These photos were taken during my parents’ camper years. I don’t know why I never went anywhere with them in their camper. Probably they didn’t invite me! I lived only a few miles away from them then, but my teaching job was year-round, I was married, and I had a lot going on in my brain that I wasn’t ready to explain to them. So I didn’t spend as much time with them as I could have unless there were more family members around–especially the grandkids–to keep the focus off of me.
I think the way they look physically in these photos is how they look in many of my dreams of them. Even in this tiny space, they seem so who they were to me. My mother’s already in her nightgown, legs tucked under her, her book, cigarettes, and coffee close at hand. My father sits across the table reading his paperback. By then, he was no longer smoking, but he has his coffee cup, too–one that says Dad Pop Father, even though we never called him anything but “Daddy.”
There’s a part of me that wants to step inside these photos. The windows are open, and I can hear the crickets and feel the breeze of a Southern night. I can hear him clear his throat. Hear her light a cigarette. I would probably be lying on my stomach, a book propped in front of me. If he put his book down and tried to start a conversation with me, I’d scowl because I wanted to read. She would probably get to something in her book that she thought was particularly interesting and read it out loud–and I would scowl because I wanted to read.
Yep, it’s clearer now why none of us went anywhere in their little camper together. =)