Monday, February 21, 2011

Of Profile Photos and Such

I've not given much thought to profile pictures since I began blogging. I do remember using my own picture in the early days. I was so much younger then! And thinner! Then one day I began looking at my eyebrows and I took that photo off faster than one can strip off her turtleneck in a hot flash. I even posted about it way back *here.* There are some of you who'll remember...
The other day, I was looking at my Followers List and I was particularly drawn to the faces. I really enjoyed seeing each face. Now I look at my happy little list of Followers and think of it as a bouquet. I went so far as to think that God must love our faces, too, since He created so many unique ones. After all, even twins have enough differences between them to tell one from the other.
And that is how I came to put my own face back in the profile picture. Just one little problem. I can hardly stand to look at it so you may see it change over the next few days until I land on one that I can tolerate. I'm thinking of a butterfly or a pine cone or something like that. :D
Now it so happens that I do have a lovely face to share with you and it's in keeping with the theme of my sister's and my looking through old family photos. We've been able to go back through seven generations of women on my mother's side...her mother, her grandmother, her great-grandmother, and her great-great grandmother. That's five including Mother and with my generation and my daughter's generation that makes seven.

So, putting this in context now, this is my Nan's grandmother, her mother's mother. Her name is Alice. What can one tell from looking at such a sweet face? Probably not a whole lot. If I didn't know the back story, I'd think something entirely different. Sadly, I do know the story. Would you be interested to know, too?
~*~*~*~
3/07/11

It may be because I'm deep into Lark Rise to Candleford and all of the story lines there and the delicious little wisdoms shared. (I just watched this episode, which explains all I'll say about that.) Whatever the reason, I've had a change of heart about Alice. It may also be that I read Cait O'Connor's poem titled Genealogy Days, which changes my perspective.

This I will say, we can never know an ancestor more than the stories that remain. A photo can not tell the story. My maternal grandmother described her maternal grandmother in such unflattering ways that I have always thought of Alice as The Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella. Now I know that she had many more layers than my own grandmother could have been aware or wished to be aware having her own sense of things. I know that Alice's husband James adored her and that he sank down to his own end pining for her. I also know that she had a voice like a lark and the neighbors loved to sit on their porches to hear Alice sing from her own. That strikes me as the better way to leave her. When I had nothing but disturbing passed-on memories, I now may replace them with
better ones. Yes, I'm going to give Alice some grace all these years later and let those nasty stories rest.
Thank you for understanding...

Edited to Add Again: I'm getting famous for these. Aunt Amelia asked me how I knew all these things and here is my answer in case anyone else was wondering.

Aunt Amelia, thank you for the question... I know so much more now because of letters. Lots and lots of letters. No, she didn't run off. Died at home in 1924 after a lovely day spent with a friend...actually collapsed at the door while saying goodbye.Yes, I have that letter from her friend to my great-grandmother describing that day. I know that James pined for her because of letters written by his sons to their sister (my great-grandmother). It's been an interesting journey through the years now let me tell you.

46 comments:

  1. It seems I jogged both you and me, to post about... Seeing pics of those bloggers, we love to read! :-)

    Hooray!

    'Mrs. Bradley' ,-)

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  2. Please, no butterflys or pine cones, for your Icon, Hon.

    Please give your Dear Readers a chance to seeeeeeeeee your present self-Icon. Don't bounce it, before we have a chance. :-)

    Please...

    'Mrs. Bradley' ,-)

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  3. Gracious! Way back in '08, I was "raggin'" on you! ,-)

    And I remember that I kept that Icon, for-like-ever! Was really into continuity, back then. Good thing I changed! Who wants to be "encased in amber", like a bug, for Pete's sakes? ,-)

    'Mrs. Bradley' ,-)

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  4. She is such a beautiful lady, and there is so much history in this photo!

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  5. I absolutely loathe having my photo taken, and certainly posting it publicly...but after years of blogging and not posting any pics of me, (and years of very very few me in the family album) I've decided to get over it...and I'm slowly becoming desensitized, I don't seem to mind it so much anymore...

    and yes, of course, I'd love the hear the story associated with the photo....

