you always used this word), before dad knew he would be wearing rabbit fur
what did he say when he came to pick you up that night?
what did he say when he saw the beautiful girl he would be taking to the dance?
you in your finished, flowing and glowing hand-made gown,
lovingly made, especially with him in your mind and heart ...really ... your soul ...
there is this one thing that was hard for me to image ... the both of you dancing
I had never seen you both dancing together
when I think about this ... it’s really not that difficult to imagine at all
we did see you both dance and danced beautifully
through your long lives together and luckily for all of us ... we saw that
aunt barb said dad was a fine dancer, I wish I could have seen that, but I know he was
aah ... why the envelope, with the recipe, with this photograph? ...
it's not the recipe that matters so much here, though it is wonderful
it’s your handwriting ... the calligraphy, your marks, your-own-hand
silly as this may seem, for some reason
your handwriting helps me stay connected
to this picture, to that day, to the dance, to those memories, to this moment
and most important of all ... to you
Happy Birthday! Mom - we Love you and Miss you.