a few days ago. You can tell how old I am because I remember movie cameras, super 8, home projectors, the chattering of film moving by, pictures of kids, grandma, and dad with a funny hat. No editing.
I never had them. When you had four kids and worked at a hardware store buying a movie camera was not high on the priority list for my dad. So we have pictures, but no movies. Of my father who passed away in 1994 I have only a few seconds of video taken by my uncle. Of my brother Paul, now gone 5 years, I have nothing.
For some years I had skulked around the camcorder, I guess that’s what they call them now, section of the store. I was doing the math in my head. Could I afford it? What else would I need? All the while the devices kept on getting smaller and less expensive. A few days ago the dam broke loose.
I don’t care that much about the presents, really. But the memories, those really matter. Time is short. Life is fast. Things and people taken for granted sometimes disappear before you notice. I don’t want that to happen anymore.
It’s a Kodak Play Sport, orange, smaller than some cell phones, easy to use and an hours worth of video fits on a removable disk just slightly larger than a postage stamp. More than anything else this Christmas I wanted the memories, just the time spent with the people I love, people growing up and older right before my eyes. I wanted the moments captured for a gift in the years to come. So I bought it.
I hope my family won’t be annoyed. It’s all about love. Really.