Hump Day got me like :/
I think it’s more that we’ve had really, really, nice days the last few ones and today was a bit more cool and colder so I am just adjusting to that. Also the not being able to fall asleep until well after 4:00 a.m. isn’t helping either. So I made an effort today but I am not sure it is the greatest.
The box spills over as Louise trips on the corner of the one beneath it and from it pictures scatter all over the dusty attic floor. “Oh shoot, I’m sorry mom.”
Nora is up from her spot wrapping glassware in the corner and bends down to pick up the photos. “It’s okay Lou, this is just the heaps of albums and loose pictures grandma kept. Lord knows what we are going to do with all these, I feel bad throwing them out but I don’t know if I need boxes of pictures just sitting around.”
Louise sets down her boxes of things and kneels down next to her mom and starts to grab at some of the images and look a bit closer, “We could always scan them and save them to a disc or hard drive. Lucy could do it at work even probably.” The idea of just trashing all these memories and days lived by her grandparents makes Louise sad, but she, like her mother, is not much for hoarding things and can understand not wanting the clutter.
Nodding along Nora puts another handful back in the box, “I suppose that isn’t a bad idea.” In the pile they had picked up she had already found shots of family reunions, school dances, and vacations that they had gone on when she was young. She of course remembered all these things but if she were to get dementia like her own mother maybe she’d cherish having these around to remind her.
“Where was this taken?” Louise says and breaks Nora out of her thoughts. The picture she is holding out is of a flooded river. The water is a muddy brown and brushing the lowest branches of the trees on either side of the water. A few feet in front of where the picture is taken from is a sign that reads ‘HIGH WATER’ and it itself is nearly under the water.
Reaching out, Nora takes the photo and holds it a little closer to examine it. The photo paper itself is a little frail and there are some spots on the front that show the age, but she recognizes it. “You know that park Grandma and Grandpa used to take you, Lucy, and Luke too?” Louise nods but still seems confused, “At the southeast end of the park there was a little path that led down to this river than ran on the outskirts. It was not overly big and the current wasn’t strong so a lot of people would fish for fun there or swim occasionally. This must have been taken the year they had an insane amount of rain in June and it flooded like crazy. That whole park was under water for a few weeks.”
Taking it back Louise looks closer at the picture, trying to bring the river back to her memory. “What year was that? I don’t remember them ever talking about it.”
“It was before you were born, even before your dad and I were married I think.” Nora tries to recall exactly when, definitely when she was living away from home. “Probably when I was in college, I remember the pictures in the papers and talking about it with mom and dad.”
“Woah.” Louise says quietly and continues to stare at the picture. It was hard to imagine the place she played so often as a kid under muddy water and unusable for weeks at a time. They both sit in silence for a bit just staring at the picture thinking about the place and time and how Ethel and Brooks lived through it.
A knock at the bottom door takes them away from the moment and Luke shouts up, “Hey you guys got any more boxes for me to take out to the truck?” Nora yells back that they do and he comes jogging up the stairs, Louise puts the photo back in the box and then folds the flaps in so they won’t spill out again.
Standing she picks up the boxes she had been carrying before and hands them over to her little brother. Once he is gone she grabs the boxes with the pictures and make her way to her own car so that she can remember to have Lucy put them all on a disc so they never lose these memories.