It has been quite a while since I have written anything that I wanted to share … because frankly, who wants to read about depressing, unhappy or pessimistic views? But this past week I started a new project which has inspired me in many ways.
My family affectionately entitled me the “Camera Nazi” because no matter where or when or what – I was there with a camera. We all rejoiced after Hurricane Katrina where my daughter and son-in-law lost almost all of their photos (wedding pictures were in a Rubbermaid container which floated up with the tide and were completely dry and safe). Along comes mom with pictures of the couple dating and most importantly many of their oldest child’s first year from 0-1 when Katrina came along.
While having all these pictures is a good thing, it can present somewhat of a problem due to space constraints. Before we relocated to the gulf coast, we had pictures in every room – framed pictures in the living area, on bookshelves, fireplace, dressers and hallway walls; not to mention those printed and stored in a spare room in boxes from 1971-2008. When we down-sized there was no fireplace or bookshelves and NO hallway on which to display my beautifully framed photographs so I pared down and picked a select few to group and put on the wall in the master bedroom. With very little shelf space, I put a few on pieces of furniture but because I was trying to create a new “look” in our new house, most of the pictures, framed and unframed found their way to BOXES and were stored in a storage unit. Are we the only people who rented a storage unit when we moved in 2014 and are still using it to this day???
Last week I decided to do something about my collection. I had previously moved the boxes from the storage unit to our house to protect them from moisture and so I could work on them … when I had time! That was in 2017. My motivation for accepting the challenge last week was my search for a glue gun! I knew I had a regular-sized glue gun and my daughter needed to borrow it (rather than her mini-glue gun) as she set up her classroom for the new year. We could not find it anywhere! The last place to look was in a box labeled “crafts” which was in the guest room closet, under boxes of … you guessed it … pictures! I moved the picture boxes, and when I pulled out that box of crafts realized the top had caved in and it was a massive jumble of items that I had forgotten I even had on hand … but NO glue gun. So, I purchased and used a small 3-drawer plastic storage chest that would fit nicely inside the closet to organize the mess and thus created a space for what needed to be re-located AND where anyone could find what they were looking for… plus as a bonus it would give room to guests for hanging up their clothes!
Now, with the picture boxes circling my desk chair like a wagon train, I decided that would be the next project. With two storage boxes that would fit neatly under the bed, I started going through my collection of photos. The first box contained early photos – from the time my honey and I met and through the early years and high school years of our children. That filled one box. The second box is half full of photos from the late 1990’s through today, because who prints pictures anymore? I put those aside for the time being as I tried to purge what now filled my guest room, leaving no place to walk!
Today I decided to complete the project. I moved the last box from our garage into the house and re-opened the “new” and “old” picture storage boxes. If I had started with the newest box, I might never have finished as it contained photo books of our children from toddler through adolescence AND most of all, black & white photos from the early 1900’s! At some point through the years my mother had passed on to me a grouping of photos separated into my grandfather (Austin Edmund Roberts) when he was young with his parents as well as the aunt & uncle that raised him, my grandmother (Hazel Augusta Kent Roberts) and her family. I also had some beautiful pictures of my southern grandparents (John Thomas Walters and Velma Pilgrim Walters).
We have talked about it many times but when my honey and I leave for our forever home with Jesus, most of our “things” will be purged, given away or donated to someone less fortunate. We are fine with that. Everything except the pictures – my next step is to label each one that is not already labeled with the names and dates (the best I can remember) in hopes that this will be the one thing our children will keep for generations to come. It may not seem like much but it is history – real, rich history – proof that I was born Yankee and raised Rebel!
Next project – move all the unprinted digital pictures from my computer and phone to DVD’s and put in a safe place. The scary thing is I know of pictures that are missing from my collection which means there must be MORE boxes in the storage unit!
Oh and the glue gun, my daughter called the day after I had emptied the closet into the bedroom so I could search through the craft box and said, “oh, by the way Mom, I have your glue gun at my house.” It figures!
Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com