April 30, 2013

uncovered treasure....

In the mid-seventies and most of the eighties my mom and her sister (her only sibling) lived in two different countries...my mom in Switzerland and her sister in Canada. They grew up in Austria together and both later married and moved away. My mom did live in Canada for a few years in the late sixties early seventies (before moving permanently back here with us in the late eighties). Back then, as you can imagine, there were no phone plans...long distance saving packages etc... snail mail was at the time cheap(er) and fast(ish). My mom and aunt sent cassette tapes to each other (also letters, but to my glee, lots of cassette tapes too) to keep up with each others lives. My aunt recently came upon her little treasure of old cassette tapes from my mom (she kept them all!!! She is that kind of person...my mom has no idea what she did with hers (she is that kind of person ;) ). These last few months I have had the pleasure of listening to them. It is a surreal experience to hear your own mom talking.... when she is 29 years old! (I am about to turn 33 tomorrow) It is almost like listening to a diary if that makes sense? She talks about day to day stuff....things that were going on with the kids, family, friends, recipes, grocery trips (the prices!) shopping trips, vacations etc...my oma is on a lot of the tapes too!!! Which is amazing! I love hearing her voice again (she passed away three years ago this November at age 92). My mom and oma bicker back and forth and laugh...it is truly amazing (I know I am over using that word today, but it applies so much!). There is one tape where she is complaining about my kicking her so hard (a month before I was born)...she is trying to pick names for me on another tape. There are also lots of tapes where we as kids are on them...singing songs, telling stories about our day, thanking my aunt for sending us cool things from Canada that we would never get in Switzerland. 
It is also at times heartbreaking....hearing the tapes from the beginning of my mom's relationship with my dad (head over heels in love 1975) to during/after the divorce right before we moved to Canada (1989 the last tape) where the sadness and defeat just seeps through the speakers. I am trying to just concentrate on the good though. I feel privileged to have such access to our past. It has been an amazing (I swear that is the last time I will use that word!) discovery to say the least!

My friend's husband has been kind enough to transfer the first box that was found to cds (he cleaned up the sound and everything!). I just bought this cool gadget to (hopefully!) convert the rest of the tapes (and a few old fairy tale cassettes I saved for Felix from my childhood) to the computer and into cds as well. I basically want to make sure we all have lots of different copies of these tapes to hold on to for a long time :)
Have you made any great discoveries lately?

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