Thursday, July 5, 2012

5 years

I almost forgot. Today is the 5th anniversary of my very haphazard blogging adventures. Life is busy and I don't want to get too distracted from my actual work, but I feel like I should post something just to mark the day. When I was in Chicago last month, my brother and I went through some images my S-I-L found in my mom's house. This is a hastily taken iPhone copy of a photograph of my mom with her mother and brothers. Must have been taken around 1940 in Arkansas or Louisiana (will have to check the 1940 census to see where they were living), but she was born in Bentonville (home of the big box store, much to her dismay), and I suspect that is the setting for this photograph. I must say, my uncles were loads of fun. The older one was an avid hunter and the one on the right was gentlemen rancher who sold insurance for a living.* They'd be great models for characters in a novel. But I've got other things to write, at least for now. 

*I spent one of the best summers of my childhood at his family's ranch--culturally, it was a world away from the snooty Denver suburb we lived in at that time. My mom and dad were the only kids in each of their families who moved away from their parents. I've always wondered what it would have been like if we had grown up around our g-parents and cousins (who all married and had kids really young). Instead, my parents were (for better or worse) the "escapees" from their families of origin. Isn't it interesting to think how lives are variously made and unmade by such decisions? 


rented life said...

happy bloggy bday!

My parents are "escapees too", though they only like 2 hours (at most) from family members. I used to envy my cousins closer relationships with my mom's parents, but I realize I've also have the ability to move away (and move back)and take risks in ways that my other relatives never did.

auto ethnographer said...

Thanks, RL. It's interesting to imagine what my life might have been like had my parents not left "home." I think they'd have been miserable as every time we'd visit as kids, they'd reel off a litany of problems they had with the way their extended families lived their lives. On the other hand, they clearly felt very rooted to the places where they'd grown up. It is good to remember one has choices--as you note--and even better to have the personal wherewith-all to exercise them (something I'm still trying to learn).