Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hallmark Family

There is a Hallmark Family living in my dad's computer. None of us know for sure how just they got there. Like ghosts that invade your living space, one day this family just appeared on his screen saver. Yes, the photos that my step-mom put on the screen saver are there - colorful flowers, saintly pictures, my step-mother's beloved dog, and photos taken at family gatherings. OUR family gatherings, taken at my parent's house in Connecticut or my sister's house in New York.

And now? Interspersed between the familiar photos are other photos - of places none of us have ever been (a moose in Alaska, a rock in the desert, steep walled canyons of Arizona, a country farmhouse in Europe) and people we have never seen (a young girl with a soccer ball, children we don't know scrambling over bright orange pumpkins or dressed in Easter finery). Who are these people and how did they sneak into my dad's computer?

We have a theory, although my sister pleads ignorance, and in fact blames her teenage daughter, who is currently at camp and not able to defend herself. My sister, some months ago at my request, uploaded some photos from my son's high school years -- photos of his high school, his drama teacher, backstage photos, the old auditorium. And oddly enough, around the same time that the Hallmark Family made its appearance on my dad's screen saver, so did my son's high school photos and the photos of places we had never been. Coindidence? I think not, although my sister claims she did nothing but scan in the high school photos and email them to me.

Methinks it was the bored teenager in the bedrooom with the screen saver software that is the cause of the haunting by the Hallmark Family. But sometimes I like to believe that they just appeared by themselves, the software ghosts of a picture perfect family, come to give us pause for thought about the mysteries of life.

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