Here’s to another year. The older I get, the faster the years go by, to the point they are blurring into just stages in my life.
This became more apparent as I watched a DVD of Christmases gone by.
After a visit to see us last year, our son returned to his home with a box full of old home movies from the days when film was processed by Kodak.
His wife Connie did the most remarkable thing. She went through them and compiled all the 8 mm Christmas movies into a single DVD and made a gift of copies to us and to each of our children.
What a treat. These were scenes we had not watched in years. It was the most thoughtful gift I have ever received.
It’s quite apparent in these Christmas scenes that they were all taking place in different homes. The number of kids also helps to identify the time frame and location.
We had two kids by the time we filmed the Christmas in Spokane, Wash., then three by the time we lived north of Atlanta in Roswell, Ga., which was at that time a very small town.
We moved to New Jersey and lived in an apartment until we bought a house. We returned to the Atlanta area, had another kid, and then moved to Florida.
I felt like a migrant worker who could afford to hire a moving company.
Our last big move was to New Jersey and a little town, Mahwah, on the border with New York State. This is the town that the kids think of as home.
The youngest, Audrey, had the good fortune of doing all her schooling in one location, from kindergarten to graduating from high school, then on to Ramapo College in Mahwah. Okay, so she snuck off to England for a year to take a course or two, but otherwise, she has roots.
The five years that I lived in just one place was the longest time I had ever been in one location as a child. Before I was married, I spent my years going from country to country in Europe. At least in the states we all spoke English.
But Mahwah gave this family roots.
As I watched the DVD, one scene in particular was a hoot: three little girls dancing. I don’t think they took lessons at that stage, but they were in tights and leotards, and their ages spanned from 2 to 7 years old.
The eldest, Caroline, had the rhythm down pat. She kept her steps simple and repetitious and had some idea of what she was doing.
Cathy on the other hand was not going to be dictated to by the rhythm. She was doing her thing, and her dance steps kept changing, but she was happy.
Audrey, the youngest, was clueless at age 2. Whatever her big sister did was what she was trying to copy, adding a little of Cathy’s jumping up and down for effect.
They took this pattern through life. How can three girls born of the same parents be so different? They are each their own person, and what great women they have become!
To Connie, I say thank you again for giving me this glimpse of Christmases past.
Margaret Griffin has lived in Sun City Hilton Head for 16 years.