what a day. rainy, windy mild....where is this weather coming from. it is very strange. i went out to walk the dogs and found myself being blown down the road while being pelted with hard raindrops...imagine 2 golden retrievers who were just as happy to go home as they were to go for a work in the woods...the streams are filled to the brim. i have on my big rain boots and windbreaker with hood pulled tight....and still soaked.
i came back in the house and fed the dogs their breakfast. while they chomped away at their chunky kibble and slurped their water, i slowly puttered about making my own starbucks italian roast. warm again, i sat down on the couch for a quiet moment to enjoy my monday morning and gather my thoughts and get some last minute to do lists settled.
this is a big week at our house. i have a daughter who is within days of fifteen years old. she has very specific hopes for her birthday. she has told us what birthday gift she really wants....she has told us that this year she would like to have a sleepover with an intimate group of about 15 girls......she has told us that she really craves the official snuggee of the infamous snuggee commercial..a cult phenomenon. she would like her snuggee to be zebra striped or pink. i'm on it.
the gift that she wants is a new digital camera. she has had her own for about 2 years, a gift form a photo loving aunt. grace has worn that camera out. they just don't make things the way they used to! she has been in a desperate state without being able to depend on the service of her well worn camera. she has taken good care of it.
i can relate. grace loves to take pictures, she has a very artistic eye and she has loved every minute of having her own camera, especially in this digital age of photos with friends on facebook and in her computer. i think at her age, i was just as thrilled with each picture that i took.
taking pictures today is very different for our kids. we took pictures only if we thought to buy film and had to carefully choose what pictures to take.....we had to think ahead.....so that we would not use up our film.....just as the most memorable kodak moment occurred! i know. i had a photography addiction. a serious one.
i bought my film in rolls of 36. i had to buy a lithium battery for my very advanced minolta camera. i had to have batteries available at all times for the additional flash attachment. i loved the zoom...it allowed me to take pictures that were close up and candid and with and incredibly professional look. i loved the process. buy the film, check the battery, click carefully or randomly, knowing that the end of the film would eventually come.
i had to think ahead. it was not even a thought to go to a wedding or event with less than 12 rolls of film...ya never know...and i never wanted to be held back from the creative kodak moment. i felt loyal to kodak. that's the film that i started with.
i started with a camera that i bought on cape cod, on my 11th birthday with my own birthday money. i still remember that momentous purchase. it was at a chain store called zayres. i bought the camera and a cartridge of film for $11.77, a princely sum. i was quite proud. i took my own pictures for the remainder of our family vacation. shortly after that purchase, i became the keeper of the camera and carried that camera at all occasions.
i took the pictures and removed the cartridge. i filled out a mail order form for development. it was for mystic color labs. i don't even know if they exist in this day and age. it was a very exciting experience...to fill out the form.....to enclose the film cartridge/s.....a check, written by my mom or by me when i was in college.....lick the envelope.....pop it into the mailbox. the best feeling was at that moment that i heard the thud when it landed at the bottom of the mailbox. that was when the anticipation began.....waiting, waiting, counting the days....until a fat stuffed mystic pre-addressed envelope mad it back to me at my home address.
that was when the real fun and surprises began. opening, looking quickly through the pile to judge each photograph and the individual/s in the photo. then, after disposing of any out of focus, blurry prints, blinking subjects, it was finally time to share with others...a select few. one of my other favorite moments was inserting each prized picture into the photo album.
i loved to create the album. long scrapbooking came into my world, i made my own collages on the pages of my photo album. some were with maps and airline tickets and hotel room service door tags, menus, napkins and appropriate words cut out of magazines to describe our trip. of course, with photos. i took so much time working on the layout, sortingbefore the photos, writing names and places and dates on the backs and placing them carefully on the album pages. i loved putting on the finishing touches. then it was time....i loved this part most of all....sharing the photo albums with everyone who had been on the trip....then, sharing the album with everyone else.
our children know nothing about this old school technology. they can barely remember film. i remember 35mm film in 12, 24 and 36 rolls. i remember 127 cartridges, i think. i remember 110 cartridges. i remember the high tech polaroid insta-camera. i remember getting my minolta camera as a gift almost 20 years ago...a hundred years, in techno-time.
that camera went to weddings, christenings, family birthdays,vacations, beach days, new babys, annual christmas photos for friends' families, my favorite wedding of all...biff and i....our new babies, birthday babies and the whole new world that opened up with our babies.
and then, we went digital. after years of jumping out of the car to buy film just before the event, life changed. in some ways, life was simplified. but are the photographs we take today taken for granted.
our children can see their pictures appear on the screen of their digital cameras within seconds. they can push a button and delete the photo before anyone even blinks. the camera is smaller than palm size and flatter than a television remote. they can take an itty bitty chip out of their camera, put it in their own computer and upload pictures onto the computer. within minutes,they are able to have the pictures downloaded to their own facebook page. and they become the days greatest headlines to share with 999 friends. they are posted in a neatly organized with album cover and name.
they post the photos with "tags", their friends' names. the photos have captions. these photos are out there for the world to enjoy....all within minutes...of whatever random event that takes place. there are pictures of shoes, eyeballs, snow days, beach days, birthdays, cats, girls, boys, girls and boys, toes, trees, cars, dogs, books, lockers, sports events and non-events. everything is newsworthy and share-worthy. once the pics are posted, all of the comments begin. met with approval, dislikes, screeches and oohs and ahhhs. within minutes.
and to think of the time i spent waiting day after day at my mailbox. i have memories of our friends, in college, sitting at the cafeteria table, ecstatic to see someone arrive with their self addressed mailer envelope filled with pictures that may have covered the last month of events....and usually, the pictures were of events back then. cameras then were for occasions, mostly!
i had pictures returning weekly. it was a thrill! we spent time flipping one by one gasping or singing out names while others hovered, waiting to get a glimpse.....we showed them back in the dorm or sitting out on the steps to the cafeteria. receiving those pictures was just as much an event as the event it self!
just since my first baby was born, we've gone digital! her two year old camera is semi-outdated. in two years, cameras have already advanced. zoom, pixels, chips, shutter speed, colors, size, focus......my baby is living in a whole new age!
she will get her camera, no real surprise. whe will get a sleep over....15 girls....no way, maybe 5....i just bought the snuggee, the official snuggee! no random snuggee for my baby. it seems like minutes ago that my bay girl was all swaddled on the way home from the hospital, on a sunny but freezing superbowl sunday....
and here i sit....making some last minute birthday plans....on a balmy, rainy, windy monday morning.