This past summer I was fortunate enough to spend a couple weeks in my old stomping grounds. I went up there to do some reconnaissance for the wedding and to try and get some things sorted out. It’s difficult planning a wedding from across the country, but it’s going to be so worth it. The closer it gets to being here the more excited I am for it. I know I’ve said it before, but I honestly get teary eyed when I think of all the people that are coming together for this day. I am so happy we are making it a week long affair, as even that doesn’t seem like enough time.

One thing I was reminded of when I was at home is why I love making pictures. I was visiting with my grandparents at their house on Lake Sammamish, a visit that doesn’t happen often enough. Growing up, this was the place to be in the summertime. My grandpa would take us out on the boat, and we’d spend the days jumping off the dock and avoiding getting pulled down by the “seaweed” below. My grandfather is now 93, which reminds me that these visits should happen more. While I was there my grandma gave me a gift. Her father (my great grandfather), when he was younger, worked in the Aleutian Islands. There, he carved beads out of fossilized ivory. My grandma had a string of these beautiful, pearl like beads and gifted them to me. I was taken back by this generous gift and what it meant to me. She had seen my gown and knew they would go perfectly with it and I agreed fully. Given all the money in the world, I could not have found any jewelry that I would rather wear on my wedding day. She also gave me something equally as priceless: A Photograph. My great grandpa John in his workshop making these beads. It is such an awesome image with so much character to it. The big pipe hanging out of his mouth, the string of beads over his head, and the drink just to the right of where he’s sitting that I muse is a tasty warm liquor for the long cold winter up in Alaska. A small window into the character of a man I’ve never met and history of my family (our family, as Eliot is now part of it too). It leaves so many questions. I wonder if my great grandfather ever thought, even for a moment, that maybe his great grand daughter, named after his own daughter Mae, would wear these on her wedding day?

I hope in 100 years there’s an image that I’ve taken that gives someone a glimpse into a life that happened long before theirs. A little window that shows a sliver of how their family was formed.

Grandma Mae 23:05 December 5, 2011 Reply
Ashley, this is beautiful and it really made me cry. Thank you, I love you.
Sharon 23:41 December 5, 2011 Reply
Wow!! This is soooo cool. Thanks for sharing such a special story!
Alexis 04:17 December 7, 2011 Reply
This is beautiful. I've never seen this picture or necklace before. So nice to see a glimpse into the family history and that its being passed down further into our family =)

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