Boots & Badges
Letterwerks Sign City
"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
Online Edition
Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
Volume ∞ Issue ∞

Sue's Muse

By Sue Ommen

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in All Features

Pictures, The Story Of Our Lives

Summer is winding down the road into fall. Our first pear tree is ripe, delicious picked fresh off the tree for lunch, or gathered as windfalls to make jams, pear tarts and wine. The family of hummingbirds in our yard will soon migrate, though now they keep me company visiting the feeders attached to the dining room window and on the patio, as I pen this column. Tomatoes are ripe and juicy, gracing the table in slices, as fresh salsa, in guacamole, or BLTs. Numerous quarts have been frozen, and now the temperatures have dropped enough to make roasted pasta sauce in the oven for future chile, enchiladas, and a healthy version of Beef Bourguinon. Our new Maple trees are tinged with red, pretty as a picture.

Speaking of pictures, photos tell the story of our lives visually, but often leave us asking for more. My sister Sharon recently visited from Bell Buckle, Tennessee. We were poring over family photos, trying to figure out the context and the period they were taken. We unearthed a photo taken in 1940 of our impossibly young mom, clad in whoopee pants and her sister, Mary in shorts. They looked young and carefree. We determined their ages as 22 and 12. I wondered what the story was behind this picture and made a note to ask my Aunt Mary the next time I talk to her.

One of my favorite pictures is of our daughter, who had just turned nine. She wore a jaunty baseball cap, and a huge grin as she held up the string of fish she’d caught with her new fishing rod. I have to smile as I remember her excitement at catching the most fish from the boat, the snapping turtle our son caught from the dock, and the excitement of trying to move it away from the swimming area and waterslide. At night we sat around the campfire and roasted hotdogs and S’mores with Ritz crackers, as we had forgotten the graham crackers. Our daughter glanced up from the campfire and exclaimed over the “Kitty” she spotted nearby. After we realized the Kitty was black and white striped, we hastily retreated into the cabin, leaving the crackers behind. The next day the Ritz had all disappeared from their wrappings and we could see a fellow camper in the distance, washing his dog in the lake with tomato juice.

Another favorite photo shows our children with their pet chicken, Peep, the bird of nine lives. Handed out to the kindergartners, the baby chick soon imprinted on our children as part of the flock. Peep followed our four-year-old daughter everywhere, tucking her head cutely into Gina shoulder for a nap. In the garden she’d choose a tasty worm and run around as though in competition with a dozen chickens for her prize. After more than a few mishaps, she grew into a lovely brown bird, and posed with our son for a family picture. Eventually, we gave her to a farm family and one day the farmer’s wife appeared on our doorstep, with a dozen of Peep’s tasty brown eggs.

We have many photos of our visits to Florida to see my mother, who wintered there. However, mom told my favorite story often, of the early morning a very young Gina crawled into bed with her. Lifting grandma’s closed eyelids, she said, “Mimi, I have to tell you the story of Gordy Rocks and the Free Bears.”

Another picture of our children shows them holding one of their pet rabbits we raised, brought as babies to their classes, and showed at the county fair as a 4-H project.

Recently, granddaughter Natalie, eight, came for visit. First, she helped pick a bag of her dad’s favorite purple plums to take home, cherry tomatoes and raspberries. Then I showed her how to work with watercolors and she created a picture with her new set of watercolors sticks. After lunch, including the apple she’d picked earlier, she chose any flower she wished to take home. I recorded all of these activities with photos, and soon we will decorate scrapbook pages of our fun day for a memory later, with stories included

I feel sad when viewing photos taken showing people of another era, with no notations about them. I would love to hear the narrative of their lives. Did they dress in all their finery for the photos taken by a photographer? What are their stories, passed on verbally, but never written down? It is a reminder to record the stories of our families to include with the visual memories we cherish.

The Best BLTs

Take two slices of your favorite bread (we prefer seven grain) and smear basil pesto on one slice and mayonnaise on the other. Add slices of tomato, preferably Brandywine, slices of thick bacon, (we like bacon from Oak Meadow Meats), slices of red pepper instead of lettuce, and slices of avocado, though the last is optional. Enjoy!

No Comments Yet. Be the first to comment!

Your comment submission is also an acknowledgement that this information may be reprinted in other formats such as the newspaper.

Foods Weekly Ads
Studio A Photography