Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Three of Us

Here we are, all three, as 2009 comes to a close. Pinehaven (the book) is already a decade old and the ravages of those ten years are written in our very bones. Lots has happened since I put that book to press and for at the past three years I've shared much of it with you here.

Here's Dad at 85 years, now in poor health and fighting bladder and bowel problems. He'll be going to the hospital in the next week for some tests and we hope he comes home feeling better and with a clearer understanding of what ails him. Dad, by the way, hasn't had a haircut in months. We called the local barber and he promised to come but we've seen nothing of him so far. Dad says he feels "like a sheepdog". I think he looks fatherly and it's an image of him I've never seen before.

Mom's now 84 and holding up well. She gets up early each morning (certainly by 5:15 a.m.) and is busy making breakfast when Dad (7:15 a.m.) and I (7:42 a.m. - precisely) rise. She's charged with making lunch, too. All other tasks (including the dishes) are shared. Mom's two main activities are reading and knitting and this is the exact spot where she does both.

For myself, I'm now 60 and beginning to show some signs of wear. On the bright side, nothing's broken or fallen off. This picture was taken by Mom as I sat in my usual spot at the end of the sofa, lit by the light from the living room window.
While we're changing by the day, Pinehaven itself seems all the more constant. We've kept the house up with steady improvements and never failed to make repairs where needed. At this point, I have no doubt that the house will handily outlast we three.
I have never taken black and white photography except to dabble in it in the 1970's. Now that we have digital cameras that produce dazzling, hi-resolution color, I thought I'd go back and have a look at the past. And so I made these shots in B/W and in as high a resolution as my camera allows (I only post thumbnails).
Unfortunately the camera did a good job of recording us as we are, blemishes, wrinkles and all. But just as we want books that ring true, so do we want our pictures to reveal the true nature of their subjects.