Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The ViewMaster

I was walking out of Cade's bedroom, the other evening, when the dusty box caught my eye. My brother's and my old ViewMasters and slide discs are housed within that old, blue plastic, and--even though Cade never cared much about them--I've carried them from house to house long as I can remember. (You might call this post "A Case for Hoarding"; I make them all the time.)

It snowed, last Tuesday, and the little kids and I holed up until Sunday morning. They were restless by the time I presented the blue box and most intrigued by its contents.

It had been a long time since I'd thought about the box let alone opened it, and my childhood came back in a rush with the clicks of the discs and the slide-slide-pops of the levers. "What does this say, Mama?" the girls asked, and I looked upon the words printed on the discs and characters on the images as old friends.

"Try to look through both eyepieces at the same time," I told the girls, "so the images seem 3-D." Because I remember falling in love with my ViewMaster a second time when I realized I could perceive the images with depth.

"Try looking at it another way," James Henry Trotter's mother says, and I am the mother of my own James, now (though we call him Chip), not to mention of Cade, Clementine, and Charleigh. I want to encourage them to do the same: to try looking at things another way.

So many lessons to impart to my children on the topic of seeing, and stereoscopic imaging is least among them. It's overwhelming, really; I'm glad for the presence of the one true ViewMaster in my heart.


  1. Now I'm wishing I had one of those oldies but goodies still around!

  2. I have a cool view master story , I will tell it to you next time I see you if you remind me, right now I am so enjoying your kids and their "reels" ..... awesome post , awesome photos and I want/need for you to see if that "demo" reel exists in your collection ....WOW!