I wrote this for school in tenth grade (2010). The assignment was to tailor my writing to how Hollis Woods would write in the book Pictures of Hollis Woods.
Grandma framed this picture and placed it in her living room above the cabinet filled with teapots. She sometimes served us tea in her cozy green kitchen, the panoramic picture lying in the background. It's a special picture for more than one reason. It was a picture of our family, and our cousins were in it, too, the ones who were living in Korea. They didn't get to visit us much, so this was special. Our grandma and grandpa were in the picture, and Andrew was snuggled in Grandpa's arms.
Then there are the pictures of the crabapple tree in front of grandma's house, four pictures in all. Well, not quite...the fourth one hasn't been taken just yet. Grandma wanted to capture the tree in all the seasons.
I could try to match the first picture, the one with our cousins, to the ones in front of Grandma's tree, but I wouldn't be able to do it exactly. First, the background's different. We were all crunched down in that first picture in front of Lake Superior, smiling and young. It was taken in Bayfield, Wisconsin. I remember playing on the beach nearby the place we took the picture, by the rented condos on the sand. "Let's build a sand castle that will last till next year," we said, piling up huge Lake Superior rocks like a castle fortress. It was a good technique, but hardly suitable to withstand the waves for a whole year. There were fishing boats, too, in Bayfield, lots of them, almost too many to count, and there were fireworks on the Fourth of July.
But there are seven of us in the tree pictures instead of thirteen. Of course, our cousins aren't in them, but there were others missing, too. Grandma was taking the pictures as she backed up each time to get closer to the wooden fence. She mostly wanted to get the tree on the screen, but we can be seen, too, at least our shapes under the shade of the sprawling tree.
But there's someone else missing: Grandpa John, and while he's in the Lake Superior shot, there is someone in his place in this picture. In between two sturdy branches of a tree, the crabapple tree, sits a little girl. Grandpa never got to meet this new addition to the family, but she's my sister, four years old.
And it's not just in this picture that we can be seen together. There are actually many, many more pictures...pictures of Brooke, of us. When she colors pictures, usually, her name accompanies it somewhere. The big bold letters of her name, known to her, are announced on paper: B-R-O-O-K-E.
Sometimes she has even tried to capture the family in her drawings. "This is mom," she's says, pointing to a figure engulfed in a mass of curly hair, "and I'm in her tummy." Then we all ask her who everyone else is. The huge figure with the big feet is dad, so similar to how I drew him on the driveway when I was about Brooke's age.
So now there are seven of us: a father, a mother, two brothers, and three sisters...a family.