Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots
This week, I challenge you to mark your phone as off limits. Instead, the next time you reach to take a photograph, pull out your trusty notebook, open your favorite note-taking tool, or fire up the WordPress app. Rather than giving into the urge to take a picture, write down your impressions of the scene. Who’s around? How does the air feel? What sounds do you hear? What emotions are you experiencing?
You’d think that putting down the camera and just being in the moment would come easily to me.
I’d think that, if I were you.
But we’d all be wrong.
In my defence, I did say that I was just as guilty as the next person of snapping away, of cutting myself off from the event or scene or people I was photographing in my effort to get that one great shot. To capture the memory forever.
But I also said I would try to rise to the challenge. I said I would try to come out from behind the camera, put it down, and join in the moment.
It’s not always that easy. Even if it’s the simplest moment or a part of the every day.
Monday night, for example, I had to forcibly restrain myself from taking a picture and posting it on Facebook.
It wasn’t anything momentous but there was a something in the air, perhaps it was the lighting or the mood, and it transformed the ordinary into something worth capturing.
I did manage to successfully fight the urge to take that picture, though, and instead I jotted down some notes which turned into this post.
So I did capture it, just not with a camera. Mission accomplished.
It was our family’s second Games Night, a new tradition we started just last week. The first week, we played Mousetrap. It was new to us and we had fun. Yesterday, however, we pulled out the tried and true Monopoly.
Monopoly was my favourite game when I was a kid – though I knew many people who not-so-affectionately referred to it as Monotony. My son, my clone in so many ways, is like I was. He loves it and he’s good at it. We’ve actually only played it together once or twice but he was hooked from the beginning and has, I understand, played it numerous other times at school and at his after school program.
Why does he love it so much? Probably because he wins. He definitely beats me every time, and not because I let him.
But it’s the set itself I wanted to talk about here, how it looked in the warmth of our softly lit home, how it feels to play it after all these years.
We inherited our set from my grandmother and her sister. It’s old, possibly from the 30’s – it says on the yellowed instruction sheet that the Canada patent was registered in 1936.
I remember playing it with them, as a child, sitting around their dining room table.
The box is a simple white and red one with black lettering and pen and ink drawings. One caricatured man chases another past a row of houses. It smells of crumbling, aged, well-loved books. Bits of it are peeling off around the edges.
Inside, the paper money is faded and curled. The Chance and Community Chest cards are soft and worn, as are the properties. The colours of the properties themselves are darker than they are in more modern versions.
There is only one die left, and it is yellowed. We roll twice to simulate having two dice.
The white-backed board is in remarkably good condition. The golden Deluxe Edition lettering on the back is still perfect and clear, and the face is unworn.
It seems that the players’ pieces were all lost and have been replaced, though I don’t know when or by whom. I seem to remember playing with my grandparents and using the traditional little metal racing car, shoe, top hat and whatever the other pieces were. And these are in the black and white picture printed at the top of the instructions. But they are no longer part of this set.
Now, the pieces in the set are made of wood and stained or painted different colours. There is a white milk bottle, a burgundy and an orange wine goblet, a black shape and a purple one that resemble chess pieces, an orange egg cup with an egg in it and something undefinable, which is stained green.
Perhaps they were borrowed from another game. Or maybe my grandfather made them. I wish I knew.
The houses and hotels remain pristine, a testament to the strength and durability of plastic.
So why did I feel so compelled to take a picture of this set in play?
There was something about the glee on my son’s face – he was, of course, winning – but also the joy of playing with a battle-worn set. Family history, spread as it was across our modern table. The juxtaposition of the clean, white lines that is our house with the old, faded and peeling set. And at the same time, the feeling that the set somehow belongs in this old brick house now.
My husband joined us after a while, and helped me referee our son and his slightly suspicious game strategy. Our son, meanwhile, was beside himself with excitement. He squealed, he leapt, he danced and sang. He stopped the game a few times to count his money.
I couldn’t help but smile at the old memories that came flooding back, and at the new ones we were making.
We only played for an hour or so but it was a wonderful moment in time, without cameras, without phones or video games or TV.
Just a family sitting around the table on a winter evening, playing a board game that has, so far, entertained four generations.
Other photo-less snapshots:
- It’s The End of the World as We Know It | JGTravels
- A Peaceful Sleep | A mom’s blog
- My Mac Boy is taking a power nap! | It’s Me! ksawme!
