A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of spending some time with Ollie and Ev. I took these photos for my photography group’s December challenge. Since I was behind with November, I felt like I should get it together a little faster for this month. The photo set had to include someone that was elderly or just significantly older than myself. Since we don’t live near any of our family and I don’t know anyone that fits into that age bracket where we live, I was a little stumped about what to do about this challenge. I remembered that my mom’s husband, Gord (my step dad) has an aunt and uncle that live in the trailer park next door to where we live. So I called them up and once they were able to figure out who I was, planned to spend some time photographing them. The photo set had to show emotion, have a sentimental feeling, and include something that was really old and meaningful (Ev’s tea set from the 50’s). There was also supposed to be something that was brown, red or yellow in the images. Ollie and Ev didn’t have anything worth including that fit those colours, so I’ll just have to say that the walls or yellow or I just missed the mark in that category. Oh well, in the end it didn’t seem like something that really mattered.
We had a lovely time chatting about life and raising children while having tea. These two were just so sweet to watch and be with. Ev is legally blind, so watching her make tea and navigate her way in the kitchen was especially interesting in an inspiring and amazing kind of way.
After tea was finished up, Ollie and Ev wanted to show me other “old” things that had significant meaning to each of them. Well, I’ve always been a sucker for sentimental stories and love hearing about where people came from and what has meaning to them. Ev pulled this whistle out of her pocket almost as soon as I got to their place. She received the whistle when she was just a little girl. It was her grandfathers, who was a general in the first world war. Ev told me how the whistle was so special to her and something that money couldn’t buy.
After we talked about the whistle, it was Ollie’s turn. He brought out two books that were very dear to him. The smaller brown book was written in Danish and was brought to Canada by Ollie’s dad when he came from Denmark a very long time ago. The larger black book is a very old Medical Advisory book that Ollie still consults to this day. He showed me how the book contains testimonials from doctors as well as information on all kinds of ailments and what to do about them.
Reflecting on what holds the most meaning to people, it always seems to be the items that link us to our past. They are also items that are often given to us rather than bought ourselves. Books from parents that have long passed, a whistle from a grandparent received as a child and a tea set received as a gift long ago. These are all priceless items that hold incredible sentimental value. As I sit at my computer and type I can’t help but look around our home and wonder what our children will one day consider the special significant items of our home. The photographs that I’ve taken? The wine barrel bench that David built? The quilts that I’ve sewed? The memorable ornaments that we’ve collected since we first started dating? Or will it be something that hasn’t even entered our home yet? Time will tell. I’ve always found this to be an interesting thought.
As a side note, I seriously love photographing elderly people! This was the first time that I have intentionally photographed someone that wasn’t my own grandparents and it was so enjoyable. Sometimes I think I have an older soul. I’m not sure what it is, but I really enjoy hearing stories from the past and watching people that have been married for what feels like a lifetime. Mature love is so inspiring and beautiful to witness, I always feel so honoured to be able to hear such love stories.