Proper documentation of living history

Have you seen this video?

I liked the first one too. We couldn’t possibly have predicted COVID-19, a nation-wide lock down, the fear, the panic, the politics, the violence, the floods, the murder hornets, the protests, the injustices. But, we are living history. Last year on this day, there was a lot about trades and tarrifs, the World Cup had just gotten started, NASA had decided to start allowing private companies to fly to the International Space Station and Colorado was considering tearing down Columbine High School.

That hardly compares to the things that we are experiencing today. Things are changing with such magnitude that even my 92 year-old grandma seems in awe…and she’s seen a lot.

In the last few months, my family has been together for more time than ever before. We have realized that soccer games, dance recitals and all the extras don’t really fulfill us, they just keep us busy. We have enjoyed this time. This piece of history.

When I looked back at my camera roll, I saw lots of memes for the first few days of the lock down order. I was super amused by people on the Internet. The pictures, the comments, the videos–it was all so funny.

Then I went through a few bad days, when anxiety was high and depression was high and I was just so worried. I wasn’t sleeping, I felt like a failure and all of that stuff.

But the rest of it….so good.

Waking up slowly. The sunshine being my alarm clock. Cuddling with Kaelynn while we read her books for school. Writing letters in the recliner while Jacob put together his new smoker in the living room. Sitting on the patio drinking wine in the newly warm spring temperatures. Watching the kids play on the trampoline in the yard. Growing my tiny seeds into plants for my garden. Car parades. Class Zoom meetings. Watching the dog sprint after the lawn mower in the yard. Making a giant heart out of pictures on my daughter’s bedroom wall.

A heart on my daughter’s bedroom wall is made from some of her favorite pictures!

Easter was not at all like we expected it to be.
We shared a desk as we worked and schooled from home. I could help her and still get my work done.

This is our story this year. Time. Togetherness.

I don’t really feel like my camera roll did a great job of representing that. I feel like I didn’t capture our history well.

Watching it Unfold

A few weeks ago, SpaceX launched off from NASA in Cape Canaveral. The first attempt, we had YouTube on NASA all day. We were on our first or second week of life in the camper and it was raining. We watched all the way up to the scrub of the launch. The following Saturday, on the second attempt, we jump in just a few seconds before launch and watched the ship safely travel into space.

History in the making. A commerical flight heading to the International Space Station.

But what if it didn’t? What if history was different?

I had JUST turned five years old when the Space Shuttle Challenge launched off the coast of Florida. I had JUST turned five years old when that rocket suddenly broke into pieces in front of my eyes. And I remember it. I remember the permed hair of the women on the craft and the blue suits they wore in pictures. I remember President Reagan and his speech.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and “slipped the surly bonds of earth” to “touch the face of God.”

President Ronald Reagan

My kids will remember this time. They will remember everything. Whether I believe it or not, they will remember not only our time together, our trip to Missouri and our very different summer, but they will remember Anthony Fauci speaking about the technicalities of COVID. They will remember the images of the protestors in Michigan who just wanted a hair cut and the devestation of the dams in mid-Michigan. They will recall this point in their lives as the time when the world changed for minorities in America, just the way my grandparents remember it.

This was a line to get in Sam’s Club shortly after the quaratine started. We had to wait, wear a mask and follow lots and lots of rules, just to get dog food.

Treasuring history

I don’t want their memories to be just what they remember from the news. I want them them open up scrapbooks–okay, who am I kidding, I want to them to look at images I saved of OUR history of this time.

I’ve started doing things a little differently. I take pictures of everything. I mean, I usually take lots of pictures, but they are of EVENTS. Now, I’m taking pictures of the way our kitchen looked at sunset when my husband was working from his new desk in front of the window.

My husband has a desk in our kitchen now. This is what it looks like when we work from home.

I also started using 1SE, 1 Second Everyday, to take a short video clip of things that are happening with us.

I got out my real camera.

I’ve been blogging more.

All in an attempt to document history. This history. Our history.

So that one day, they can look back at what life was like for us, for our family, as the world so drastically changed around us. I can’t wait to see how it all comes out, how things look in a month, two months, a year or a decade down the road. And while there was a lot of fear and anxiety, we made memories that will forever be etched into their brains.