Joy-Full: The Anderson Family


Everyone needs a family like this in their lives. Early on, Cindy and I discovered that we shared a love of books particularly children’s literature, and I have never met someone so generous with their own library. We were barely acquaintances when after church one day, she let me borrow several, INCREDIBLE American History books. They were all special, aged, and rare which is just how I would describe our friendship.

Cindy is also my “camp friend.” Every summer, we pack up and become part of the kitchen crew for a week at Camp Lurecrest. It is sincerely one of our most favorite weeks out of the year. I think that some friendships could barely survive the tension and rigor that comes from preparing meals for over 200+ children and adults. The irony is that this was the exact place and circumstance that our friendship took root as we laughed our way through 6:00am roll calls, lots of pork preparation, and sleeping as bunk mates. As in…bunk beds.

But my favorite place to spend time together is in her kitchen. Usually, I plop down at her counter while she is preparing some kind of yummy meal. She and her husband both are very generous and hospitable as they share their lives with others. So, whether it is filling up on laughter, conversation or a simmering pot of soup, I rarely leave without feeling warm, comforted, and loved.

Since, Cindy and I both home school, our children take a writing class together. Last month while she was attending bible study,  I was rummaging through her tea cabinet when her youngest son came down the stairs and stood quietly in my periphery. I shut the door and turned to find him dressed in an army jacket and holding a first aid kit. When I pursued him, he told me that it belonged to his great-grandfather who fought in the Philippians during World War II.

We walked over to the kitchen table where he proceeded to proudly empty out the contents of the kit and show me each piece one by one. As a mother of girls, who secretly thought she would have all boys, I was in heaven.

It occurred to me half way though his presentation that he is a namesake. “Spencer” I said, “is this the grandfather whom….?” He did not look up but answered my question with all seriousness saying, “You mean the grandfather that was named after me? Yes, this was his medical kit.”

I smiled internally and knew then and there that I wanted to photograph him dressed in his inheritance. Be sure and look closely at the date written on the package of gauze bandages. (3/4/42) The last picture kind of shocks me still, because I can almost picture him 10 or 15 years from now. Who knows, maybe there is an old weathered photograph somewhere of his great grandfather that resembles this one. That to me is the beauty of taking pictures and capturing an image.

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