Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Way Back Machine


The time: Summer 1955
The place: Our driveway - Wheaton, Illinois


There was an interesting exercise that we would do back when I was in therapy, usually done in a group session. It's called "photo therapy" and involved looking at a family photo and free associating about the feelings and thoughts that it provoked.

This photo is actually pretty funny. We're obviously setting off on one of our famous road trips. Having four kids under the age of 7 didn't deter my parents from planning vacations. This could get interesting because for many years we didn't own a car larger than a Chevy Bel Air and back seat turf wars were rampant. I see in the photo above they've got my sister Pam in some type of 1955 car seat, a wicked looking metal contraption.

My brother Bob is leaning over in his position as a sister-terrorizer and Pam is reacting accordingly. He's also wearing his favorite straw cowboy hat which means he's playing back-seat sheriff for the day.

If you look closely you'll see my mom's hands holding a map. She's the navigator and on this trip she's going to guide us either to Wisconsin (Grandpa Louie's place) or the Florida panhandle (Dad's side of the family). If it's Grandpa's place then we'll be scooping minnows in his basement tank, fishing and fighting off mosquitos the size of Chihuahuas. If we're headed to Florida then we'll be swimming in a spot lovingly called "The Sand Pond." The Sand Pond was actually a swampy area heavily draped in Spanish moss and certainly dotted with quicksand.

You see.....our childhood was filled with dangerous adventures and the possibility of coming face-to-face with the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Bob saw the error of his childhood ways and became a permanent Deacon in the Catholic Church.

After years of being terrorized by three older siblings my sister Pam got a degree in Psychology, graduating at the top of her class. Way to go Pam!

"No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always creeps back." - Margaret Mead


The Bunnies Bungalow


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

I have tried to leave a comment, but blogger is eating them today I guess.

Anyway, the gist of it was that I enjoyed "the rest of the story" and am wishing that our family had a psychologist, too.

Suzanne said...

So, it's one of those "blogger" days Vee. The other day I couldn't even connect to anyone's comments section.

I like the gist, and yes, a psychologist in the family is a good thing, along with someone who's done therapy (me) it's a great one-two punch for any nonsense the family might dream up!! HA.

By the way, I love how Blogger asks you to "choose an identity" in order to post a comment. Now there's an invitation. I'd love to make up an identity.

Bax said...

Love the picture! Looks like when we would go on family vacations! I was in the front seat, being the baby...with an older brother and sister in the back! I think I even had a car seat just like the one pictured! Amazing we made it out alive! LOL! Thanks for the story!


Suzanne said...

Yeah how DID we get through our childhood without a helmet?

Sabina said...

Another great post - as usual!! You really have a way with words Suzanne and thoughts!!