A Time Gone By

I came across this picture of my “Granny” (who is now 95) last night while cleaning out old photos.  It appears to have been taken in the ’60s because of her youthful age and the fact that I don’t recognize the kitchen of the house she is in (she has lived at her current residence since before I was born in the mid-seventies).

With my renewed appreciation of all things vintage, there is so much about the moment that has been captured here, most likely by my father, that I absolutely love.

I can guess that it was my father that took this picture because a) she is his mother, b) he loved photography and c) I can just make out the folds of her chenille robe, hinting that it is likely morning before she has gotten dressed for the day.

I can tell that she is making biscuits not only by the assumed time of day, but also the fact that her hands are covered in flour.  Yes, this could mean she was making something to be fried up, like catfish or okra, but it is more likely she is working with dough by the way her hands are clasped.  She is known, at least by me, for her chicken and dumplings, so one might argue she could be making dumplings.  However, the final clue is the little glass juice cup sitting in front of the bowl.  Her dumplings where rolled out flat and cut with a knife, whereas her biscuits would have been made perfectly round using the glass as her biscuit cutter.  This is a “Depression-era” woman, she is nothing if not resourceful, like many of her generation and the one that followed.

I love seeing my grandmother in this moment of “domestic bliss” (let’s hope she felt that way at the time).  I also love taking in the details of her (now) vintage kitchen.  Pots as art hang directly from the wood panelling. I LOVE that. Even the Coca-cola calendar shares its nail with a copper pot.  If it were a better quality photo I might even be able to tell exactly what month it was by that calendar.  But, it doesn’t matter because this scene, I am certain, was repeated like clockwork with the dawn of each new day for many years.

I’ll have to show this picture to my granny the next time I see her and ask her if she still has that big red rimmed enamel pot – it’s fabulous! I’d be shocked if she doesn’t, though finding it may be a problem.  She’s not one to throw much away “just in case” she needs it again one day.  Shoot, I wouldn’t be completely surprised if that same Crisco tin isn’t still being washed out and reused to store something to this very day. The Cool Whip containers like the company, you know.  I tease a little, but please don’t mistake that for mocking.  I have the utmost respect for all the mothers in my life, especially being one now myself.

If my dad was still here, I would ask him to give me more details about this image – What year? Which state (Georgia or Alabama)? Why did he choose that moment? He is not here, so I’ll ask her instead, though I think I already know that she will tell me it was too long ago to remember and will wonder why in the world I would care so much about such a (seemingly) insignificant moment.

This is exactly what I love about photography, that it can magnify the tiniest moments of everyday, ordinary life and remind you how quickly the mundane and routine (that we all sometimes take for granted) can be gone.  If you are looking for it and open to it, photographs help us see that it’s not “having what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”  In this case, a loving grandmother who’d make me homemade biscuits in a heartbeat if I asked her to, just like she did all those years ago for my father.

One Response to “A Time Gone By”

  1. The Olden Days | Yesterday's Finds Says:

    […] is a photography of my grandmother taken by my father.  I’ve written in depth about it on my personal blog, but I thought I’d share it here as well because one of the […]

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