Friday, December 1, 2017

Where Have All the Pictures Gone?

Where have all the pictures gone?  Long time passing.
When I was three, my house burned down just days after Christmas.  A fireman, to whom my Mom would forever be indebted, managed to grab a box of family pictures.  My Mom loves pictures and gathered tons more as the years went on.  Before life as we knew it fell apart, we siblings, some of us anyway, gathered together and went through the pictures, creating our own books. The idea being that we would one day take said photo album home with us when Mom had no more use of it. In the meanwhile, instead of photos being scattered about, they would be in albums for her to enjoy more easily.

Then Kaye died and Glenda died and it was necessary to close up shop and settle Mom into a smaller and more easily managed space with twenty-four hour help.  The summer of unpacking and sorting, making decisions about stuff and more stuff and more stuff that never seemed to end, ensued.  And since that summer, I look at all of my stuff and sigh and wonder.

I was the village picture taker till Ceece caught the bug.  It is scary how many pictures I have.  In my childhood, pictures became affordable for most everyone.  Who can remember all the crazy cameras we went through that were instant, throwaway, panoramic, and then, wow, regular people like me could afford a 35mm.  Handy Man got me one for Christmas and you can mark the year from all the grainy snaps that became clear and lovely overnight.  That is the only material possession I have ever cried over, when after seventeen years, it gave it up and could not be repaired.

Then we moved to digital, and those sweet little photo brag books we grandma's packed around, and those plastic inserts in grandpa's wallet, became virtually obsolete, as everyone's pictures are now on their phone, and often it seems, nowhere else.

Add that to the fact that I don't have a particularly sentimental family.  What in the world is to be done with these bazillion pictures I have?  Ahem, I know what will be done with them, might as well get this party started.  For months I've been sorting pictures.  It is bittersweet and I can only do it in short bursts.
Once my aunt told me that she knew she had to part with all the cards she'd received through the years. After looking and looking and looking she finally parted with one- one card landed in the waste basket- at least temporarily, before she retrieved even that one.  I feel her pain.

It isn't as much a problem with pictures since the blog. Those are made into books and will one day be passed onto to those grandchildren who are sentimental, but what about pre-digital?

As I sorted, I determined to take on the arduous task of pulling out the fewest pictures to tell the most story of my Gramerling's parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

What do with them?  I took them first to be transformed to the digital world, but then they would be a disc shoved somewhere and never looked at. What would take no more space, no added work for anyone?  I decided to add them to the end pages of  the little's  Advent books.  Once I settled on a set of same pictures for each family, I determined five books that would be same in each box, each year and put in the chosen pictures.  Next, I picked a few that pertained only to my individual child.  For instance, in Drummer Boy's kidlet's box is the book, The Little Drummer Boy and the end pages have pictures of him with his drum.  On some I added commentary. On others, I hope their parents will fill in the details. Who knows, maybe these books, as long as they last, will trickle down through the generations.

 In the end, it looks like a pile of Christmas books. I don't know if the added pictures will add more to the Book a Day in December experience or not.  But, they've all been wrapped and delivered and today they will find something in the last pages that wasn't there before.

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