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Memories of Days Gone by

A younger Joe Novak and his wife, Nettie. (MP Photo/Joe Novak)

By Joe Novak

I have several thousand pictures stored in my computer that pop up as the screen saver rotates them; a compilation of my life. My new monitor doesn’t need this since it will not burn an image as the old tube type monitors did but I love to see these photos. Some of these bring a tear, most a smile, a reminder of days gone by. 

Then there are the two dozen photo albums of stills taken while on vacation or some event in my life, pre-digital. The ones I cherish most are my wife and I, and my kids; they take me back in time when I had hair, my beard was black, my back was strong and the passion for adventure unending. 

I recently started searching through photos to make a Christmas gift for my son’s fiancé. I wanted her to have a glimpse back in time of the man she will someday marry; no official date set. I am also making an album for each son so that when I am gone these photos are not lost to a dumpster. Sorting photos and discarding the grainy, blurry and who is this, photos is a daunting task and I have pitched hundreds. 

I am searching for inspiration to write about some of the memories these photos generate, though the ones that invoke the greatest emotions can’t be written about in the MP.  I recently told my wife that I would give up two years at the end of my life for just three months of the love and passion we had when first married; she agreed! Our love for each other has grown over time; I love her more today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow! The sad part is that one of us will depart this world before the other; unless God has other plans. She is six years younger so I will most likely win this event.

My sister’s picture pops up regularly and I can’t believe she is gone. Three months after her cancer diagnosis, she was gone, and there is a huge void in my life. I still miss my cat and I will replace him in September, 2019 when my wife’s three-year moratorium on cats will expire. I hope I get another cuddle baby; there is something very therapeutic about a cat lying next to you purring away with content.  

Photos of my sons are a flashback to the time and place where they were taken. I do not regret all the time I spent with them and places I took them, from the building implosion in Cleveland to the train ride in Durango Colorado. 

My wife and I are looking forward to our next adventure later this winter: a 17-day cruise to the Caribbean where it will be warm and the food will be delicious! She once commented how lucky she was to have married someone who has taken her around the world, making memories we both fondly look back on. She warned me that someday we will be too old to travel and I said never; let them bury me at sea.

Joe’s words of wisdom: You don’t need a parachute to skydive; you only need one to skydive twice.

To find out what Joe would do, e-mail questions to editorial@middlefieldpost.com. Joe has 20-some years experience in manufacturing and says that as a small business owner, he found that you either learn how to solve a problem yourself or pay to have it done. Joe’s articles are his opinion and are only intended as a guide. Please consult an expert when in doubt.


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