Playing with the family dog.
Sitting happily on the seat of a giant triycycle.
Leaning proudly against the family car. (Posing with new cars was a big one in my family.)
Gripping a tennis racket with both hands and holding threateningly over a sibling's head... all in good fun, of course.
Standing by an enormous tree uprooted by a hurricane
For some reason in many of the photographs of my maternal grandmother she's always sitting on a wall. Not the same wall, but various walls. And in the wedding photograph of my paternal grandmother she is holding a bouquet of roses that would take several small boys to carry down a church aisle. In my parents' wedding photograph they are grinning madly at the camera on the day they eloped. Their honeymoon photographs are equally charming, especially the one of my mother astride an enormous elephant at the Ringling Brothers Circus, her mouth open in what I imagine was a girlish scream. How my father talked her into doing such a thing is clearly a testament to her love. (That, and agreeing to elope in the first place.)
There is a wonderful glass negative of my great uncle, who was a self-proclaimed Balladist in his youth, an image that would have been used to advertise his talents in pamphlets or newspapers. In later years he rose to the position of head waiter at the famous Bel Air Hotel in Beverly Hills. (And not just the head waiter but a singing waiter.) Oh, the tales he could tell of celebrities and their antics.
I treasure the photograph of my bachelor father, wearing his Coast Guard uniform and standing on the streets of Boston surrounded by at least 30 young women on the day the war ended. The newspaper caption under his picture said "Sailor, beware!" but I'm sure he wasn't worried in the least. After all, he'd just come through Operation Torch off the coast of North Africa. (Here's looking at you, kid.)
At about that same time, my single mother was visiting Nantucket with a high school friend. She smiles out from one of their photographs, balanced precariously on the back of a tandem bicycle. Throughout that day's escapades her friend steered and kept them upright, my mother never having learned to ride. (A secret she was unsuccessful at keeping.