The lesson an empty glass bottle taught me (Family photographer | Lithia, FL}

The other day I threw away a glass bottle that sat on the shelf above my kitchen sink for the last 8 years. That bottle has lived in cabinets and on shelves since shortly after my 21st birthday which was a “few” years ago. It was just a plain Crystal hot sauce bottle. Nothing special except it belonged to my Grandfather. It was his toothpick holder and sat inside a cabinet door in his house for as many years as I was there. My Granddaddy was the sort to always have a toothpick in his mouth, perched on one side like a tiny branch on a tree.

You see I have been in the frantic mode to clean the clutter out of my house (and out of my mind). The stuff we accumulate over the years is amazing and we have been in this house 8 years this super bowl Sunday. That is EIGHT years of junk, plus the junk that migrated with me and for what? Yes, that glass bottle I stole from my Granddad’s house after his death had lots of meaning, but ultimately, it’s just a glass bottle. All of my really great memories of him are in my head and my heart. They lie in the few photographs I have of him in his garden or showing off his prize 100lb watermelon. You see, I don’t need that glass to remember just who he was.
 
It made me start to think about the other night when instead of working late, I snuggled in bed with my kids to watch the movie Up. I had never really sat and watched it and to be honest I haven’t really sat with my kids much here lately. Anyway, the little boy Russell is talking about his Dad, how he used to be around and take him for ice cream.  

“I always get chocolate and he gets butter brickle.
Then we sit on this one curb right outside, and I'd count all the blue cars and he counts all the red ones, and whoever gets the most, wins. 
I like that curb. 
It might sound boring, but I think the boring stuff is the stuff I remember the most."

That line “but I think the boring stuff is what I remember the most." struck me right in the heart. It's so true, isn’t it? It's those everyday, boring moments that really make up our life story. Those are the moments we really remember, the ones that become dear, the ones worth photographing. It’s why I photograph the boring moments (or what we perceive as boring). When I think back to my Granddad, it’s the boring moments that stick in my brain and the moments I wish I had more pictures of. The summers I spent with him, eating homegrown tomatoes with salt at every meal including breakfast, or taking his truck down through the bumpy trail across the field to the orange clay-colored river. Those are the moments that tell the story of his life and my life with him.
 
I guess my point to all of this emotional rambling is this simple.

  • What we perceive as the “boring” moments now, become the momentous moments later.
  • That we might think our lives are bland or mundane, but they aren’t.
  • That those real life, everyday moments mean something to us in time.

While I said my goodbyes to that glass bottle, I reached for the family photo album to share those boring childhood moments of summers with my Grandpa with my children. Today I hope I created more boring moments with them and I share this long winded story with you in hopes that you remember that your boring moments count too! 

Little girl potty trainingThe boring moments matter tooTampa Bay area family photographer, artistic storyteller, photographing families in a candid way Little girl and her grandpaThe boring moments matter tooTampa Bay area family photographer, artistic storyteller, photographing families in a candid way sleeping toddlerThe boring moments matter tooTampa Bay area family photographer, artistic storyteller, photographing families in a candid way Mom doing little girls hairThe boring moments matter tooTampa Bay area family photographer, artistic storyteller, photographing families in a candid way

 
 

 

 

XO, 
Kelly 
Cheif artist and storyteller at Momma Got Soul 


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