However, this week has also been a week of reliving memories, good memories, through my photos.
It all started accidentally, when I received a coupon via email for 60% off all products on a certain day from the company I've had my business cards made from.
I've been thinking of making calendars - to sell. However, with this coupon I decided to make a sample or two just for me to see what they look like. Are they professional looking enough for people to want to buy calendars of my photos at ... say ... a craft sale?
So me, being me, I thought of my best friend who also happens to be my cousin and decided to make her a special calendar - just for her - one of pictures I'd taken when we were together - which isn't often as she lives in the southern US and I live in Canada.
Back in 2011, when I was still very much in the acute phase of the psychiatric injury from my workplace experience, I flew to see her for ten days. At that point, I couldn't even navigate the airport without assistance. I stuttered badly. Etc. I was in pretty bad shape.
But I went, believing that something really good would happen during those ten days.
And it did.
It became a memory lane trip of old memories plus added on, new memories.
We went into the downtown area of Winston Salem, an area I had walked many times as a young child when visiting the grandparents, and found what was left of the area where they used to cure the tobacco (first picture). Both of us even smelled a faint whiff of tobacco! Just being there, even though it was now deserted, a shell of yesterday, uninhabited, brought back memories of another era. The 50s.
Several years prior, my cousin had pointed out the Reynolds Building which is a much smaller prototype of the famous Empire State building (2nd photo).
During her "guided tour" of the area, she showed me what "real" magnolias look like as the flowering trees we call a magnolia here in Canada are much smaller and pink. I think they called them tulip trees in North Carolina. (3rd picture)
And then a huge bonding experience for both of us. She took me to what used to be the Reynolds family mansion and estate, Reynolda, now open to the public, and we saw the little house, built to 3/4 scale for the Reynolds children to play in called the Playhouse or the Dollhouse, which my mother lived in for a year in the 1930s when her family got a job on the estate for some renovation. It took us a week and several visits, but we were eventually able to connect with the correct people and be allowed to go inside and see what it looks like inside.
And then there's the old family home which and graveyard (4th and 5th pictures), both of which played a huge part in my early life as we would go there every chance my father's work allowed to see the grandparents. In those post-WWII days, there were almost always another set - or two, or three - of cousins visiting.
The place is now just a shell of what it was in those days of the 50s and 60s when the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. were alive and visiting yet the memories of family are still strong.
These are only a fraction of the pictures - and the memories - I have from this trip, yet in a sense they are the most personal. They bring me back, not only to happier times, but also to my roots. Family roots.
For now, I will stop the reminiscing and continue to work on the present task: that of letting go of the bad stuff.