- A DPChallenge Accepted ~ I Blog For Recovery! | *Recovery Ramblins Blog Of ~ Author Catherine Lyon*
- A DP Challenge Accepted ~ I Blog For Recovery! | *Recovery Ramblins Blog Of ~ Author Catherine Lyon*
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots | newstasis
- Eggs and Stars! | Blue Loft
- Weekly writing challenge: Snapshots | MARGARET ROSE STRINGER
- Picture Perfect, Captured in Words | nessasaryboldness
- I Saw Her Face – Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots | Reinvention of Mama
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshot | Lucid Gypsy
- separating an | y
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots | SIM | ANTICS
- Family Fire | Words on Life
- Ignore the Notifications – Go Immerse Yourself In a Book | Mod with Love
- Leaves of Joy | DIY Backyard Farm
- Snapshots from a Gym | Mary J Melange
- A Perfect Stranger | Drops of Magic
- A Moment Caught in Words | tuckedintoacorner
- EDDD 2; An Ominous Beginning, An Amazing End | THE WRITE PLACE…
- intimate portrait | coffeeandpassport
- No snapshots, no probs — Weekly Writing Challenge | Scribblings from the Bluegrass
- I Don’t Know What To Make Of This | Happy Pulse
- Snail Trails | Gnome Lover
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots, Or: Buddhism On Market Street | polymathically
- WEEKLY WRITING CHALLENGE: SNAPSHOT OF LIVING POOR | SERENDIPITY
- DP Challenge Snapshots #1 | Paint the world with words
- Mental Clutter Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
- Stealing Life | Sarah Vee
- Snapshot one | Insanitree
- of how things look | Anawnimiss
- DP Challenge – Snapshots #2 | Paint the world with words
- Solitude within Multitude | lincathleon
- Weekly writing Competition: Snapshots (sans photo) | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
- shotshot | Stephen Chapman
- The beauty of a sunrise | douginmalta
- Snapshot: Wahine Wednesday 37 | Wahine Wednesdays
- The Right Lighting | Charron’s Chatter
- Snapshots: Recognition | Sarah Runs a Lot
- Urban pokelogan* | wuthering bites
- A King and His Kingdom | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Oh Snap! | Girl On Green : Greener On The Other Side
- Caressed By A Cloud (Weekly Writing Challenge – Snapshots) | Simply Silent
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots | Indira’s Blog
- The Little Kings: Daily Post Challenge | The Two Thousands
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshot | 2far2shout
- Snapshot Poem # 5 | emilykarn
- A snapshot with words: chimney covered in red | Laura’s Little Things
- Procrastinated Views | Becoming Wildfire
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots of Gold and Silver | Musings
- Sans Photos – Evelyne Holingue
- Painting a picture with words | Nothin’ But Views
- Anticipation | Perceptive Pot Clueless Kettle
- Snapshot: Words rather than a Picture (WP Challenge) | Light & Shadow
- Weekly writing challenge: “snapshots” | Azgsgirl’s Blog
- DP Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots (Haibun) | Bastet and Sekhmet’s Library
- DP Challenge – Snapshots #3 | Paint the world with words
- A Visit | The Adventures of Cat Madigan
- Snapshot of Mortality | Insanitree
- Commute communion | The Type Cast
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshot 2 | 2far2shout
- Snapshots from the writing desk | Butterfly Mind
- Snapshots of Paris
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots | Under the Monkey Tree
- Weekly Writing Challenge: A Mental Snapshot of Confetti | I am Woman
- A Thousand Years | Ashes of Roses
- Stop taking pictures, seriously | Never Stationary
- iMAGE | Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner
- Dias Dos Literary Snapshots of Ajijic | Snowbird Soliloquy
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots | The Fountain
- The sound of 300 heartbeats | Mirrorgirl
- A Snapshot. Without A Camera. | Cupcakes & Courtrooms
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Snapshots (II) | SIM | ANTICS
- Snapshot of a lake in morning | Things I See and Know
- A Journey in Pictures and Song (or, Weekly Writing Challenge: SNAPSHOTS) | MAGGIE’S BLOG
- And if they don’t dance | The Type Cast
- DP Challenge, Snapshots: Spears for Eyes |
- Snapshot: Winter is Warmth. | Write Through Life
- Weekly writing challenge: snapshots | Azgsgirl’s Blog
- The sound of 300 heartbeats | Mirrorgirl
- Maybe You Didn’t Know This, But… | I’m Supposed to be Doing Something Else Right Now
- Evening with Coffee… (Snapshot!) | A Crazy Chef
- Snapshots | Fonts and Frosting