Friday, January 29, 2010


For the past few weeks I’ve been busy going through old photographs and scanning them to the computer. My Christmas gift to my parents was one of those digital photo frames so it’s been a labor of love to get as much of our old pictures available to it as possible. Once I got working on the photos for them, I just continued scanning to include all of my photos as well.

It’s been an interesting trip down memory lane as I relive bits and pieces of my past. There’s always the sadness over those that are no longer with us when you look at their smiling faces in the old black and while snapshots. Grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles…all caught in moments of time where we can remember them at their best (usually).

In the days before digital photography, taking a photograph was truly a slice of a moment in your history – snapped with the old Kodak – the film then sent away to some magical place for development and a few days later our glossy memories came back to us to relive over again - usually as we sat in the car because we were too excited to wait until we got home. Remember that? Now we have digital cameras built into our phones and everyone is snapping away at everything. We tend to take the picture, look at it at the time (where is the excitement in THAT?) and then forget about it or delete it. We’ve forgotten that the best time to look at these pictures is 5 or 10 or 30 years later. That’s when they really mean something to us.

My photo taking philosophy has changed over the years somewhat. I used to take pictures mostly of people – and thankfully so. Many of them have passed away now and my old photos are the best way to recollect them and the happy times we shared. Even the pictures with my ex-husband bring back smiles now – I sure couldn’t have said that 15 years ago. Time goes by swiftly and with it brings a softening of most memories and the pictures tend to punctuate the best of times for us to cling to.

Now when I go places I tend to take lots of photos of the places themselves. It’s a great way to recall where I’ve been and what I’ve seen as my real memory gets fuzzier. My mistake has been in not taking more snapshots of my friends and family that I’ve visited with on my travels. In 10 years it will be nice to point to a photo of Lake Geneva and say I’d been there, but it would be even nicer to point to me and a friend or two standing by Lake Geneva and we could look back and say – wow “look at that hair” or “gee we were young looking” and then spend a few minutes reminiscing about the trip. THAT’S the value of a photo.
So my friends better be a lot more patient in the years to come, I'll be snapping away with my camera so I can store up all these memories and drag them out again in years to come. Dad, Mom and me in Seattle in 1996. Perfect photo with us AND the place.

Another great people/place mix - Dad and my Uncle Chuck on an old rusted motorcycle we discovered on a stretch of beautiful beach in Jamaica. Taken in 1972.

Just about my favorite photo I ever took, this is my Grandpa Ralph on his 90th birthday and my cousin Sarah Ann. March, 1990.

Checking out the fashions of the 1920's in Fairmont West Virginia. The one on the left is my Grandma Dessie - I'm not sure who the other two where but I love this photo anyway for so many reasons.

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