KingMidget's Ramblings

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Memories Of An Old Man


With retirement and the Great Isolation of 2020, I occasionally work on clearing out some of the messes that have accumulated in our house over the years. A couple of weeks ago, I was clearing out the cabinet on my side of the bathroom and found a couple of old wallets – filled with old credit cards and photos of my boys. The stack of photos is more than an inch thick. I occasionally post one on Facebook for friends and family to take a trip down memory lane with.

This week it was a couple of flash drives that the wife found. One of the drives had videos of when my older son dressed up as a cheerleader and with a bunch of other boys did the cheerleading thing at one of their school’s football games. The other drive had a bunch of pictures, taken from 2000-08. It was this drive that I could wallow in for hours and days if given the opportunity.

A folder on the second drive contained pictures from our one and only trip to Hawaii. As I scrolled through the photos, I was reminded of how that trip was such a wonderful, incredible time, and it took me back into the memory machine of other trips and other memories. It’s a wonderful thing about old photos — they rarely bring back bad memories or negativity. No, what old photos do is remind you of a time when somebody was celebrating something, somebody was happy, people were having fun, something good was happening. A birthday, a vacation, a sunset, all sorts of good, happy things are buried in those photos.

When we were in Hawaii, we stayed in Ka’anapali on the island of Maui. We stayed in a condo on a golf course, where we had a short 5-10 minute walk to a beach that never had that many people on it. The folder of pictures is filled with pictures of our time on that beach. A time that really is one of the highlights of my life, not just as a parent to my boys, but in general.

I’ve never been a huge fan of water sports. I know how to swim. I’ll fool around in a pool now and then, but when it comes to lakes, rivers, and oceans, I’m not the type of person to dive in and swim around. Part of it is the cold of the water. Part of it is anxiety over “what could happen.”

When we were in Maui though, we spent hours in the water, and it was never enough. The water there is so warm, you don’t have to get out to avoid hypothermia, and the surf is relatively tame.

Many of the pictures show my boys and I with our boogie boards, riding the waves. Standing with each other, smiling for the camera. What I remember is the hours and hours we spent endlessly playing in the waves. A time when I was able to stop being a dad for a bit of time and just enjoy being with my boys, having fun, laughing and having a blast in the warm waters of Maui.

While we were there we also did some ziplining, and we explored parts of the island. We also went to another beach located by a resort where the rich and powerful stay. I forget the name of the resort, but the beach was incredible. Long and flat and shallow for so long, it felt like you could walk halfway to Japan and still only have water up to your hips.

But the beach by the condo was where many of my memories of that trip reside. It’s where my younger son got stung by a jelly fish – and to this day we make fun of his fear of jelly fish. It’s where my older son, at the tender age of 12 1/2 spied a girl in a pink bikini, floating in the surf on a boogie board. To this day, we joke about the girl in a pink bikini. It is where we were able to just be for a few hours here and a few more there while we enjoyed Maui, and that’s the thing about these memories. They no longer hold the stress and anxiety of the days when these things happened. As the years pass, those feelings peel away, leaving behind only the memories of the good and the fun, the laughter and the joy.

Memories are a pretty powerful tool. They can bring you down, re-visit the pain of past hurts. Or they can bring back the joy, when worries were not a thing, when pleasure over-rode the pain and things were just right. Even if only for a moment, a day, or a week – things were just right. Sometimes perfection is possible and memories are a good way of remembering that.

 

 

 

11 responses to “Memories Of An Old Man

  1. Dale May 26, 2020 at 7:27 pm

    I am mocked for all the pictures that I take but I tell them, you’ll see… one day you are going to think about something we did or a place we went and you’ll ask me for a picture or two.
    In the meantime, I peruse and I go back to that place and/or moment and revisit it…
    Now… if I could only get the desire to start putting stuff in a proper place…

    • kingmidget May 26, 2020 at 7:32 pm

      A proper place … that is the hard part, isn’t it?

      From the pre-digital days, we have a box full of pictures. And then there are the pictures from early generation digital cameras that are on flash drives and who knows where else, and then there are the pictures from the digital SLR that bought around 10-12 years ago. So much, so many, so little time to figure out what to do with all of this.

      And we haven’t even touched the ol’ home videos.

      • Dale May 26, 2020 at 7:45 pm

        A box? ONE? Buahahahaha!

