Posts Tagged With: movies

The Wool Blanket Makes A Recovery

Today was my first “real” day of emptying out the condo.

The easiest method, I have discovered, is to package the “things” up, bring them home, and then make decisions about destinations of the “things” from the front hall – where everything sits.

Here are some of my questions that I grappled with today… what do I do with…

– the wool blanket that Mom so carefully packaged in a “space saver” bag so that it would not occupy too much room in her tiny linen closet and not be eaten by moths;

– the Russian doll ornaments that my cousin sent to Mom and Dad for Christmas one year from Russia;

– the apron that Mom used as a template to teach my daughter Katya how to sew;

– the tea spoon rack full of souvenir teaspoons from all of Mom and Dad’s travels;

– the sweater that Dad wore with holes in the arms that coined his handle, “Poor Dirt Farmer” (okay, truthfully, I know what to do with that one!!!!)

–  the spoon set that was given to “Mr. and Mrs. Duff” to thank them for their service to the Cold Lake community;

– the Legion magazines that Mom so lovingly ordered and Dad so purposefully read to keep up-to-date on Legion-related news;

– the books that were dedicated to Dad from Mom and from Uncle Bill to Mom, and from Dad to Mom, and from … you get the picture;

– the jar of pickling spices that Mom used to make her wonderful pickles;

– the old type-writer that was Grandpa Malloff’s with which I used to learn to type;

– the commemorative plates for Mom and Dad’s 40th, 50th, and 60th, wedding anniversaries?

The list goes on.

And so they sit – in my front hall waiting for their final verdict.  And I am in no hurry – the rest of my family may have a different opinion – but for now – they sit and wait …

Today the condo moved from “there” to “here”.  Dad kept flickering the light.  I just wish I had established with him what the code meant!

Meanwhile – off to see a movie on a big outdoor screen in downtown Barrie.  I think I’ll bring the big wool blanket as tonight is expected to be rather cool… thanks Mom.

TTFN

Categories: Family and Friends, Life After Dad | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Really – reel to reel

Bill and Paula Duff with Bill and June Malloff in Nassau.

The box was larger than a bread basket, but smaller than a television (the old ones!),  and it was very well bound with packing tape.

The label screamed at me. “Bill and Paula Duff”.  Egad.  This was a real treasure trove!  Here, in this box, were Mom and Dad’s memories.

When Jamie and I were investigating the things Mom stored in the pantry of their condo, we discovered two boxes of reel-to-reel film.  Of course, Mom had also preserved the projector, splicer, and old camera and these sat well organized right beside the movies.  We took the old movies out to examine what was there.  “New Lowell, Duffs, and Malloff Clan”, read the labels from one box of movies.  This was the series that was to be developed first.

Costco prints old reel-to-reel to DVD at a very good price and so… off they went.. and yesterday …. here they were.

Finally, the box was freed from tape and I carefully open the flap.  There it was – ONE DVD.  On the outside were images (59 in total) of every “scene” that was contained on the DVD.  There was also a label warning that some of the film had been over-exposed, some under-exposed, and some with dust, hair… and whatnot.  How would the movies look afterall?  I didn’t really care – I just knew I was holding fast to history.  And it was to be a history that revealed a world through the eyes of Mom and Dad.  What had they seen?   What had they deemed to be important enough to film?  Who were their friends?  How had they lived?  All these questions would be answered – presently.

I slid the DVD into the player, with the help of my 9 year old I might add, and suddenly there they were – Mom and Dad in 59 scenes.  “Which scene would you like to choose?”,  opted the play menu.  I chose “Play from the beginning”.

Fantastic. Costco had added music – their music – the music of the 40s and 50s.

Fantastic.  Mom and Dad were dancing.  It was a party.  Mom and Dad were serving turkey dinner to guests.  Mom was showing off her beautiful new gown to the camera.  Dad was shoveling snow.  Don Duff was mowing his lawn.  Lou Duff was pushing her daughter Nancy on the swing.  The animals in the zoo were racing around.  The flamingos in Nassau were nibbling at their lunch.  The lighthouses in PEI appeared far below from the plane where Dad had obviously flown over.  The Hepplestons and Duffs were together – eating – laughing.  There was a lot of laughter.  It seemed everyone was laughing.  I think I saw Grandma and Grandpa Malloff – but I couldn’t be sure as I had never met them.  And there was the house that Dad built for Mom and Dad in New Lowell.

History.

It was rich.

I was watching history that no one else at that moment had access to.

I must figure out how to copy this history to embed it into this blog.

I must figure out how to copy the DVD to offer these special images to my cousins.

It is funny how video can transcend time.  I am so blessed to have known my parents as adults.  I am so curious now to know about my parents as a young couple.  I am so blessed to have just a little insight into the young Bill and Paula through reel-to-reel.

Categories: Duff History, Family and Friends, Life After Dad, New Lowell | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Video Camera

It’s almost too much sometimes.

Interested in whether or not Mom and Dad’s rather vintage video-camera , of which they had taken such great pride in when it was freshly purchased, was still working – I asked my son Ben to plug it in.  The battery pack – naturally (as Mom was so very well organized) was right where it should have been tucked neatly into a side pocket.  Ben plugged the battery into the wall – rewound the film that was inside and hit play.

There he was – Dad – smiling at the dinner table.  Ben and I didn’t get the sound on right away, but we could tell he was interacting with whoever it was filming him.  The camera panned to the mirrors in the dining room – and then back to Dad.

Then, it happened.  The camera moved into the kitchen.  There was Mom.  Cooking.  She was always in the kitchen cooking.  This time, however, not only was she wearing her neck brace, but also her body brace that supported her spine.  It was at this time in her life when she really struggled to walk.  Her spine had disintegrated through loss of calcium to the point where it was literally collapsing on itself.  There she was – cooking.  I remember so well how challenging it was to let her do that.  Any outsider would have scolded me for allowing Mom to cook.  But Mom found meaning and purpose in cooking for her family. To take this away from her would have been to sentence her to death.

BTW:  Shortly after this clip was filmed she received a “cement” injection that filled in her spine and allowed her to walk for several years afterwards without pain.

The movie-maker moved down the hall to capture Mom and Dad’s first care-giver “Rou” in the midst of trying to organize Dad’s bathroom drawers.

This must have been taken at least three years ago.

Oh, how time changes all.

Rou has moved on – and so have Mom and Dad.

How utterly wonderful it was to find this clip – and at the same time how utterly painful.  The images have immobilized me.  I am useless today – other than to express my experiences in this post in the hopes that this experience will help someone else to feel they are not alone.  Or maybe to help me feel that way.

How strange to have been in their home only this morning… no Mom.. no Dad.  And to see them in the same location this afternoon on film.  I don’t know if film is good or bad at this point.  I’m sure that time will offer me a more clear perspective on the truth of the matter – but my brain is fuzzy today – here and now.

What do I do with the camera?  That has pretty much been my rate-limiting-step today.  It has been the window to memories so far.  It has defined itself as quite useful – but disabling at the same time.

The camera will sit in the front room with the collection of other “don’t know what to do with items” until I get further “clarity” of mind.

Mom and Dad’s winter coats… I was able to pack into a bag headed for the Salvation Army today – but the camera will sit in limbo … for a while anyhow.

Really.  Sometimes, it is almost too much.

I know tomorrow is a new day – and if I’m lucky – I’ll see Mom in the sunrise and Dad in the sunset – and my life will be in synchronicity once again.

 

Categories: Life After Dad, Life's Lessons | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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