life, thoughts

Seventy-Seven Years and then Some

Life is so difficult these days, isn’t it? I mean, they had it so much easier years ago.

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The woman with the washboard is smiling! This tells me everything is a matter of perspective. It’s not what happens to you in life, but how you deal with it.

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The man in this 1941 photo is the husband of the woman with the washboard. The baby with the round, pudgy face is their daughter.

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It’s for sure these three from 1949 are Italian peasants. The woman is the one with the washboard. The little girl is the one with the round, pudgy face, and the boy is her brother.

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Above, those same children are in a photo with their grandparents.

In December when my mom moved to her new apartment, she had to downsize a lot. So, she gave me two wonderful hand-me-downs.

One of them was my grandma’s Hummel collection.

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The other was all of my mom’s and grandmother’s old photos. The photos range from seventy-seven years ago, to today. Some are from even longer ago, before my mom was born.

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The woman with the washboard is my grandma, Levia, written about in my blog post, Grandma’s Thursday. The little girl with the round, pudgy face and in the family photos is my mom. The two older people are my mom’s maternal grandparents and my maternal great-grandparents, Romeo and Rovina, who are straight from Italy.

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Above is a photo taken in 1958 of my parents going to prom. They are eighteen but don’t look more than fifteen to me. This was taken with a Polaroid camera in color. Polaroids weren’t meant to last long, and the colors are all distorted. (Note the plastic cover over the chair next to my dad).

When I look at these photos and see the things that really matter in life, I can’t help but wonder why society is so divided. During the times of these photos and when I was a child, we leaned on family and friends in our communities in good times and in bad. Maybe that’s what is missing from society today. I just don’t know.

I miss my grandma’s vivacious, fun-loving, giving and inclusive nature. She had so many friends at our family gatherings, that I thought they were my Aunts and Uncles until I became an adult. Being there for each other made our lives better.

I’m fortunate to have known all four of my grandparents. I’m even more blessed to have had a role model to show me how to be grateful, no matter what happens in life.

My memoir anthology, Home Avenue, has four short tales chronicling special moments with family. We can find humor and inspiration even after growing up with dysfunction. My novel, Whit’s End, is contemporary fiction showing the perils of family dysfunction and perhaps a way to overcome.

Do you have any old photos of distant ancestors? Do you have a role model from your family? A teacher? A friend?

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17 thoughts on “Seventy-Seven Years and then Some”

  1. Lovely pictures and what a beautiful story. Oftentimes, these kind of pictures and stories and sayings are great reminders and encouragements. Thanks for sharing, Lori.

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    1. Well, I’m not sure if they had more or less to fear back then. It might’ve been the same, only different things to fear. Those photos were taken from 1940 to 1958. I think during WWII they had plenty to fear, but after that, things settled down for a while and there was a prosperous time. I don’t recall my parents or grandparents talking about things they used to fear, but then again, they weren’t complainers or worriers. They just trudged ahead. Thanks or stopping by and checking out my old photos, Carl.

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    1. Hi Lynette. Yes, and this photo collection will be enjoyed for generations to come. Hopefully, I’ll find time to digitize them. Thank you for reading about them. 🙂

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    1. Hi Andrea. Yes, I do feel as though these photos are a treasure trove for us and for generations to come. I don’t have kids, but my brothers kids will be able to see what their great-great-grandparents looked like. I also have naturalization papers and everything in this pile. So cool. Thanks for reading about us.

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  2. Though social media has its perks, I don’t think it’s done us many favors as a society. It’s so much easier for people to be hateful and vitriolic online in anonymity than in a face-to-face setting. Plus, the more time we spend online, the worse our interpersonal skills become. I don’t mean to sound old-fashioned or to imply all social media must go (I use it plenty myself!), but I hope we can see a shift back to civility. I won’t hold my breath though…

    Nice pics, Lori! 🙂

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    1. Hi Carrie. My husband says this all the time. He’s right when he says that social media gives people an anonymity that they can’t hide behind in person, so they feel free to spew hate they otherwise would not be spewing. The only reason I use social media is because of being an author. I do like blogging though, because I’ve met people like you and those in author circles. It’s also true about losing interpersonal skills. Can you imagine what it will be like for kids who have always communicated this way when they become adults? Yikes.

      Thanks for reading, Carrie. I am very excited about all these old photos. They are so cool, and I feel like it’s a great treasure trove for generations to come.

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      1. Like you, if I weren’t an author, I doubt I’d be very involved in social media. But also like you, I’ve enjoyed connecting with people from all over the world. It’s a catch-22 for sure!

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    1. I think families and smaller communities relied on each other more back in the days of these photos. Today, people are more spread out from their families, and when in need, they rely on the government. It’s much more difficult going through the red tape of bureaucracy than it is to offer a friend or family member a hand up when down and out. Just a thought, anyway. Thanks for reading about us, Anneli.

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  3. One of my favorite things to do is to pull out the old black and white photos, Lori. Times were harder, but people seemed to have more joy than you see now. Sad, isn’t it? My mother has a few of those same Hummels. xo

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    1. It’s great having such old photos, isn’t it, Jill? I’m going to have to find a way to preserve them. I found one in there from around 1923 that is in pretty decent shape.

      Cool that your mom has some of the same hummels.

      Thanks for reading about us.

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