I recently missed an opportunity back in Oklahoma, to sit a spell and visit with some distant relatives who had asked to spread the ashes of a loved one across the property I now affectionately refer to as "Green Acres" and call home when I am not in Virginia. Their recently passed loved one, spent many an hour of his life recalling good memories of times gone by in our Oklahoma home. So much so that he wanted his ashed scattered here. At first I thought this an odd request, but nevertheless, it was honored. Nearly 100 years after this structure's relocation to where it stands now... my husband and I are living with the challenging personality as this home decides to accept us. Some moments are as funny as the TV show from the 60s, and nearly scripted directly from several episodes. There are other moments, where it seems the house is showing us in her way, that she is tired of protecting my family, and the fourth generation under her rafters is more than she can faithfully serve.
But while there was a solemn mood over the breaking of bread on a sunny afternoon... I missed out on the sharing of decades old photographs that were being passed that afternoon. There were those old roses captured, in black and white, that I was lucky enough to watch budding three weeks ago. Exactly how long ago was the "smokehouse" used as such? I am sure it looked much better 40 years ago than now. When were there truly chickens in the coop and brooder house? Horses were mentioned being there, not far beyond the brooder house... really?! When was that? Oh how many mysteries would be solved by sorting through photographs for an afternoon. I truly regret missing that opportunity. Treasures held onto from a previous generation, yet shared and passed to the next. It a history, a family history that goes beyond the big covered porch and the rose bush. I may own the home now, as much as she will let me claim at least, but there are very few photographs that exist that would give me more clues to her past, and what secrets her walls hold. I regret that I was not in Oklahoma that afternoon, to sort thru the memories being shared.
But it is a call to arms, to make sure that other folks realize that a few generations down the road from today, deserve to have snapshots of our time to look back on, to see how they got to where they are, and how their family managed to get them on that path. The power of photographs, is even more valuable today, than it was decades and decades ago.