Over the past few weeks I have been digitizing old home movies that are on VHS tapes. We haven’t owned a VCR for several years. Every now and then I’ve come across these VHS tapes and I’ve wanted to preserve them and show them to our kids, some of whom are now adults.
The process is long. You have to basically watch the video in real time as you capture the video onto a computer with software and a special video capture cable which converts the composite signal to a USB connection. So every night as of late, after we get the kids to bed, I go into the basement, and hook up the VCR which we borrowed from my in-laws, and digitize a part of the tape. It is not a quick process.
I’ve been taken back to before my mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, when I rented a camcorder to do a Ferris Bueller’s day off of sorts and video tape my friends, family and girlfriend before leaving for my 2 year mission in France. I have video from my mission, when an investigator let us borrow a camcorder for our P-day. (Jour de préparation) I have a tape from our wedding day. Then I have one from our first Christmas after we were married. I remember going into debt at RC Willey for the camcorder. We needed to establish credit so that we could qualify to buy a home, so it sounded like a good idea. I have video tapes from our move from the United States to Holland, where our first child was born. Then later video tapes from when we moved to England. Then there are video tapes from moving back from England to the USA. There are video tapes from our first home in Springville, Utah. Then recording from Highland, Utah where we lived for 12 years. It tapered off as it became easier to record things with your smart phone. I need to gather all of these random phone videos together and put them into digital folders and organize them next.
All of this has had me reminiscing of the past. There are regrets. I see video of my Grandmother, Maggie Alldredge. I miss her so much. She was such a big influence in my life. I wish that I would have spent more time with her. I can’t imagine how much she would love my children and what a kick she would get out of how funny they can be. I regret not being a better husband and father at times. I regret not buying Apple and Microsoft stock in the 80s… OK, that was never even on my mind, so it’s really not a regret. I regret all the cool cars that I’ve sold. I’ve owned a lot of cars, and some were keepers that I should have held on to like my 65 Mustang. Others were junk and I couldn’t wait to get rid of them. Farewell 1992 Pontiac Bonneville.
But I’ll tell you what I don’t regret. All the time I spent with my family. I’m so very blessed. Today in about an hour, we will pack up our Toyota minivan and head from Port Angeles, Washington to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with my mother, my brother and his family. I’m really looking forward to it. I hope I can make the most out of this short trip. I believe that families are forever. These bonds can last for eternity. These are my people. I love each of my six children. Sometimes life gets kind of crazy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t regret having six children. I don’t regret loving my family and sacrificing to provide for them. They mean the world to me as does my wife.
Live in the moment. Be with your family. Pay attention to them. Love them. Listen to them. Hug them. Tell them how much you love them. Happy Thanksgiving!