Scanned Image Before Photoshop
I’ve been scanning and doing a little restoration on some old photos. I’m still learning loads about what works best, but as you can see this one needs a lot more work. It was overexposed and either the inks have faded or the photo album it was in did something to it, I don’t know.
The thing is though, doing all this brings back old memories. That is me at the age of about six just after having my tonsils removed. I didn’t always look so grumpy. The reason I chose this photo is I want to tell you about that mailbox behind my right shoulder.
I remember being tall enough to open it, but not being tall enough to see inside of that box. It was a magical mailbox to me because every so often people in my family would get presents from that box.
There was a doll I wanted, a beautiful ballerina doll named Dancerella and she had a pink sparkly crown. When you stuck your hand on the crown, this doll would pirouette. I didn’t tell a soul I wanted this thing, not sure why, maybe it was because we just didn’t ask for things. But I wanted that more than I’ve ever wanted anything (material) before or since.
And I was damned sure it would come via that mailbox. So every day for months I would go to the mailbox, open it, walk over to the oak tree nearby and stand on its roots to get the height I needed to see inside. Day after day, I was disappointed. No ballerina doll.
Then my dad got into a horrible car accident. For my mom, five kids and a broken up husband were too much to care for. So my aunts who lived four hours away came in to help the situation. They were taking the oldest three of us. I was sitting on the steps between the two aunts and they were asking me which one I wanted to go live with. I was confused, but I liked the idea that they were fighting over me.
One aunt had five kids. Three of them girls, one my exact age. The other had only two. One girl, and she was younger than I. Spoiled. Somehow that aunt was the one who convinced me to go live with her. On the way there I realized my mistake. The other aunt had kids swinging around on the ceiling fans like monkeys. It was like a fun house. What was I thinking, going with the one who had two spoiled kids?
Maybe I felt that one wanted me more. Aunt Lorica treated little girls like dolls. Her kids were adopted, thus way harder to get. It was her I chose. She would comb my hair and style it different ways. She bought me pretty dresses. She would also clean my ears out every single night. That was torture because she was convinced I had a piece of paper stuck in my ear. She saw something white in there and had this ice pik looking thing she used to try and dig it out. Very painful and she never got anything.
My spoiled cousin had everything. Every doll you could imagine, even some on shelves we were not allowed to touch. Most importantly, she had that Dancerella doll.
When Christmas came around I didn’t think Santa would bring my presents there, so when asked, I would just say I didn’t want anything. Come Christmas day, however, guess what I got?
Dancerella. With a sparkly blue leotard. She was even prettier than my cousin’s. Best of all, she was mine.
About the ear situation. The white thing my aunt was seeing was an infected eardrum. It got to the point where I was going deaf and reading lips (a skill I have to this day). That’s when my aunt took me to the doctor who said my tonsils were causing all the ear problems. I got my tonsils removed and got to move back home with my Dancerella.
My spoiled cousin and I ended up becoming best of friends, like sisters, and I would spend entire summers with them as a teenager. My aunt is still alive and lives down Bayou Lafourche. They’re evacuating right now because of Hurricane Gustav and going to my mom’s house. I sure would like to see them all, but the hurricane is headed toward my mom’s as well. It just won’t be as bad there.
For those of you who know my mom is in the hospital for tests, so far they haven’t found anything and she might be going home tomorrow. She’s feeling much better and sounds good too.