Sep 27, 2011
With the recent September ’11 unveiling of Facebook’s new Timeline Profile, life before digital seems an ice-age ago, but it really wasn’t. I just looked at my photo album from my 1973 high school senior trip. Wow, the fashions were frightening but I felt very cool in those size 9 platforms sporting a mood ring and probably wearing musk oil. A picture speaks a thousand words, some of which I wish had been kept silent. One thing I did notice that was even more disturbing than my fashion statement was my ongoing fading photographs. Along with that were the boxes and boxes and more boxes of old pictures from earlier generations and also of our present family from younger years. I even found several photos from my fancy 1970s polaroid instant camera….remember those?
After both of our parents passed away and we cleaned out their homes, we accumulated even more boxes of pictures. We weren’t sure what to do with them at the time so when in doubt at our house, put them in the attic! This is probably the worse place for photographs I discovered because of the fluctuating temperatures. We also put some boxes of photos in the basement where the dampness reached them and some began sticking together.
Shortly after we became empty nesters, my husband and I decided to start a photo project. Each night was dedicated to one box of old photographs. We went to the container store and bought different sized plastic boxes for each category of pictures such as “the boys”, “Erley legacy” or “Bruce and Linda”. Every box was labeled. As we sat in front of the T.V. we sorted and sorted and sorted.
We couldn’t believe how many photos we threw away. Today we can delete photos instantly that we don’t like or that come out blurry. Not back in the day. And do you remember ordering doubles just in case you wanted to share your pictures with friends or family. How perfect, then you had two blurry, out of focus photographs. It took us about a week of hard work each night and wow, what a difference it has made when now we need to find a photo quickly. Our boys have also reaped the benefits when they need a quick photo.
There’s so much we can do today to preserve our old photographs and videos. We plan to surprise our boys this Christmas and put all of their growing up years from VHS to a DVD. They love watching themselves on our videos and I bet your kids do too! They can now have something easy to take with them to show girlfriends, wives and their own children! Costco now has a really cool service for a good value where they will transfer movie film, videotape, and slides all to a DVD. Check it out at Costco, it would make a great stocking stuffer. Oh, one little tip when you are sorting, be careful not to look too long at a photo. One look at a picture and it will take you back and all sorts of memories will flood your mind and your heart. Try to stay focused and set your goals. Please give us your ideas on what has worked for you in the “Memory Mayhem” of life or send your questions.