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Deer Heads and Family Slides

January 1st, 2007

It’s New Year’s Day — happy 2007! I’ve noticed that everyone is writing up cool memes for the new year, listing out resolutions, talking about their plans for their blogs. None of that here at Wacky House, because I am in full party avoidance mood. This always happens to me before we throw a party. I get a bunch of stuff done ahead of time — cleaning, baking, cooking — then the day of I’m all, “Yikes. People are coming over in three hours? Whose idea was that?”

That’s usually when Hockey God swoops in and cleans both bathrooms (which he did), and sometimes does the dishes (I’m still hoping). And it’s when I decide to break out the family slides and re-organize them. You know. In all my free time. No, for real — we were looking for something fun to do with the kids last night, after we had pizza and watched the hockey game. (Do we know how to party over here or what?) I broke out the slide projector, turned an end table around so we could project onto a somewhat blank wall, and found the slides from my Mom’s family.

Way too many slides of Cows in the Front Yard (my grandfather ranched) and not enough of People Acting Goofy. Since I’m the oldest grandkid, and my mom is the oldest kid in her family, you would think that most of the pix would be of us, right? You would be wrong. My grandfather really, really loved his goddamn cows. Here’s one! It’s a cow in the back yard, trying to get in through the sliding glass door. And another — it’s snowing, and a cow is hovering on the front porch, between the house and the spruce hedges. Brrr. Cold cow! Go back to the barn! Here’s my grandpa, cooing at a cow. And my uncle, with a look on his face like he’s thinking, “Cows? WTF? I thought we were going hunting this weekend…”

My favorite pic: My grandma washing her hair in a bucket by the side of the road in Alaska, when she and my grandpa drove up there with their travel trailer for a fishing trip in ’73.

My grandma.

With her head.

In a bucket.


Another large group of slides are of my grandpa, waving various guns around, while he and my uncles are hunting. Ditto: uncles with guns. Ditto: uncles’ friends with guns.

So I’m thinking, “Why am I hanging on to these slides? They’re not of me. They’re boring. Except the bucket picture, which is frickin’ hilarious. Eastern Oregon is pretty and all, but damn, how many photos of ponderosa pines does one family need in the archives? God, I hate cows.”

Then I find a slide in the middle of this jumble, and it’s of my Dad and me. He’s teaching me to fish. I look about three in the photo. Aw. And one of me, holding my newborn sister. Aw. And my mom, looking gorgeous and young (!!! twenty!!! She and my Dad were babies when they got married — he was only 21.) Then I get to a box where it says (in my grandma’s handwriting): GOOD SLIDES. I think, “Hot damn, here we go.”

They’re of the “snow dell trip” “truck in ditch” and my baby sister, posing with two deer heads that my uncles stuck in a detergent box as a joke. (Successful hunting trip, from the looks of it. They must have been in jolly moods. These pix are pre-cow.)

Really, I think this is all you need to know about my family, the essence of who we are. Because truly, she meant it. Those were the GOOD SLIDES. I’m taking all of them, sorting them out in big plastic envelopes, and my uncles get these, my aunts get those, my sister gets the others; my cousins will get a batch. I took a hundred of them to Fred Meyer this morning to be scanned and put on a CD — $38 bucks! Not bad.

My question: What to do with the one of granny washing her hair? I’m thinking eBay.

Happiest New Year’s wishes for organization in your family tree.



1 Comment

  1. jen says

    i love this. it’s a visual walk backwards on the path.

    January 1st, 2007 | #

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