Friday, January 09, 2009


There was a small pile of miscellaneous detritus - pictures, books, and the like - sitting atop one of our barstools, awaiting transportation to the basement. Perhaps it was inevitable that one of the pictures would get knocked off. It landed on the floor and its porcelain frame cracked in half.

The picture itself - a photograph of Elder Daughter and the Mistress of Sarcasm taken 18 years ago almost to the very day, at Eli’s wedding - was unharmed. But the frame was a total loss.

The Mistress and Elder Daughter
The Mistress of Sarcasm and Elder Daughter, 18 years ago. Photograph taken at Eli and Toni’s wedding, January 6, 1991.

As we separated photograph from frame, a couple of other photos fell out. For, as is our custom, we typically will take a newer picture and cram it into a frame on top of an older one. Opening up picture frames therefore becomes an exercise in Photographic Archaeology: Just as in an archaeological dig, underneath each stratum of the midden heap there are more and more layers... each with its hidden secrets... waiting to be discovered.

One of the other pictures was a shot of SWMBO with our two girls. It looked like it was of similar vintage to the top photo, although it appeared to have been taken some months later. I’m figuring it was from mid-1991, after our move to Houston. Elder Daughter was still wearing braces, but both she and the Mistress look a tad older than in the first pic. Check out the haircuts - vintage!

The Girls, 1991
The Mistress of Sarcasm, SWMBO, and Elder Daughter, mid-1991.

But the other photo in the frame - a picture of our friend JoAnn with her daughter Jennifer - was several years older. Jennifer is about two years old in this picture, which places the photo sometime in 1985... about a year and a half after we met them.

Jennifer and JoAnn, 1985
Jennifer and JoAnn, 1985.

There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since that picture was taken. Jennifer’ll be graduating from law school in a few months. Here are mother and daughter as they looked last night:

JoAnn and Jennifer, 2009
JoAnn and Jennifer today.

I have half a mind to open up a few more old picture frames. Who knows what archaeological treasures lurk within?

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