Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Was digging through our old desk in the basement over the weekend and found a dozen envelopes of developed pictures.
My wife's father is an accomplished and prolific photographer (after our wedding he handed us eight rolls of film that he had taken through the day and evening - we had never even noticed) and my wife has the bug as well. We have albums of pictures and a hard drive with thousands of images on it but just the other day I was going through an old shoebox I have which has old pictures and ticket stubs and other stuff from my bachelor days (I have an old cabinet downstairs which is all mine - books and pint glasses and photos and old baseballs and cards from the kids and keepsakes from my travels, some sentimental stuff, some great old memories) and while I found a lot of pictures I also was missing quite a few from my slacker days. And then I got to thinking and looking at our photo albums I realized that there were two enormous gaps, one in my life from about 1993 until when I moved to the States and one in our life from when we moved back from the States to when we started having babies, with the exception of our trip to Ireland and Scotland in 2002, just prior to our first pregnancy.
And I knew that there were pictures from both times. There are a few framed around the house and in my mind's eye I could see a few of them.
But they had disappeared.
And now suddenly I had found them.
Of me. Pictures from parties in the early and mid nineties, big hair and cigarette smoke and is that a bead necklace around my neck? my wife said. Um, yep. The first wedding for one of our friends, all of us not yet thirty, skinny, no grey hairs, all of our hair, no exhaustion from the kids, roaring at the camera. The girl from Rawlins Cross in a summer dress and sandals, black and white. My best friend and I at our camp, he fishing off the dock, a friend's long gone terrier staring intently into the lake. My own just passed big fellow a tiny ball of black fur, floppy ears, white paws and tip of his tail, white seven blazed on his chest, small enough to fit in my cupped hands. Out on a boat on Charlottetown harbour with friends just around the time that I would meet the girl who would become my wife.
Of us. Pictures from Quebec City and Montreal as we drove from Charlottetown after our wedding, on our way to Toronto to get an apartment and Jenn a job so we could move back to this good country. The first of seven annual Christmas parties we hosted before, pregnant with our third, we put the kibosh on the tradition. May be time to begin again. Here we are in our apartment. Six couples. No kids. Within two years there will be four kids. Today there are thirteen. My wife sitting on the couch, glass of wine, tongue sticking out, snarling, I love this picture. Our new house, wood panelling everywhere. Layer after layer of wallpaper. My best friend's wedding. Another friend's wedding. Laughing, glasses raised high. The big fellow after his first encounter with a skunk, dripping tomato juice, forlorn in the tub, the bathroom looking like the site of a massacre, red on the walls and floors and everywhere from everytime he shakes in disgust. Hen parties with drunken nurses and cock shaped cakes. Jenn pregnant with our first. Belly swelling, her belly button ring almost a thing of the past.
And now we're caught up. The pictures sit on our hutch and every time I wander by I pick them up and laugh. Its been quite the trip.
New lines by the looks of it for the Oilers. Paajarvi, who has been the best of the kids, will play with Horcoff and Hemsky. Eberle will get Penner and Gagner. Hall will play with Cogliano and Brule. We'll call those guys "The Lost Boys". I think that works.
Its going to be a long season and we knew this and so unlike the past four years where management wanted to have their cake while eating it too I think we all know we're going to see a lot of losses, hopefully for the longterm greater good. The kids are going to take their lumps and with the dearth of veteran quality up front and on the blue its going to be a whole lot of ugly with an uncertain payoff. Renney is rolling them and the theory is that he wants to see what kids can do what against tougher opposition. They're going to get killed. Only Smid and Gilbert have looked good by the scoring chances metric and only Penner/Gagner/Hemsky have done well up front with the Horcoff line holding its own at times.
So Renney will mix things up and we'll see if anything comes of it. He was a hard matcher when he was with the Rangers so one suspects there is a method to his madness and once he knows who is going to get gutted when Iginla or the Sedins come to town (I think he must already know for the most part really) then he will begin to use a little more strategy when it comes to sending guys over the boards. For now though we will just grin and bear it.
Our lament is the same as always. If things were patched up with Souray or if a few veterans had been added to kill penalties and handle the toughs then this club would stand a better chance on some nights but its been the modus operandi of management these past years to leave holes everywhere and so we have to hope that this time the reality is that a lottery pick is better than the few extra wins that might mean a pick around eleven or twelve.
I can live with it although I dread a few years from now when Hemsky and Penner and Gilbert are gone and one of the prize kids doesn't turn out or gets hurt badly and then another one decides he's had enough of the losing and wants out. I know everyone points to the Pens and the Blackhawks but I keep thinking Thrashers and Islanders and see myself joining Dellow and Winters in a pub forty years from now, parking our jetpacks outside, Winters in a wheelchair, Dellow with his walker (I'll be fine - clean living you know) and us bitching about how Tambo, version 25b, is high on this new first overall pick, Robert Nilsson the third.
God help us. Hopefully the journey will have more laughs and joyful occasions than that.
Posted by Black Dog at 2:35 PM