        I have three boxes that are from my mother (that she wants me to scan), a milk crate from my late father (including slides and movies) and me? I have boxes and boxes…

        When my kids leave the house and I have space to set myself up, I am getting a printer that transfers slides and negatives to digital…

        I have digital pictures on two different hard drives (somewhere) that I was starting to organise before the move…

        Sigh. I have no time for a job. I am meant to be retired and receiving a comfortable income!

      • kingmidget May 26, 2020 at 7:49 pm

        A couple of years ago we paid to have most of our home videos converted to digital. They sit on a flash drive, waiting for me to find the time to cut and splice and edit away.

        We have at least one box, possibly two, of hard copy photos from the pre-digital days.

        And then there are the post-digital photos. On the hard drive of my laptop, the hard drive of my Chromebook, an external hard drive, and then several flash drives that have accumulated over the years in an effort to make sure things are backed up.

        On some level, I have no idea what we actually have and the idea of starting to go through it all seems so daunting.

      • Dale May 26, 2020 at 8:00 pm

        You can delete my repeated comment, it kept telling me I couldn’t…

        Fun stuff…

        Yep. Not just one box over here.

        I know what you mean. I had one computer crash – my brother in law retrieved what he could. Then I used Mick’s computer until it crashed – again, BIL retrieved… my old Macbook – same thing. Bloody hell. He was able to put them onto a hard drive, and I was starting to organise them when Mick’s crashed…

        It is beyond daunting. I figure one day, when I actually have a desk and office again, I will set myself up proper like and just start with the first one I put my hands on.

      • kingmidget May 26, 2020 at 8:02 pm

        Yeah. It’s a question of just sitting down and getting started.

      • Dale May 26, 2020 at 8:02 pm

        Kinda like writing, eh?
        😉

  2. S.K. Nicholls May 26, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    Ahhh…sweet the memories. I feel the same way about photos being the best of times. However, some of our Christmas photos, despite the cheerful faces, bring back memories of how we struggled to make ends meet in those days. I’m so ashamed. We were really bad about trying to make sure our kids got what everybody else was getting, even if it was beyond our means. Not a very good lesson for them. Of course, they didn’t know we were selling off jewelry and antiques to buy that stuff.

    Naturally, there were many wonderful times captured in photos and videos, but the VHS tapes are gone now. Many of our photos got water damaged. I have only a few photos taken in my childhood. Greg just reinstalled Windows 10 on my computer because of issues with the old Windows 10 not playing well with new software and such. I was a frantic mess and had to separate myself from my anxiety by staying out on the lanai during the week-long process (there were all sorts of complications). And, I learned that I have 60,555 photos. Many are duplicates or even triplicates due to computer issues. Thank goodness we have software that will sort all of that out.

    I’m happy to have my computer back with everything working and overjoyed that Greg is such a persistent trouble-shooter. The photos are now backed up in three places. My computer is clean and my phone is clean. Now that’s true love. Enjoy your memories.

    • kingmidget May 27, 2020 at 6:55 am

      I get that there are some “side” memories that can come up when looking at old pictures. It’s not necessarily all champagne and caviar when one looks back. But at least for me, those negatives are fleeing thoughts when i look at these old pictures.

      Glad you got your technology taken care of and you can start going through those 60,000 photos!! 😉

      I need to start figuring out how to do that with mine.

  3. TamrahJo May 26, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    I LOVE most, your memories of this trip, especially the line ” A time when I was able to stop being a dad for a bit of time and just enjoy being with my boys, having fun, laughing and having a blast in the warm waters of Maui.” glad it all lined up in water temps, vacation, etc, for that moment to happen for you – for such lining up of all factors and warm water to frolick in doesn’t always happen, right? I figured out my pilot light on my water heater had got ‘wind blown out’ some days ago – finished rinsing my hair/shower and have been chilled to the bone for days – DAYS I tell ya – but whenever I think about this time, I’ll remember my thrill at my discovering the pilot just went out, not a water heater gone bad – – the fact that the roommate doesn’t make fun of me for walking around in layers of clothing instead of turning the heat back on (they are hot blooded and they are nearing comfort needs of window A/C being put in place once more – :D) – – sometimes, the memories, of ‘challenges/perfection” are all realized once we have time and space to reflect upon the matter – 😀

    • kingmidget May 27, 2020 at 6:56 am

      Yeah … some of my best memories from their lives were the moments when I could get away with stepping out of the dad role. A thing I’d like to do more and more now that they are older, but they keep dragging me back into the role.

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