Picture This

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Trina MachacekI do not take pictures. Cameras and I, whether as actual cameras or in phones, on tablets, I-pads or any other configuration of picture taking, do not get along well.  My husband takes pictures–of things.  Since I do not take pictures I know I should not have a say in what he takes pictures of, but he needs to take more pictures of people rather than vistas or things.  Let me back up a step or two and let you catch up with my thought process.

We have this wooden box, well bigger than just a box, more crate sized.  It has three purposes in its life.  One, it is used to house a quarter scale cannon that was hand built by the husband, as was the box.  Two, it is used a coffee table in our living room and it is covered as most tables in living rooms are with a lamp, magazines, pens and paper, a box of tissues and of course the ever present dust.  (A clean house is a sign of a dull housewife. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!)  Three, when the cannon is on display-which it is most of the time and will be from now on because-the box is used to hold the array of family pictures we have accumulated along with vacation pictures. Ah, pictures, here we go…

Pictures are our look in to the past.  A moment caught in time that no matter how hard you try will never come again.  I’m not saying that Ansell Adams was not a master with a camera. I could look at some of his photographs for hours and still not see everything. We also get a way cool calendar each year from a wonderful photographer we met in on a vacation back East. Showing wonderful spots in and around Booth Bay Harbor, Maine, a place we dream of.  But around the table at family gatherings it’s the pictures of people that bring about snickering and are ooo’ed and aah’ed at.  It’s the 5th. grade picture of your brother, sister, cousin, niece, mother—the one with their hair askew or tongue part way out of their mouth or eyes bugged out.  Or the family picture taken to mark some silly occasion like a graduation where the graduate is smiling like they’re a monkey’s uncle and had just been pinched on the rear end.  You know, the picture where some tie is felt to the people caught in time.

A friend of mine and I recently visited the Eureka Sentinel Museum in Eureka.  It is a tribute to the area and several different aspects of our world. A wonderful jewel in our little berg of a community. We gazed at and read about things that have been found and donated, but the things that caught our eyes were the pictures of the people.  The faces of the past.  The clothes, the hair, and the lives they must have been living.  Some lives good and some not as good as we imagined by the looks of their clothes, hair, even the frozen looks on their faces.  Those are the pictures I like.  Thus those are the pictures that I deem should be taken by the only person in our house that takes pictures.  Now is that too much to ask?

This is a discussion I feel I may have actually won.  What?  Win? Me?  Yes me.  Here is why.  In a recent trip through our box-o-pictures it wasn’t the mountain of beautiful pictures of the very green Iao Valley in Hawaii that brought laughter it was the picture of two grown men laying on the beach with two halves of found coconuts laid on their chests. In yet another pile, it wasn’t a sight of the wonderful blue Caribbean Sea from the cruise, it was the picture of him all dressed up for dinner smoking a huge Cuban cigar, head shrouded in blue smoke.

That does not mean that I do not want to see pictures of my friend’s amazing yard.  I do. But I fall towards liking pictures of people more.  I like to look at pictures of your grandkids, see their smiling faces and bright eyes as grandma takes their picture while they are licking chocolate brownie mix off the spatula and getting it all over their faces. Blessings each one.

I saw loads of pictures displayed recently at the county fair. A wonderful array from talented eyes and what they saw. Which ones do you think got the most attention? Ready-Set-Click…

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka, Nevada.  Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle.  Share your thoughts and opinions with her at itybytrina@yahoo.com  

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