Just a little more venting about my efforts to ‘repair’ the Lloyd children’s story of our childhood today!  Off to my work table at the laundromat cafe I went at 8 this morning.  By 6 this evening I had every slide I am going to include in this saga in an archival quality slide slot – sorted MOSTLY by year.

The extras I am not going to keep in the main body of this work are being sent to my youngest sister in Seattle.  What I have left will still need to be further sorted by month of each year.  Mother mis-dated and mis-labeled many of her slides (she’s been dead since 2002).  Most are not dated at all.

SO MANY MOVES – and many of them are not reflected in the slides – which came to me in a total mess.  My ‘forensic autobiography’ as my youngest brother calls my efforts still has a long way to go — but such a long ways I have come!

These slides begin at Christmas 1955 – or 1956 — depending on what Mother decided to write on slides that seem to all be of the same Christmas!  Then, these ‘same’ slides are either labeled to have been taken in their home on Calavaras St. in Altadena, CA — OR in the next house they bought and moved into in Glendora, CA.

No way could I begin today to work my way back through — yet again — the Lloyd family mess.  But what pictures, priceless pictures of we children!  Most I swear I have never seen before.

And of course there are slides of the early Alaskan homesteading saga – all yet to be put in exact order.

Significant to me is the fact that I found one picture of my mother that I absolutely LOVE!  It is the ONLY slide in these hundreds that the film turned very red.  Mother did label this one correctly in that she is sitting at a natural little brook “washing vegetables.”  I remember this spring very well.  I turned 7 at the little cabin we lived in for those three summer months of 1958.

The cabin had no running water, no insulation – when winter showed up Mother gave up her mission to ‘practice homesteading’ in this cabin and headed into an apartment in Anchorage where I spent my 2nd grade year.

But in that picture — Mother wearing a long gathered black skirt brightly ringed with rick-rack — looks absolutely GORGEOUS and even more than happy.

I have written before here that I discovered as I transcribed the mess of Mother’s letters and journals (which took me about 2 years to do) I found two months in late winter 1958 that my mother was living in what I call “a state of perfect grace.”  Mother was obviously also in that same state when the picture of her at the spring was taken.

Although God’s grace surrounds us all – all of the time — few of us can reach or remain in that state.  Yet considering how terribly mentally ill my mother was, it seems such an incredible miracle to me that Mother could have reached that state at all.  Certainly Alaska was healing to Mother in her early years there.

I find myself thinking today that if Mother had been THE MOTHER she was in this picture all of the time — she would have been a WELL MOTHER — and my and my siblings’ lives would have been entirely different THEN — and would be in consequence NOW.

I have a lot of work yet to do on this project.  At what point I will be able to scan the slides in – let alone repair them – I don’t know.  Even thinking about that stage of this task intimidates me greatly.  But I am very pleased with my progress these past two days!  One more full day will be needed to get the months of these years from 1955 through 1969 in order.

Meanwhile, I REALLY need to cook and eat some dinner!!!!  Tomorrow I am volunteering 10-3 in town at a kids’ art fair……  Meanwhile, time for a little down time!  This was a day well spent.


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