19 February 2015

Misty, Muddy-Colored Memories

I think I have discovered why it’s so hard for people to organize and track their pictures and to keep up-to-date with scrapbooking: it’s heart-wrenching. It’s too painful. Just shove it in the closet, live in the now, and maybe your brain won’t think about what was.

Besides…the now is pretty sweet.

But the memory-keeping…it’s important. I think. I guess. I fluctuate so much. It used to be important to me to print out photo books with accurate and funny captions, but as things have become more digitized, I’ve changed my mind about that. I feel that, as long as they’re available online somewhere, then there’s really no need to print out photo books that will just sit on the shelf.

This could mostly be because I CANNOT KEEP UP. With the invention of the camera phone, I am overrun with pictures. There isn’t enough money in the world for me to put all of my pictures in albums, and how would I cull out and decide between pictures of the most beautiful babies in the world?

Canvases or framed pictures or fridge magnets? Absolutely. Those are on display. I feel that’s necessary.

But printing out those photo books is just one more piece of storage for your pictures that takes up so much room. Wasn’t the whole point of being able to save pictures online to keep you from having to print the pictures and save them all over your house?

A month or so ago, we rearranged some things in our closet, and I discovered about a dozen old photo albums from high school/college days. I strongly feel the need to scan all of those pictures, so that they can be properly saved and filed.

But then what do I want to do with the albums? We don’t have a place to store this stuff, and we don’t have a place to display it. Not without being overrun with clutter. I really want to shred them.

All the blood just rushed from my mother’s face.

The memory-stories I find myself telling Katie every time she asks for a story “out of real life” aren’t the ones I have pictures of, usually.

Like how on some Saturday mornings when I was little, all four of us would cram into Daddy’s old brown truck and ride to the sale barn together or to the feed store. No car seats, no booster seats…just four people wedged tight, trying to avoid the stick shift.

Those trips were still during the Jack & Jill days. Please note Katie wearing one of our old Jack & Jill t-shirts. It’s amazing how stories wrap back around and find themselves. When I was there, I’m sure no one thought about me coming back around and finding the owners’ own and marrying him and then having babies to wear my old t-shirts.

On Sunday, we all loaded up the ark and rode with Brady while he went on his usual round of cattle checking and feeding. When Beau was still just a few months old, this worked quite well: we all got out of the house and into the sun, we got time together, Beau slept in his seat, Katie was stimulated, and Mama didn’t have to lose her mind that day.

However.

Times are a-changing. He’s 9-months-old now, and guess what? Sleeping in that seat? Not interested. Not when we can barrel roll around onto our bellies the second the straps are unclipped. Not when we can push up on our toes and hang over onto Daddy’s console in the front seat. Where we throw/drop/heave toys, bottles, pacis, and socks.

One might wonder why we’re unclipping the straps at all, but when we park for the cattle feeding and checking, everybody gets a free pass from the loony bin. Seatbelts are unbuckled, and short people are allowed to roam about the Dodge. Chaos ensues.

At one point yesterday, Brady was back and forth into his seat, trying to hook up to a trailer. Beau was listening to himself talk, I was sweating and trying to hold him, and Katie was talking into a Sonic Wacky Pack toy microphone she’d found on the floor of the truck: “Daddy! Your door needs WD40!”

Are your ears bleeding? Mine were.

Oh, and the A/C broke right when we were getting in the truck to go. A smarter woman would have backed away slowly and crawled back into her house. At least with the baby.

But I’d already PACKED. We were dressed. Clean. In.

I told myself: “Self, it’ll be fine.”

It was hot, is what it was.

The baby didn’t nap, Katie started to get car sick, and Brady probably could have done without all the requests for bathroom breaks. But we did survive, and now I REALLY know that next time, the baby and I will be better off at home. At least for this season.

Wonder if I’ll listen to experience next time or just follow The Cowboy Fireman wherever he leads…even if it’s straight into disarray. Any bet-takers out there?

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