Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words

This is what our mail has been looking like for the past few weeks...

And it's making me breathe a little too fast.

I'm excited for Jack, I really am. I want him to grow up and enjoy all that college has to offer.

But already? He's only a sophomore in high school.

When did all these mailings start? I don't remember receiving anything like the pounds of mail he's getting when I was his age.

And all it does is make the tick-tick-tick of the clock even louder. He's leaving soon. He's leaving soon. I only have one and he's leaving soon.

Thank God...that nestled amongst all the college solicitations...was a handwritten note from our newest 90 year old, Aunt Ruth.

And it had pictures!

I don't know when it happened to me...this desire to have pictures of things that I make.

I've talked about it before, the ritual of the photo shoot...the desire to have a photo session as the final step of the creative process.

Stylized, "posed" pictures are nice...but when you can get "action" shots of your creation being used? Well, that's The Bomb.

These pics of Ruth on her birthday are The Bomb.

And they bring me such joy. We were discussing this the other day amongst my crazy friends.

How much we love to receive photos from the recipients of our handmade gifts.

Lately, I have been guilty of asking for these photos...as if it answers some need I have within myself.

Yet, I'm conflicted.

It's not really an unconditional gift if I ask the receiver to take pictures.

When I'm physically there to give the gift, I feel like the project is more complete. But when I send a gift in the mail, I'm not as comfortable closing the project file. I don't think it's because I really need to know if the gift is liked or not. I understand that sometimes my gifts might miss the mark. The sweater is too big; the hat is too small, etc.

Maybe it's because I'm such a visual person....it helps me to have a picture of the gift and the receiver to truly call a project "done".

I understand that my gifts shouldn't be given with the caveat that a picture be sent back in return. And, moving forward, I will try not to put this monkey in the box along with my gifts that I send off.

But it sure is a joy when I do get one...
And, now that I've processed all this today, I'll try to do a better job of sending a picture back when I receive a gift. I'm not sure I've always been the best at that.

See you tomorrow for Hari-Kuyo and remember your broken needles!


Catherine said...

Oh wow! They sure start early with the college info!! Somehow I see them ending up in some future project.....

Loved the pictures of your Aunt! She certainly doesn't look like she's 90! Must be all that fun your family creates! Wishing her many more years!

Rachel said...

Interesting thoughts, Susan. I agree that it is wonderful to have photos - perhaps it is partly your desire to know that the gift arrived safely?

Anonymous said...

I love the last picture of Ruth wearing such a beautiful smile along with the beautiful hat........pretty in pink!!!!

Can hardly wait for the needlebook e course....


Mouse said...

ohhh thats a lot of college bumf to wade through ....

love the note and the photos of those great hats and stuff you made ... and they seem soo pleased to have them as well :)
love mouse xxxxx

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Just yesterday Corey asked me how all these schools got his name! I think he'll be going to a in state 2 year college. Surprise, Surprise. He mentioned the tuition. I told him don't worry about it. Save his money, apply his fingers off and keep his grades up. It will come.

I think the desire to have a picture does not make a gift conditional at all. I think you know that your gift will bring joy and you want to share in the joy of the receiver by seeing them enjoy their gift. I think you DO have to close the file, but I think moreso you want to share the joy.

Anonymous said...

Such a sweet post. We are hearing the ticking as well. Just last week a decision was made - GracyLu will be a freshman at William Woods University next fall. She learned that hard work, good grades and service to her world brings college rewards....$40,000.00 to be exact. We are so excited for her, but are missing her already. Sigh. Wishing you well. ~Kelly

kaiteM said...

The photos of your aunts wearing their party hats are fabulous fun. do not feel guilty about asking for pics, you put so much creative effort and love into your gifts that you deserve a pic in return.

Mosaic Magpie said...

The joy on her face is precious. The photo says more than a mere thank you card ever could.
Makes me smile to see her sweet face. Oh the college info....and it comes from places they never even considered going!

Anonymous said...

As soon as they take the PSAT, the colleges have 'em pegged & have the letters in the mail.

And you know, he's not really leaving you. He & his laundry will be back MANY times. And even after college, he'll be back. They usually can find their way home, no matter how old they get. Between visits, you'll get the "How do I..." or "Can you send..." phone calls. Your job as Mom will not go away. The expenses just get expensive-er for you, that's all, LOL!

Ingrid Mida said...

Dear Susan,
Time does seem to speed up in the last year or so of high school..... so it is good that you have so many projects and friends to keep you busy! I love your photos of your aunt. She does not look 90. There is such a vibrancy in her eyes. That you've received enough hand made gifts to feel guilty that you did not take a photo with the gift is a testament to how loved you are!

Suztats said...

Wonderful pics of your Aunt enjoying her gifts!

Elizabeth said...

JAck must be doing extremely well in school!!! You do have two years to go and take the mailings as a reminder to savor every moment even the ones that come when arguing about whether he should take another round of SAT's or not- been there done that and it will all be ok- but it is WAY hard!!!! I had a very hard time with Becca going into 9th grade this year!!
Your pictures of Aunt Ruth are true treasures!! Look at that beautiful face!!! You sure did make her happy!! How could one not be happy with such a wonderful package of fun- ness!! We all like some validation - there is nothing wrong with that and you deserve so much!!

NickiLee said...

Love the picture of your Aunt - she makes me smile!

Cherish every minute with your son as it goes by so fast... doesn't seem possible that my two boys have been out on their own for close to 20 years now! Yikes!

coral-seas said...

How does Jack feel about all of the college mail? Is he excited about the future or are they piling on too much presure, too early? Hope he is taking it in his stride as I know you will. You will find ways of making this new adventure a treasured memory.

Love the pics of the party girls and I love that they colour coordinated their clothes with their hats!

You have a gift for making special occasions, fabulously special.

Cassandra and Alex said...

Those photos are wonderful!

Teresa said...

Wow! Don't remember my kids getting so much. My daughter was only looking for the letter from her college. My son seemed to have give our phone number to every trade school in the world and then left for the Air Force and I got stuck with the calls.

Love the pictures of your Aunt. She is so cute wearing it.
I never really thought about someone sending me a picture. Will give it more thought.
Teresa's Heartfelt Stitches

Sonja said...

Hope Jack gets what he really wants with all that post to trawl through. Fingers crossed for him.

Your auntie looks amazing. Loved her hat and the party pics.

Sonja said...
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