Monday, February 4, 2013

Snapshot Sunday, with a Twist


Today’s Snapshot Sunday is going to be a little different than usual.  As happens from time to time with the daily photo challenge pictures, I snap them, but then don’t take the time to do anything with them afterward.  And while I most often take the pics with my convenient phone, this week, they’re scattered between the phone and two separate cameras, not even on the computer yet.  So, no prompt photos today.

But, one of the things I’ve seen in past blogging challenges is a theme where folks share an old photograph and tell the story behind it.  I always enjoyed those posts, but then—as you might expect—I’m a sucker for a picture and whatever is behind it. 

Now, I will say that most of the folks who posted these kind of themes usually spread them into two posts: the first a sort of “wordless” theme day where the photo was the only post, and then later in the week, they’d do a post with the story.  In some ways, I liked that format, too, but I’m not going that route, so I’ll be posting the picture and telling you about it all at once.



That’s a spiffy looking gang, eh?  To make sure you know the players, that’s my sister, Tanya, my mom, me, and Brian.  The year was 1991, the month of June, to be more precise.  I was six months pregnant, my mom had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, and we were taking a family vacation, thinking it might be our last.

I got my love of Las Vegas from my mom, starting with a visit for my 21st birthday.  Over the years, she and I made several trips out there, since no one else in the family was overly fond of the place.  But while this vacation would end in California, Vegas was the first stop, and we were all along for the ride.

While visiting Las Vegas just for the heck of it is always a good time, the thing Mama and I really liked to do was join slot tournaments.  Like any tournament, you pay an entry fee, play the game, and have a chance to win large amounts of money.  And, the really fun part is that during the session, the slot machines are unlocked, and you just spin as fast as you can for the entire hour.  Or maybe it was only thirty minutes; I honestly don’t remember now, but it was a lot of fun.  Of course, no money fell out; you were playing for points and standing, but that didn’t keep you from getting a rush whenever those sevens would line up.  Mama and I were a pretty good team in a slot pull (one time we took 3rd place in our tournament, earning a $15K prize), but just to boost our odds a bit, we thought we’d wear some good luck team t-shirts.

Unfortunately, from a monetary perspective, we didn’t do so well this time around; I think we came in in the top 100 or something, which earned us back our entry fee, but no gain.  But, it really wasn’t about the money.  It was about spending time together, laughing, loving, and making memories that we wouldn’t have the chance to make again.

We gambled, ate a lot of buffet food, visited Hoover Dam like tourists, and wore our team t-shirts with pride.  We might not have made a million dollars, but we definitely made million-dollar memories.