Keeping the Past Alive and Well

My parents sent me the first of five DVD’s they’ve made from our family 8mm films. We loved watching these flickering gems as kids. There’s nothing else like seeing your very own past play out on film, even if it’s a past you don’t remember.

English: Bell & Howell Regent home 8mm film pr...

Bell & Howell Regent home 8mm film projector (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This one opens like a major motion picture doing a flashback. There on my screen was romance and nostalgia that a filmmaker only dreams about creating. Yet, it was simply real. And mesmerizing!

Most of the early shots are of Mom, since Dad was the one holding the camera. She was so young, and such a flirt in front of the camera. That surprised me, though it shouldn’t have. Dad shows up building one of his famous snowmen. This one had on a flannel shirt and had arms. Try doing that yourself sometime. It isn’t easy.

When my older brother shows up as a newborn, so do my Grandparents. My heart skipped a beat or two at this point since I haven’t seen the four of them ages. I still have a kind of achy feeling banging around in my chest, a combination of love, heartache and homesickness. So much of who I was, who I am, is wrapped up in memories of my Grandparents. I was glad they visited today.

Watching my older brother get chubby and independent was priceless. Then came my other brother, who looked so happy and was so loved for his short few months of life. I wish I had met him. Seeing him bouncing around, laughing, being hugged by his big brother, made him more real, more alive, more mine. What a gift.

Just before the DVD ended, I appeared on the scene, dressed in a white dress and a white bonnet.  It seemed I ought to be able to remember that day, that dress, those feelings of being so welcomed and so loved.

There’s a joy of  having the past recorded. I felt for a short time as if I’d  climbed into a souped up DeLorean and went back to my past.

I can hardly wait for the next few installments. Even if they probably contain embarrassing scenes of me attempting ballet.

Life revisited. What a joy!

Life. What a blessing!

Categories: Family, Memory Lane | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Keeping the Past Alive and Well

  1. Anonymous

    All Dad could say about this blog was ‘WOW”!!!! We are so happy that you enjoyed the DVD so much. We thought it was priceless even with all the flaws in it. We were just so happy that the film was preserved enough to get the DVD made. I think you just inspired Dad to get started on the next films. He is now getting out the projector, film and the screen as I write this. It has been been worth the money we spend to get it made. Hope the next one won’t be too far behind. It did take us about 3 weeks or so to get the first one back after we took it in. Keep up the great writing!! We love it!!!!!!!!!!!


    • Thanks for the inspiration from the DVD, and from real life. (reel life, hahahaha.) It really was wonderful to watch. Loved the music that accompanied it, too!


  2. Kathy Richards

    My daughters surprised me years ago by collecting all of my childhood 8mm movies from 1968 and having them converted to DVD’s and I was full of joy! You couldn’t have said it better. It so nostalgic and makes you wish you could relive some of those moments. Miss my grandparents too. A priceless gift for sure.


  3. Becky Hansen

    I loved seeing it too. I made my kids watch it. I enjoyed seeing the artesian well, a fond memory if mine and the grandmas and grandpas too, even though I don’t remember them much. My kids kept asking who everyone was but I wasn’t too sure all the time. Love your writing too. Keep it up!


    • Being one of the “babies” of the family leaves you wondering sometimes who the heck someone is, I guess. I’m glad you’re reading along on my little journey here.


  4. First off, the monster icons crack me up. Are they your family ? Must be quite a movie! :). Second, what a lovely idea. I inherited the family slides. Just about impossible to view now. I never thought of transferring to DVD. Wondering now…


    • The monster icons are a wordpress pick you can get under Discussion Options. Fun, huh? It’s worth researching to see if you can save the past before it’s extinct.


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