Sunday, December 18, 2016

An Innocent Choice

On Facebook here locally there are several sites to sell merchandise that one no longer needs.  Several times there have been things that would be helpful or that I just wanted for my house or for me. Each purchase, at a modest price has been a really "good thing" as Martha Stewart used to say.

Recently it had occurred to me that I had several VHS tapes that I had no idea what they included.  I wanted to have them converted to CDs but first wanted to know what was on them.  Just curiosity.  I no longer had a VHS tape player.  Voila, a friend, Todd, posted one for sale on San Miguel Buy Sell Trade.  Not only was it a VHS player but it is a TV with a VHS player as one unit.  I immediately contacted him and on Friday evening he brought it by the house.I bought it for the BIG price of 500 pesos - $25USD!  In our discussion he mentioned that sometimes when tapes are very old it could be difficult to get them to work.  In my case one tape is a VHS that had been transferred from a video camera in 1961~ another from the early 90s at Christmas with the third being my 50th Birthday Celebration which was "mumble something" years ago.
I was concerned that I might never be able to see these tapes, after his comments.

Yesterday, I pulled a chair up, sat down, turned on the TV and inserted the first tape with my fingers crossed.
I truly had no expectations and since I had not seen this tape in possibly thirty years or so, had no idea what
to expect.

Oh my!  It was my wedding from 1961.  But, more then that there was on this video my parents, my older brother and of course my new husband, among others.  All of the aforementioned are deceased.  What a treasure to see everyone again.  The tape rolled to the end with my husband and I driving off on our honeymoon.  In that video are friends of mine who I have stayed in touch with all these years. Sitting there with tears streaming down my face with joy, it was a wonderful and unexpected gift. 

The tape continued with a segment of a time in Mississippi at my in-laws.  The scene was my oldest daughter Jennifer, who was about four at the time,  playing in their front yard with her uncle.  Scampering around and playing with a scene of my dear mother-in-law included.  A treasure indeed along with footage of my husband, Ted playing football with is little brother.  I can't wait for my son John and daughter Julie to see this tape!  Their Dad was 20 years old  on this tape. 

After it was over, the next tape was inserted, it was my 50th Reggae Birthday party out by the pool at my house with about fifty dear friends.  My son had recorded this lo those many years ago.  Again, in this video are dear friends who have passed.  But the fun of seeing them was to see everyone acting silly and having fun trying to do the limbo among other things. Dancing to the reggae band that was playing live was another thing to make me giggle.  What great friends I have always been blessed to have in my life.

The third tape was not marked so it was with great surprise that I found out it was our 1990 Christmas gift exchange that went on for about an hour.  My boyfriend, at the time along with his son Barry along with John, Jennifer and Julie with her husband were all there as well.  The banter and humor were fun to see.
The reason for the video camera was that the kids were giving me a portrait of the three of them and they knew in advance that their dear old Mom would cry.........I did not disappoint.......they know me well.
This is the only portrait of my three grown children that I have.  This was taken in 1990.  Of course I treasure it and it sits where I can see it daily. Opening this gift was one of the highlights of this video.
However, the highlight also was watching my kids interact with each other that Christmas.  Later I realized this was the last Christmas before grandchildren as well!  Jessica was conceived the following year and was around for Christmas in 1992.

Whew, watching those three tapes was joyful along with being very emotional.  It is interesting how an innocent choice to buy a TV/VHS player could bring back so much joy.

Today I hope to watch a few more videos, but I need to get some things accomplished before I take the time to sit and reminisce. 

An innocent choice certainly led to a few hours of great memories.  I've received a Christmas gift that money can not buy.



Unknown said...

I am so happy for you Barbara! What a gift from fate.

Retired Teacher said...

What a wonderful Christmas gift for yourself... one that far exceeded your expectations!

Barbara Lane said...

What a heartwarming Christmas story! A heartwarming story any time of the year. Thank you for sharing it - it made my day!

Wishing you and yours a lovely Christmas. It sounds as if it's already begun....

Todd said...

Very cool!

sylvia said...

This brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful gift indeed! I have some of those tapes so now I will try and. Find a way to see them! Thank you! Merry Christmas!

Babs said...

Hi DiAnne - It definitely was a gift of fate. So unexpected.

Bill, it was such a priceless gift........I watched more videos
yesterday and saw the video of the twins as babies taking their
first steps along with more joyful moments. The twins are now 19!

Barbara - I'm glad the post made your day. I saw your new home last
weekend. What a joyful time you will have living there! I wish you
a lovely Chritmas as well.

Todd - YOU made all this possible. Who would have imagined when I
contacted you that the most wonderful experience I've had in a long
time would come from that little machine!

Sylvia - Find those tapes and take time to enjoy. I'm so grateful I
did. Still have a few more to watch. I needed to be baking and wrapping
presents yesterday, but, I was selfish and spent the afternoon watching
videos of family and friends. Oh my, it was a delight.

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Probably the best 500 pesos ever spent! What a great story. Merry Christmas.

S.E.Saunders said...

Brought tears to my eyes as well. Thank you for taking us with you on memory lane.

Babs said...

Thanks SE, it was quite a trip and a great gift.