My Grandma, Alverta, turned 93 last Sunday. (Ninety-three years is a looong time, FYI.) She was born in 1916. She grew up wearing feed sack dresses and playing with corn husk dolls. She walked to school for miles in the snow. She raised chickens. As an adult, she worked in a chocolate factory (just like in that one "I Love Lucy" episode). She survived the Great Depression. She also worked in a factory that made parts for war equipment. She met my grandpa, who immigrated here from Germany, and they fell in love and got married and had my dad. She stands at a whopping 5 feet tall and 93 pounds. To this day, it still irritates her that she has dark hair with a few grays, rather than a full head of white hair like the other ladies at church.
This is just a brief glance into her 93 years on earth.
There's a lot more about her that is still a mystery to me, but each time I'm with her, more truth is revealed.
As I was spending time with Grandma this weekend, she pulled out a photo album that she treasures. On the very first page was a picture of a beautiful 8-month-old baby girl taken in 1916. She was outfitted in her best white dress. The picture was in perfect condition. It was a picture of her.
Her picture reminded me of why I love photography. A picture has the ability to capture life and emotion, history and hope. And through the years, even without words or explanation, its image can still speak powerfully to those who are able to view it with their own eyes.
Capture. The. Moment.
Grandma at 4 years old.
My great-grandparents sitting in our front yard.
I grew up in the house my great-grandfather Witte built,
and my parents still live there.
My grandma in the back, with my great-grandparents.
Again, this picture is in my family's yard.
We still have the cellar and the shed there.
A picture I took of Grandma last year.
My favorite photo of her.