Fifty Years and Losing It…
Friday, August 13, 2010 at 12:53PM
Fried Nerves and Jam in Events, Family, Humor, Portraiture
     You came, you shot, you conquered...or so you thought. That's what I did. On vacation. Until I lost my camera. No, not the big fancy one. It was the disposable waterproof kind, but it would have been better had I lost my big one than to have lost the images I had on that rinky-dink plastic-cased excuse for a submarine.
     It was more than a summer vacation to San Diego, it was my wonderful in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary / family reunion, and I was darned if I was going to miss one shot from that entire weekend. With my husband's crazy schedule, my weekends mostly booked out, and with four children scrambling around, any time we are all together is like oxygen shot through a cellophane muzzle.
     So, when the opportunity rose to go sea-cave kayaking in La Jolla with our relatives, I left Big Bertha on land and picked up that yellow disposable which leers at you from the Walmart checkout stand. The one which makes your husband cringe, knowing the film will never truly be developed, confirming his prediction of 12.99 down the proverbial sea-cave...
     As I strapped on my life jacket and helmet, I secured my 12.99 waterproof Hasselblad in my vest pocket and set out on our journey of exploration.
     Throughout our great sea adventure, I proudly snapped away at every breathtaking moment we would never forget for the rest of our lives: kayaking over five foot tiger sharks lurking the ocean floor, pelicans soaring overhead our gaggle of gluttons for adrenaline, the joy on the face of my child with her daddy paddling away with the cliffs peaking, the tides swelling, Joey agog at the seals perched on their protruding bellies...and I caught every moment. I wound that camera like an archaic sewing machine, intuitively searching it's spine for a digital readout or picture display. Click, wind, click, wind, click...
     After two breathtaking hours of capturing images that I knew I would develop and slip into our incredible weekend of family reunion and anniversary images, we returned to our car. I reached for my plastic Hasselblad. I searched through my bag. We drove back to the hotel. We got out of the car. I had lost my camera. My plastic, waterproof submarine image creator had vanished, with every precious water-splashed lens dropping...gone.
     My heart imploded like a helium balloon sucked into a vacuum. My memories were gone, I had lost such a simple object, but it was my best friend through that journey. We clicked, we wound, we clicked, it scoffed at me when I asked it to show me a picture, it smelled like was perfect.
     This made me ponder what made me most sad...was it that I lost the pictures, or was it losing a part of the process that makes capturing memories so special? In my heart, I will never forget those incredible moments. No one will ever take those memories from me, not even the sea, so perhaps it was the process which swells in my soul, an addiction with waves of fulfillment confirming the preciousness of life.
     I do have one photo from that day however, one I took with Big Bertha before we set out, of the kids in front of some kayaks. We were at the wrong kayak place, these weren't the kayaks we paddled in, and we all changed our clothes before we launched, but you get the idea...

 "Joe, Cassie May, with cousins Turner and Mason, in front of the kayaks we didn't use in the store we weren't supposed to be at, in the clothing they didn't wear..."

And a few others from our weekend...

"Cousins at Bay"



"I <3 U"



"Gillette Poster Child..."

"Our Little Bugs"


"Uncle Dave's DilEmma"

"Fifty Years"

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