the powerful emotion of home movies

i am not very good at pulling out the movie camera.  its the last thing i think of grabbing when i go to an event.  i have taken some movies over the years - but they sit in a box b/c i don't know what to do with them.  the movies were recorded on those outdated tiny vhs tapes that need to placed into a regular sized vhs tape contraption thingy in order to watch.  i'm not techy by any means so i have no idea how to convert them to anything else.  my current camera takes short video too but i tend to delete them b/c i can figure out what to do with them or even to upload them correctly.  it didn't really bother me b/c home movies aren't really a big deal to me.  its photographs that i gravitate towards - thinking they are the perfect way to capture the past........

that is - until this morning

my mother showed us a home movie from 1976.  she had just gotten it transferred to dvd.  my grandmother had come to visit from italy.  all of my aunts, uncles and cousins were over for a celebration at my childhood home. 

i was eager to watch it - wanting to see how i was at 8 years old and how everyone looked 34 years ago.  however, i truly wasn't prepared for the powerful emotion i felt as i watched it.  there i was - an 8 year old girl - laughing and being silly with my brother.  my parents were so young and fashionable!  even hip!  my father was very handsome and charismatic.  so young and charming.  my mother was a young mom in her 30s..thin, hard-working, put together.....  my now deceased uncles - alive! laughing! their names still come up quite often - in stories and other memories about them.  we see them in pictures and remember how they were......

but the movies - seeing them talking and moving and breathing...........living! 

when i think about my childhood i don't seem to remember the happy times.  once in awhile a memory will surface that makes me smile....but generally my feelings about my childhood are..well...neutral.  but seeing these movies - seeing my childhood self happy and playing......seeing my cousins hamming it up for the camera.......seeing the women working together - cooking, serving, tending to needs, zombies......and seeing the men - the kings! being waited on hand and foot - arms around each other - smoking - proud to be men and rulers of the roost......seeing all this was extremely powerful. 

what a gift - the gift of home movies.  i need to remember this and pull out my movie camera more often.  for my children and my children's children.  yes a picture can capture a moment - but a movie, a movie captures a life

(there is still time to join the Easter/spring swap!!)


  1. Awww, I just felt like I watched your home movies too! Great descriptions, great thoughts and a great reminder! Thanks!

  2. I don't think my parents have movies of me. But, I don't have those happy memories either. Parents divorced, etc..I need to make more movies of my kids. My camera actually has a video feature that we've been using. I feel the same way about my video camera. I guess I could go somewhere were they could convert them to DVD..