The holidays presented themselves as some free time wrapped in a pretty ribbon, but time is never free. Especially not when you’re someone like me; I find myself incredibly restless after a few days off. I’ve been itching to DO something, CREATE something, GO somewhere. I feel like a shaken can of soda; ready to explode the moment the tab is lifted. My husband frequently tells me I don’t know how to relax, but I’ve come to realize that doing the things I enjoy, like creating, is relaxing for me.
My husband frequently tells me I don’t know how to relax and I readily admit that it is a possibility, but I’ve come to realize that, for me, doing the things I enjoy is how I unwind. The sense of satisfaction I get from writing a poem or starting a new canvas is incredibly gratifying.
For the holidays, I went home to visit my family. I went fully prepared to write and create while I was home – just in case. I even had the seed of an idea for a project in mind before going home. I wanted to spend some time with my grandfather while I was home, but more than that, I wanted to try to capture just a little bit of who he is; his essence, his history, what makes him tick.
I went into my project not really knowing what to expect. My grandfather is kind and loving with a wonderful sense of humor but he isn’t what you’d call a big talker, at least not when it comes to himself. He can be quick to fend you off with a joke or wisecrack to change the subject if it isn’t something he wants to talk about. Up until now, I’ve never really taken the time to really ask him questions about his life.
I had wanted to spend some time interviewing him and then follow him around for a day taking pictures; he’s pretty active for an 82-year-old and I wanted to capture an average day for him on the farm. That didn’t quite work out exactly as I’d planned, but I did get to interview him. We spent nearly two hours talking and looking through old photos with my mom and uncle. He was almost eager to hear what questions I had and he took the time to answer them thoughtfully. It wasn’t just his answers to my questions, but the stories that he told as a result that were so fascinating. Being able to spend that time with my grandfather was probably the best Christmas present I could have gotten this year.
This project promises to be an ongoing adventure as I still want to get some photos of him working around the farm and finish going through the photo albums with him.