Dear Aunt Nell: Picture this!

Dear Aunt Nell,
It’s that time of year when I start searching for just the right photo to share with family and friends in holiday greetings. I love looking at family pics, don’t you? 


I don’t know why, but it always struck me as odd that Uncle Clewis was a photographer. The other three brothers were shirt and tie guys in various management positions. It may have seemed odd then, but now, I kinda admire Uncle Clewis’s bravery in choosing to follow his dream not somebody else’s.

Do you remember that black and white photograph of Trina as a baby sitting in a wash basin? It was so cool the way the water drops looked like if you touched them your finger would get wet. Maybe it was that pic that began my fascination with photography.

One year Buddy and I got a photography set for Christmas to take and develop our own pictures, you know when chemicals and dark rooms were still required. I guess some of it clicked with Buddy because a few years later he was a photographer for our huge high school yearbook.

For me, not so much…

Evidently, I don’t share Uncle Clewis and Buddy’s gifts in photography. Thankfully, Mary and James both seem to, but with different perceptives.

Mary is so good at capturing the moment. She takes plenty of posed pictures of her vivacious girls, but she’s still patient enough to wait for reflection in the introspective Annalyn, and the sheer joy of Adrienne. 

James says he’s not good at photographing people. Maybe so, maybe not. I think being an introvert is shown in many of his photographs.

What I really enjoy and admire about James’s pics are his varying viewpoints, and diverse content. And somehow, despite his insistence that he doesn’t photograph people well, Uncle James was able to catch a side of Adrienne that she usually doesn’t show. Did you notice the other pic of Adrienne?

The Lord remembers us and will bless us:
    He will bless his people Israel,
    he will bless the house of Aaron…
Psalm 115:12  NIV


Aunt Nell, do you think Uncle Clewis understood the importance of remembering, and it drove his photography?  Is it too far of a stretch to think perhaps Mary and James share the same motivation with a relative they don’t even remember meeting?

​Families are just flat out amazing, aren’t they? We never know what or who or when or where we’ll connect with family members.

One thing I do know is I’m so thankful you took the time to answer a letter from your seven-year-old niece. Thankful you knew the joy of connecting and chose to share it with me. And maybe, just maybe, Dear Aunt Nell, that connection started me on my journey as a writer.

Love, prayers, and blessings to my first mentor!

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