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  6. Glad to see you Miz Vee! I am not happy with my chubby jowls, so everyone gets to see a picture of me when I was six years old. I had an old soul then and now I am regressing back. So that's my story and I'm sticking to it...

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  7. You already know I was tickled to see "you". I do hope you feel comfortable enough to use it or something like it for a bit....just my two cents.

    As to the story behind the photo?
    Of course I would love to hear it.
    Sounds like a very interesting tale.

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  8. well, i think your eyebrows are beautiful!
    when my husband and his four brothers
    were young, their father would make them
    make spontaneous speeches. one day, he
    said, "jono, tell me about elephants."

    jono, who was four, paused and said,
    elephants have . . . big eyebrows."

    back to profile pics, i love them, too, but
    do not have the courage.

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  9. Vee, I love your profile photo! I am anxious to hear the story behind that "sweet face". Please, tell us...

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  10. What a beautiful photo to have! Old photos hold so many stories. It would be wonderful to know all of them.

    Your profile picture is lovely. It's nice to see you with your words.

    Jen

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  11. What a lovely way of looking at our profile pictures, Vee, we are uniquely made. I love to see old family photos and hear the history behind them, when I don't have all the facts I go back to what I do know and then imagine what it must have happened.

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  12. I think your photo is a good one. As for putting my photo online, I have to respect my families anonymity wishes. I do occasionally sneak in an old photo of 30 years ago, since we in no way look like that now. BTW, if anyone looks the same now as they did 30 years ago, I don't want to hear about it!

    Yes, we'd love to hear the story behind the photo. Do tell us!

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  13. i for one would love to hear alice's story...

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  14. I would love to hear the story behind the pic of Nan's grandmother. Please share.

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  15. I love old photographs and cherish the ones I have from my family and my husband's. I would love to know the story of your Nan's grandmother, not least because my dear grandmother was an Alice and so is my oldest daughter. I hope your Alice's story is not too sad.

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  16. I think she is lovely..but I see a sadness in her eyes..maybe it's just a "far-away" look..Or....maybe she's just plain tired as they would be back then!

    I happen to really like your profile pic..you are already someone I like and "think" I know (a little) and now seeing you, I think "I knew she'd be pretty!!"

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  17. Hi Vee!

    I think you are beautiful! I love that you said that God must love our faces, that's why he made each one of us so unique! I love being able to see the face of the person I am blogging with - it gives me strength in a strange sort of way... :0)

    I love genealogy, and I especially love to see what my ancestors looked like. I think we all like to look at a great-great-grandmother, and see our own face peeking through . . . just a bit. I think I would love to know the rest of the story about the beautiful lady in the picture. By the way, you have her sweet smile!

    Thank you for sharing your picture!

    Hugs,
    Barb

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  18. I love my blog photo as it is so blurry I look younger in it..lol My husband took it of me my last birthday and I cropped it. In real life I look my age :)

    Having all these vinatge photos of your family is such a treasure, Vee. I have very few of grandparents and none of all of any that came before. I would love to hear your Nan's grandmother.

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  19. That's a fabulous profile picture! I feel the same way about my profile picture though. I've always hated having my picture taken.
    I really would enjoy hearing about your Nan's grandmother too!
    Hugs,
    Cathie

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  20. I would love to hear the story.....please link up on thursday for Family, Friends and Faces and share!


    Your profile picture is great and I love the glasses and can totally relate to that :)

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  21. I love old photos and I love the stories behind them!! Please share. :)

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  22. I'm so glad I can see Vee. I like to have a face to connect with.
    Please don't change to a flower or pine cone.... You're too pretty for that.

    Looking forward to hearing Alice's story....

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  23. OH Vee . .I wish you could see the beauty in your own face. I do.
    Also .. thank you for sharing Alice's photo..and indeed I would like to know the rest of the story.

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  24. You've piqued everyone's interest now - I hope you'll share the story.
    Off to check the name of my 'sister's' lake!

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  25. Great photo, Vee! I enjoy seeing everyone's close-up profile pic's...but like my own to be very distant.

    We were looking through old family albums this morning...and wondering about the stories behind the faces. I'm looking forward to hearing Alice's story!

