Friday, October 06, 2006

Pictures, Pictures & more pictures

Well I’ve finished the big Powerpoint project. 170 slides ranging over a century from pictures of my Dad’s parents around 1900 to a picture of Elijah my Dad’s 3rd great-great grandchild born in August of this year.
Starting from Mom & Dad as the 1st generation, they had 8 kids (2nd generation) from which there have come 25 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren (with 1 more due in November) and 3 great-great (5th generation).

I managed to get at least one picture of each of the ”direct descendents” and most of the spouses or partners which is a total that is near 100 (without counting my niece Megan’s 3 step-children). I haven’t counted but many (most) of the slides have 2 or 3 pictures – some have 4 or 5) so I suspect there are well in excess of 300 different pictures. A lot from my sisters and brothers, a lot I scanned from my parents photo albums and quite a few from my own archives.

Sometimes I fell asleep ”swimming” in pictures. Near the end it was like looking for a needle in a haystack because I had gone though with a list of the names and I knew who I was missing – the challenge was to find someone who could get the required pictures to me. But a few panic emails to my niece Karen, my brother John and my sister Diamond took care of it. There are still a few pictures I would like -- my brother Elwood atmy parents store at age 15 wearing his "store" uniform (white coat & "boat shaped" hat) for one -- but I don't have time to go looking for it and it hasn't popped up.

I don’t even want to think about the hours that went into this but even at 6 minutes/slide it would be 17 hours – I know some took a lot longer than that between searching through albums, scanning pictures and then figuring out where to put them (and replacing poorer framed shots with better ones that came with another batch. I suspect I spent closer to 40 hours than 20 -- and that doesn't include the time my siblings spent collectingpictures and sending them to me

I worked on it almost non-stop while at my sister’s place last weekend. I joked that some people knit or do needlepoint while visiting – the Powerpoint was my version of “needlepoint”. It was helpful to be doing it when others were around. Ruby & Diamond (my younger sisters) were especially helpful in commenting on composition and I was able to tap into Art & Ruby’s large reservoir of family pictures to fill in some gaps and I kept Art busy scanning and emailing me pictures all weekend (kind of funny to have the 2 of us sitting less than 10 feet apart with our laptops(wireless) sending messages back & forth. I would like to say that in all of this I kept my balance and didn’t get overly focused but I have to confess that I missed some of the visiting that went on around me and it certainly placed some stress on my relationship with Linda because she has a million things on the go getting ready for the weekend and getting packed for her month as the “international” touring grandmother.

But its done- well maybe I’ll do a little fine tuning but only if there’s nothing else to do - yea right :) :)

The partnership dinner honoring Art & Ruby for their many years of service to the school was a great event. (Picture shows the members of both their families who were present including 2 of their sons, Art's Dad, his 2 sister's , Ruby's Dad, 2 sisters and 2 brothers along with spouses and Sarah - Trevor's finance).

There is a humorous story involving Art's sister Donna, herhusband Mike and their shoes -- which my Dad took by accident from the house prior tothe dinner but I don't have time to tell it right now.

Art has been president over the past 10 years. Ruby is a super organizer and was often in charge of the food prep and service setup for these types of large dinners. They have been “house parents” for a large number of young people who attended the school including many of their nieces, nephews and “grand”-nieces & nephews. We had a good opportunity to meet with and renew acquaintances with a number of Christians that we have met over the years.

One of the best things about the family “birthday” weekend is that Melissa & Alexander are here. Chris Tammye & the kids will be here later today. It will be a short visit but it is the greatest thing to have them close and to be able to share in their lives. We are headed back out to Camp Wakonda this morning so Melissa & Alexander can check it out as the location for the “wedding celebration ”next” year.

Melissa & Alexander arrived yesterday afternoon and have to leave tomorrow so he can get back for work on Sunday. They will miss most of the family thing but hopefully can be there for first hour to at least get to say hello and introduce her new husband to her aunts & uncles & cousins and their offspring. Poor Alexander. He comes from a small family – one you can count on your fingers (with maybe a couple of toes thrown in) and this is just the Whitfield side – Linda is the oldest of 10 and there are almost as many on that side as on my side. We spent a couple of hours last night going over pictures of Melissa growing up and Alexander was overwhelmed with the number of relatives that showed up in those pictures and the number has probably doubled in the last 10-15 years.

Yesterday was Alyssa’s birthday so Linda made her a cake. Her & her twin Michael were born 18 years ago. It has been a nice thing to get to know her better as she stays here while attending university during the week. It is neat to see Linda extend her “nuturin, mothering” talents to listen to Alyssa chat on about what’s happening in her life.

Anyhow – I have to run – I expect to have more time in October to get caught up on “blogging” and get back to the discussion list – I know it will be lonely around here without Linda but maybe having to look after all the household things that Linda does it will turn out that I have less time for this than I think. We’ll see.

God Bless
Charlie (& Linda -she may do the writing but she is very much a part of what is written)

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