Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Family Pictures--Then and Now

In case you didn't click on the link to see our recent family pictures, I'll post one here:

Amazing, isn't it? Eight people all behaving themselves, holding still, looking at the camera, cooperating, fond of one another, even looking real with their smiles.

I mentioned in my last post that things didn't always go so swimmingly with family portraits at the Smuckers. So I dug in the attic and found proof.

(Sorry they're a bit crooked. I managed to scan and crop them but couldn't straighten them.)Here we have Matt feeling like he has to carry heavy burdens in life, like that little sister, maybe as punishment for taking that gouge out of his nice straight bangs. Emily is oblivious to having her picture taken, a trait that was to change a lot in the next 20 years. And Amy is about to punch the lights out of the next person who tries to get her to smile.
This was taken in Weagamow Lake a year and a half later. We had missed out on the annual NYP portrait session for the Gleanings newsletter [the one a young friend once called the "shopping catalog," with all those shots of single girls]. Anyway, the day we were supposed to get our picture taken, Paul and Amy hopped in the van to pick up something half a mile away, and Amy didn't buckle in or close her door right, and when Paul went around a corner the door flew open and she sailed out face-first into the gravel. So a month later when she was all healed I set up my camera on a tripod in the living room and took pictures.

This was one of many attempts. We note the fine view of Emily's tonsils, and we won't talk about The Poof That Lost Its Way.

And this was a few years later. We note The Poof That Still Won't Behave, Matt at the front barely suppressing some terrible mischief, Emily being inquisitive on the right, Ben the baby not appreciating family pictures, and Amy on the left trying very hard to be Good. I hope I praised her but I probably didn't. [Amy: thank you for being Good. I appreciate it now.]

[And a note to my snickering daughters: Those big glasses were cool back then, really they were.]

So that's why I say, Take Heart, all you young moms out there. It gets better.

Quote of the Day:
"Our proximity to the Pacific makes that unlikely."
--Matt, when we were discussing global warming and Jenny asked if he thinks the Willamette Valley will ever be a desert. I wrote down the quote because it was so astonishingly like something his grandpa Wilton would have said, only three times as fast.


  1. Cool glasses! I had some like that about then. I miss the big lenses like that. When I see Amy, my first thought is Jenny!

  2. great post. my post-before-last was all about this young mom's attempt at a family picture! so great to see that there is hope! LOL

  3. YES! The cool glasses! And the only pair I currently have are still that style!
    But, I found it lots easier to do family pictures when the kids were little. Then I bought all their clothes and we had things that coordinated, and nobody had "other plans" that day, and everybody at least smiled for the camera, even if it was fake!
    We haven't had a real family picture since Deana was a year old! PFC

  4. Oh. My. Word. ::chuckles::

    I *adore* these photos. Every last one. Priceless.

    Shared adversity makes us stronger, right? :D

  5. Loved seeing the old photos,and reading your hilarious commentaries with each one, especially about the 'poof that lost its way'!
    As for old-fashioned glasses, won't our grandchildren hoot some day at the skinny little rectangles that are all the rage now!

  6. Love the quote... I knew Grandpa Wilton and can just imagine how HE would have said that!

  7. lol and to think we are getting our pictures taken today. It's comforting to see the all grown up pictures.

  8. Oh, this made me laugh! Just the thought of taking a family pic makes me break out in a sweat!
    Thanks for the encouragement!

  9. Are you the couple that use to live in crystal lake right by the lake?

  10. Sange--No, we never lived at Cristal Lake. Stirland, yes. And Dryden. And Weagamow/Round Lake.