This is a picture of Jesse riding Winnie, our pony. He was about six. I had forgotten I had so many pictures of us all with the horses.
Since I moved the furniture all around and put my CD player on the bookcase in the living room, I was left with the displaced photo albums to deal with. I wasn't able to find a place for them yet, mostly because I spent so much time looking through them. I saw my married life march before my eyes year by year...saw myself expand and contract with weight gain and loss. There were several different hair styles represented, all looking better than I thought at the time. In fact I looked better in general than I remember, probably because I am comparing myself to the way I look now.
The first picture in the first album shows me a week before Carrie was born. I am huge, and it still amazes me that something that big somehow got out of me. In that picture and many others, I am drinking coffee and a cigarette dangles from my fingers. I often joked that if smoking causes lower birth rates in babies it was a good thing I smoked. The rest of that album is full of Carrie's first year of life. Everything she did was marveled over and recorded.
The other six albums follow us through our lives together, with Jesse's arrival central in the second one. After that there is a string of birthdays, Christmases, Thanksgivings, Easters, mother's days, fathers day's, first days at school, plays, recitals, plays, parades. There is the parade of houses we bought and sold. There is Carrie learning to ride a bike, there is Jesse learning to ride a bike. There is Carrie learning to swim, and Jesse learning to swim. We are at the beach, we are canoeing, we are at the Fair. There are various cats and dogs we loved, and horses, our life at Marie's boarding stable. And trips.......so many trips. The kids asleep on the train to Florida, us picnicking along many highways, us looking at statue after statue, historic landmark after historic landmark. We are in Quebec City, in front of the Chateaux Frontenac, on the boardwalk by the St. Lawrence, at the concert in the Parc des Gouveneurs, by the statue of Champlain, watching the street artists, eating at Aux Anciens Canadiens. We are in Washington D.C., at the Lincoln Memorial, at the Smithsonian, at the National Gallery..... We are at Walt Disney World, we are atop Mt. Washington. We are at Strawberry Bank and Plimouth Plantation, Ste Anne de Baupre and Isle D'Orleans. We eat in an outside cafe in Montreal. We are at the JFK Library, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts........the list is endless. In every picture we stand smiling, the one taking the picture absent unless we ask a stranger to take one of all four of us. We change over those years, but not much. The albums end along with the marriage.
Now my pictures are on the computer. I won't be able to sit and look at them like I did this afternoon. I'm so glad to have the albums, to bury myself in these memories. The pictures make the memories, and because there are no pictures of arguments or sickness or tears, no disappointments or failures, no deaths, no endings, they do not exist. Every day we were together was a happy day and we were always standing close together, smiling.