I “purchased” my first camera with Bazooka Joe gum wrappers. It was plastic and came in the mail. It lasted three days. Three glorious days. I took pictures of my banana seat bicycle, my sister’s dog – who jumped out of frame, my own feet – accidentally, the neighbor girls, and the summer grass. Film in pocket, I rode my bike to Peterson’s drug store and gave the roll of Kodak film to the smocked woman behind the counter. And I waited. And waited. When they called my mom to tell her that the prints were ready, I raced on my bike back to the drug store. Gave them three weeks worth of my allowance, and clutched the photos in my sweaty hands. Beautiful. The most beautiful photos I had ever seen. Because I took them. Me. With my Bazooka Joe camera. The plastic camera that I did in fact drop and drive over with my own Banana Seat bike. Still, perfection.
It’s so easy to take pictures now. I take them with my phone, my ipad, my actual camera. All digital, it’s so easy. No worries about mistakes, just take another. And another. I take hundreds, thousands. I swipe through them occasionally. It’s nice. Convenient. But not extraordinarily special. So I decided to have a few printed. I looked through my galleries and chose five. Just five. I made sure the quality was good. Uploaded them properly to the online store. And waited. And waited. I received 8 emails. They would arrive between the 5th and the 8th. They would arrive on the 9th… no, the 10th… no, the 15th, no, for sure on the 13th. The mailbox sat empty for two weeks. Until yesterday! They arrived! The most beautiful prints. Prints I could hold in my hands. Place in frames. Put up. Stand in front of. Remember the time. The love. And they were beautiful. They are beautiful!
I don’t often quote fictional movie characters, but this one is pretty good. It was Ferris Bueller who said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” It’s not always convenient, this life, but oh how lovely, when we invest our time, our efforts. Make today. Every day. Important. Take your time. Make some memories. Print your photos.