Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snow and nostalgia

January 1973
my sister, January 1973

Snow is a big deal in south Texas. Especially San Antonio, where I'm from. It's so rare, blanketing the ground only 2-3 magical times in a person's lifetime, or so. This was my sister's first snow. I'm not sure, but this looks like our front yard, covered in whiteness. I love that she (?) recorded this on the back of the photo:

I hooked up my scanner to my new laptop for the first time today, downloading drivers and grumpily discovering Windows 7 has absolutely no image editor, not even a bare-bones one (if I am wrong, please let me know!) So I downloaded Gimp and scanned a few snowy pics.

I like using Picnik to edit my pics, sometimes hitting Auto-fix, just to see what shenanigans it embarks on. Here's how it Auto-fixed that pic of my sweet sis, above:

It's nice enough, and perhaps the colors and exposure are more "correct" but I find the original purplish-pinkish hues and low contrast more charming...

By the way, here was my first (and only) Texas snow:

in the snow
I was too lazy to record the year and date on these pics, but just eyeing what I was wearing - I'm estimating I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. It was a huge snowstorm, as you can see from my dad's buried VW rabbit and those monstrous icicles hanging from the house.

But the snow melted fast, and we found ourselves scrambling to collect the last of the snow for a snowman:
collecting more leaves than snow at this point

We assembled a series of sad, piteously leafy snowmen like this guy:
yeah, I wasn't allowed to help

But our crowning achievement had to be the treasure displayed proudly on our front lawn - only the finest cast-off, foamy-mesh baseball cap for this snowman:

A series of occurrences prompted me to dig for these pics. A few days ago, on the subway, this trendy kid was wearing a puffy striped jacket exactly like the ones my brother and I wore in these pics. I was thinking to myself, "That is SO 80's!" I didn't know whether to be horrified or charmed. So I chose charmed. :)

me and las senoras
Which brings me to nostalgia. I don't think I've ever met anyone more nostalgic than me. Except for my dad, who is, I'm sure, who I got this trait from. I have a special weakness for old photographs - I've been this way since I was tiny. Every Christmas we'd get a new photo album, and I was always first to volunteer arranging all the pictures, carefully putting them in order, squinting to drink in every tiny detail, asking my mom who this person or that person was, and prompting them to write every detail on the back. However, my dad started it all with his family slide shows. From time to time, and at no particular interval, he pull out the old green slide projector which frequently overheated and/or melted slides. :) He'd pop fresh homemade popcorn, we'd drink RC or Coca-cola and we'd laugh and point and watch the movie of our lives. I'm really glad I was able to scan all our slides and show them to him before he died. It brings me immense comfort to have these pictures at my fingertips, all their beauty and the stories I write and re-write for myself, over and over again.


Meninheira said...

Qué post tan triste, pero qué bonito.
Gracias por compartir estos pedacitos de tu vida con nosotros :)

(¿tu entiendes el español verdad? es que no sé porque pero me sale siempre escribirte en castellano).

Besitos y achuchones :*

megan said...

My favorite thing about this post (and there is plenty to love) is that one picture of you crouching in the disappearing snow. Even though your face is tiny I can still tell that you look exactly the same.

Alli said...

I also prefer the original snap to the corrected, but it's neat to see what the program did with the photo. I love your nostalgic posts - your old family photos are wonderful.

Pam said...

What a lovely tradition to get a new photo album each Christmas/ New Year to be sure the previous year's photos are all taken care of. Even now with the popularity of digital photos, I think it would be a nice idea to go through them and choose some to print and put in the album.