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Memories Old and New

We’ve been in Fairbanks in our little apartment at the University this past week. Jamiee is taking a two-week art class here at the University. Coincidentally, we have a friend from Fort Yukon whose daughter is also taking the same art class along with some of her friends. They are all staying with us, so our place is hopping. Not counting the boys, I’m outnumber by females six to one.

We arrived last Friday and  brought both cars. I drove the Trooper and Jacob got to ride with me. I actually put him in the front seat so that he could see out the windshield. [Stephanie’s disclaimer: “We don’t have airbags. There is hardly any traffic on the road. It was Brian’s idea.”]  I saw a good sized black bear standing in the road about four miles outside of Circle. Unfortunately, Jacob was asleep and didn’t get to see it. We’ve been hearing about bears close around town, but I was still surprised to see one so close.

It is good to be here in Fairbanks. It’s ironic that while the more typical pattern for summer migration is to live in the town home for the year and then escape to a country home for the summer, we live in the bush for the year and then escape to town for the summer.

It’s been a rainy week in Fairbanks, but a good rainy. A sunny, dramatically cloudy, warm, rainbow strewn, fun summer rain. Since we couldn’t play outside, Jacob and I went to story hour at the library this morning. We had fun hanging out together. We listened during story hour, saw the parakeet, fish and turtles, browsed books and worked some puzzles. We had A LOT of fun and look forward to future visits to the library.

Tonight I spent some time scanning my grandmother’s old photo albums into digital files. It is a very labor intensive and mind numbing process. But it’s also interesting to come across a few gems. Like these:
My parents. It’s so weird now to see a picture of them together. Their marriage didn’t last for long, and after being apart for over thirty years, they are such different people that one can’t possibly imagine them together. At least I can’t.
Me and my brother, Jason. This was taken outside the apartment where we lived for all of my childhood. The stairs were the picture spot. There are many pictures of us sitting here. Easter, first day of school, etc.
This is my grandmother, Bette, and my aunt Susie. I included this picture because it stuck me tonight how much she resembles Peggy Hill in this picture. Which also reminds me that on one of the first episodes of King of the Hill I ever saw, I noticed in the kitchen of the Hill home a wall mounted phone and a wall mounted wooden message board made using a roll of paper tape. My grandma Bette had this exact same communications setup in her kitchen. It’s uncanny.
Here I am on my second birthday. This is inside our apartment. Stephanie thinks this is weird, but I can remember every last little detail of that apartment. She can’t remember anything about her childhood. And that mirror over my shoulder? I’ve had that mirror in every home I’ve lived in up until we moved to Alaska and had to put it in storage. That’s the same mirror Teddy broke when he helped us move our things out of storage last January. Ahh, well.  
Me and my dad. This picture struck me because it reminded me so much of me and Jacob. In this picture, I am exactly the same age that Jacob is now. And that’s just how I love to hold him. I love to feel his little arms wrapped tight around my neck and the feel of his check against my face. I could just hold him and kiss on him forever. For some reason it’s hard to imagine my dad feeling that way about me way back then.

Four albums down. Fifty left to go.

Posted on Saturday, June 16, 2007 at 02:38AM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell | Comments5 Comments

Reader Comments (5)

I like the dig about my husband and the mirror. That was sweet.
June 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMel
I love that you're making these digital albums. This is a goal of mine, and I need to just get started. Thanks for sharing!
June 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Re: broken mirror
It also turns out that, technically, it was Teddy AND SHEA (which was most likely Shea's fault since he breaks a lot of large items when we move ourselves) who broke the mirror, so an unfair dig at that to blame Teddy so publically...
Hope your hike went well and that you made it back in time for the Solstice celebrations!
- Jennifer
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Melissa, Jennifer and Teddy,

Thanks for leaving comments on my recent post. I'm glad to know that it's being read.

When I looked at that photo of of two-year-old me, a couple of memories popped into my mind about the cast, the cake, the apartment that I grew up in, and the mirror. I simply wrote down my most initial response to the picture.

I hadn't thought about that mirror once since we moved it out of storage two years ago. I'm certainly not worried about it. I am grateful to Teddy for his help moving all of our stuff. I certainly don't hold the mirror against him. As far as Shea, I don't remember him being with us that day; it's crazy how memory works (or doesn't work).

Teddy - Many thanks for your help. Certainly no dig intended. My apologies.
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBrian
Apology accepted...all is well!

Hope your hike went well besides the lost car key! Can't wait to read all about it.
June 21, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMel

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