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  26. I truly like your new profile photo, Vee! I have waffled back and forth with mine for a while, even put up Olivia Walton.LOL I like what you said about the photos of fellow bloggers being a bouquet.
    I would love to read about your Nan's grandmother, and look forward to you sharing.
    enjoy your evening.
    Hugs,
    Sue

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  27. I just close my eyes when my profile pic pops up.

    I would love to hear more about Alice. I love history!

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  28. Oh yes, I'd love to hear more about Alice.
    I like your photo and think you should keep using it. :-)

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  29. Vee, I love your profile photo.

    This photo of Nan's grandmother..what is it that I see a little sadness in her sweet face? It's the eyes...oh, yes, I want to hear the story, please.

    xoxo bj

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  30. I did notice that you had added a profile picture and instantly loved it. I hope you will keep it.
    I resisted putting one on my blog for a long time, but found I really enjoyed seeing the face behind the blogs so I reluctantly added it.
    How lucky to have a photo of your Nan's grandmother. I would be interested in knowing the story that goes along with it.

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  31. Ahhh, so good to see your lovely face again, Vee! I think we all love to know who we're talking to - better connections are made. Perhaps that's why I've made such a sweet connection to you - because I was there when you had your pic up! And a lovely pic it IS!

    As is your grandmother's grandmother. But I want to hear the rest of the story about her. She's not smiling, and I know they didn't much smile for photos back then, but there's a story behind those eyes, so...

    We're waiting...

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  32. I love your personal icon picture. How could you not be pleased with it?

    Yes, I would love to know the story about Nan's grandmother.

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  33. That is a lovely old picture but there seems to be a certain sadness in her eyes.Perhaps she was leaving the old country for America and this was to be a memory for the family she left behind. Your new photo tells me you are thoughtful wise and kind.

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  34. Family back stories rarely have sepia golden tones. The sad, shocking, and harsh details of life etched their lives in ways that can still make us wince two centuries later. Each ancestor was a real person, and as noted in scripture, there is nothing new under the sun.
    One of these days I have got to do a post on how to get a self portrait taken that one can love. Being mindful of a few details makes all the differences, really. I hated all my pictures until I figured those details out.

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  35. The picture is beautiful, and yes I so want to here her story. It doesn't bother me to put a picture of me up. I just switch it around. Now I have one up that represents how I feel. Dancing in the moonlight, that's me.
    QMM

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  36. I know what you mean about profile pics - I am my own worst critic/my pics never look like the image in my mirror. But I LOVE your pic! And, yes please, I would like to hear Alice's story....

    Be blessed!

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  37. I must be doing something wrong, Vee. I'm having trouble getting my comment to show up.
    I was just checking in to see how you were - I've been trying to email you, but the address must be old. My address is still the same, so if you get a chance, send it to me and we can get caught up.
    I'm so sorry to read hear about your mom and grandmother.
    Hugs,
    Christin (Scout)

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  38. Oh yes, please do tell the story behind the picture. She's a beautiful woman, like her great, great, great granddaughter (?) YOU!

    I'm home again and enjoying catching up with everything including blogland!

    Thank you for posting your picture in your profile! We noted today that you've come from a long line of lovely women!

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  39. Vee,
    I agree. I like seeing your picture. And I always like seeing others' pictures.
    But my picture??? Are you kidding?
    Don't like seeing it either, but I found one I could stand. Just learned not to look at it.

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  40. I've been gone from blogdom for awhile...just catching up a bit over here. Love your new look btw. I really like your profile photo Vee, so good to see your pretty face. :)

    Thanks for your visit...blessings!

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  41. She does have a sweet face but her eyes seem sad- or is she bored with sitting for the photographer?
    I've never posted a profile photo either but I think it's time I overcame my shyness, too :)

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  42. Okay Vee, I've fixed the old roses sentence! Thanks for pointing it out.

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  43. I love seeing your picture, Vee. I've struggled with the same. I keep hoping a photo will be taken I can feel good about sharing. I remember seeing pictures of you "way back when". I've been following you even before there were followers!

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  44. Please, please leave your face there. I so much prefer seeing the person I am communicating with.

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  45. That is wisdom. Choosing to dwell on what you know to be good.

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