Recently, I found a box containing nearly twenty rolls of film that had been shot but never processed. I didn’t know how old they were, but I have been shooting largely digital for several years now, so I knew it was like finding a time capsule of my pre-Colorado life. I started taking them in two at a time to have them developed, and it has been an interesting experience receiving the photos.
The most recent roll is from the summer after I finished high school, shot with the Nikon FM-10 my dads bought me for graduation. The photos document our annual summer trek to Indiana to visit grandparents, and I believe this might have been the last time we went, just before the grandparents relocated to Vermont to be near the family.
I have such fond memories of these yearly vacations, which were largely spent on the lake (whichever lake we had rented a cabin on that particular summer; it varied) and digging through thrift stores looking for the best, most interesting finds. The first year was a bit rough-- nothing tests the limits of a new step-family like putting three girls, ages 11, 14 and 16 in the back seat of a Chevy, with no air-conditioning and only one music player between the three of us, and driving half-way across the country-- but the experience grew on me in only the way a family summer ritual can. I miss those days of canoeing the lakes, looking for turtles, taking evening walks or runs with my sisters, baking cookies in a slightly musty, hideous rented cabin with orange shag carpet, mirrored walls, and bats flying around the living room. Now that my sisters and I are spread (literally) across the world, I especially long for those summer days, with no school, before we had jobs and grown-up lives to worry about.
Maybe some day my sisters and I will be able to take a trip together again, maybe to some exotic place where we can start building new traditions and memories. In the mean time, though, I’m sure glad I found these photos.