|Norma Jean and Jan in Easter finery|
I just spent a few minutes looking to see if I could find out what kind of car we are standing in front of, and I think it's an old Studebaker, looking at the grill and those two headlights, one on top of the other. You don't see cars like that any more. You can be sure there were no seat belts or car seats inside, no air bags or other safety features. Those didn't evolve for years after this picture was taken. I look to be about seven, and Norma Jean about five, so I suspect Mama was not in the picture because she had recently given birth to PJ, who was born in 1950. Or perhaps it was taken the year before, since we are in those pretty matching dresses and our hair had been curled and styled beautifully. Mama was busy creating our finery.
Daddy took the picture of his girls, in front of what must have been his pride and joy, that car. Our home is in the background, the old tar-paper covered building, which also places this picture on Travis Air Force Base, where Daddy was stationed and where we lived in these temporary shacks along with other enlisted military families. We eventually moved into a ranch home off base, and for some reason that home is one of the few that remains strong in my memory. But just the look of that old tar-paper shack brings back strong memories.
I cannot for the life of me remember why we dressed up at Easter. We didn't go to any church during my early life, although every year we got Easter baskets and new dresses. I do remember going into a church service as a family, once long ago, but I suspect we attended gatherings of other families and had an Easter egg hunt or something similar. I never knew what Easter was celebrated for, it just was another holiday.
It's been more than a half century since that picture was taken by my father. He died in 1979 at the age of 62. That was the year that I started working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, which ended up being the job from which I would retire in 2008. Now it's 2014, and so much has happened since those two little girls stood in the sunshine, smiling at our daddy, proud and straight in their new Easter dresses.
Today I don't even own a dress. Today I will pull on a pair of pants and an old sweatshirt and will go out to talk to my plants in the garden, weed a little, and maybe go for a walk in the sunshine at a nearby park. I'll think of all those family members who are gone, all those dear friends who have passed into a place where I cannot visit.
Life goes on, change is inevitable, but you know, Easter will still come around once a year, to remind me that maybe, just maybe, we'll be together again. I no longer care for jelly bean eggs and chocolate bunnies, but I have learned about the promise of Easter. Be well, my dear blogging friends, and don't forget to hug your loved ones, if you can.