My kitchen table is littered with photographs - the old black and white variety. I am sorting and scanning the photos to preserve the images, images of a time long past.
Sometimes I wonder why I am doing this because few people in my own family even know the faces in the photos, but then I know that I must do this for that very reason. I don't even know some of the individuals in the photos.
My mother rarely wrote on the back of the pictures, but some have "Me" scrawled on the front/back. Yes, even the "young man" leaning on the car, pictured above, is my mother, confirmed by my uncle before he died. He said my mom often dressed like that while working on the farm.
While going through the old photographs, I fell in love with my mom and dad all over again. I gained even more respect for them.
As near as I can tell, these two photos were taken when they were dating since they are taken the same place. They must have taken turns with the Kodak Brownie camera, which is celebrating its 108th birthday this year.
My parents grew up in South Dakota. They met at a "Box Social." Mom loved to talk about how the girls prepared a meal for the box, secretly decorated the box, and then their beaus bid on the boxes.
She said that the guys always knew which boxes to buy. Hmmm, do I sense a conspiracy here?
A couple of years after they married, my parents moved to the Wind River valley in Wyoming and its promise of irrigation. The Provo area had strictly dryland farming, and times were tough, economically. When I look at the photos of their early years in Wyoming, I wonder what on earth they were thinking. I marvel at the courage it must have taken for them to stay here and build a life together. The irrigation system was just being built, but the dream appealed to my dad. They stayed and eventually prospered.
This was their first home on their new farm. I wonder how many times my mother wept for the home they left behind. My father's dream must have been infectious because I cannot imagine the courage it must have taken to move here with no trees, no roads, no close neighbors.
Of course, by the time I was born, nearly 18 years later, things had changed considerably. The farm they scrimped and saved to buy and to improve is no longer in the family. Today, I cannot bear to even drive by the farm to see how it has changed.