Sunday, April 27, 2008

Priceless

No, this isn't a knock off of the Mastercard ads, that were actually pretty good the first thousand times we saw them.

Instead, this blog is about something I truly feel is priceless. But first, a little background.

For those of you who don't know, I really got into photography in 2004. When I get into something, it’s usually with both feet, legs, torso, arms, brain and everything.

Don’t get me wrong (dang, that sounded bossy, eh?), I still enjoy photography and spend a lot of time each week trying to come up with a masterpiece.

Something has gotten pushed to the wayside because of my photography, however. Family time? Uh, hopefully not. No, it is using the old camcorder to film stuff.

That was made evident the other night. My wife found our old tapes from our Sony camcorder. We bought the camcorder sometime around 2000, prior to all the digital ones coming out.

Yes, it uses tapes. It does not have a built in disc recorder or internal memory. Tapes, by gosh!

After hunting for the camcorder and the accessories to make it work, we got the thing working and were brought back in time.

It may not seem that long ago, but life changes a lot in five, six, seven or eight years, especially when you have children growing up. We watched our kids grow from little guys to much bigger guys. Their bodies transformed in front of our eyes, as did their squeaky voices.

There were Christmas celebrations, along with the birthdays, and so much more and the tape collection has barely been touched.

I saw footage from what I call the great ice storm of 2000. I stood on the back deck and filmed what looked like it came from a horror movie. I heard the limbs breaking off the pine trees at the back of our property, making a noise that sounded like shotguns going off.

The following day, my youngest son and I went investigating and saw how bad it really was with limbs torn from the tree, some hanging. The ice was so thick, it’s amazing that any trees survived.

We saw our old friend Oscar the weenie dog, who passed away in 2004, back in his prime, making sure he was included in pretty much everything. We saw him play with his toy, sit up and beg and got to hear his bark.

I also saw my old dogs Maggie and Harley, also gone to the great dog resting place. They were 12 and 13 when they passed on, but full of life in the videos.

We saw our youngest son play basketball and score six points in one game. This was in a league played at the old gym with few rules and short rims. Somewhere along the line, he gave up the sport. But in the video, he scored baskets, turned and waved at us, the smile stretching from one ear to the other.

My little buddy James, our seven-year old nephew, was a star in several tapes. I saw him walking for one of the first times, or trying to walk. On one tape, I filmed him as he used my legs to pull himself up and try to walk, failing after a couple of steps.

We celebrated his first birthday, his face getting covered with cake in the cute way only little ones can do.

I saw the way our place used to look. Prior to moving in during the summer of 2000, the area where our house is located was overgrown pasture. No trees, shrubs and the only flowers were the wild kinds.

We saw the trees again, back when they were first planted, and even how things looked prior to that.

There is so much more to go through, but so much more that I missed. I will not quit taking pictures, but know I need to fire up the old video camera at special times and even times that don't seem so special. Pictures are great, but there is something about the video that even a photograph can’t touch.

And just think, somewhere in that old house on the west side of town, there are videos from even farther back, just waiting to be discovered once again.

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