Does anyone else have a box like this? I have two. At one time, they were sort of organized, but after moving and being shuffled through numerous times, they are just a mix of my life from college through my early 30s – before everyone had a camera on their phone. I keep saying I need to go through them and throw some away. But that is so hard. I begin the sorting process then start reminiscing and laughing and sending them in text to people. I never get very far.
These days, with digital cameras and cameras on every phone, I rarely print pictures any more. It’s a shame really. When I was growing up, I remember sitting for hours going through old photo albums asking mom about this and that. I’m the youngest with an older sister and brother. I refer to myself as a “gift”, they refer to me as a “mistake”. If nothing else, I was definitely a surprise to my parents. By the time I came along, they were busy with other things, and didn’t seem to take a lot of pictures. The photo albums where a way for me to connect with the past I didn’t share with them.
I did start printing pictures of my big vacation trips and putting them in photo albums. Now, when I start feeling down or thinking to myself, “I don’t go anywhere”, I pull them out and start flipping through them; reconnecting with the past and thinking, yes, I’ve done a lot of things. I may just now have ventured to Europe, but oh the adventures my friends and I have had, and still have, are priceless. I’ve done most of my traveling with the same group of friends from college. The stories we have are funny and bind us together.
We hit Vegas for a week (which is too long to be in Vegas I think) and took in the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon. When one decided to move to Phoenix for a few years, well, that was just another excuse for a trip. We made our visit into a vacation, driving up to the Grand Canyon, staying in Sedona on the way back. It was beautiful. We hiked, laughed and explored a new place together. There have been numerous beach trips, road trips to Charleston and even longer road trips to Florida, including Key West, and a most memorable excursion to Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I’ve taken a cruise to Hawaii
and the Bahamas, trekked up to New York City in a van, sat on a long horn in Texas, ventured across the border into Mexico several times, watched the start of the Iditarod in Alaska, sat and had dinner at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle and sipped fruity drinks on a beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic.
Mostly though, the pictures jumbled in my boxes are snapshots of brief moments: quick trips, parties, evenings in, birthdays, holidays, nephews etc. Maybe they don’t seem as special as big planned vacations, but they evoke memories just the same. Life happens in between the big trips too; college, first true love (and broken hearts), nephews growing up, first houses, and of course memories of dad.
Some photos just make me smile, reminding me of times we laughed so hard, we had tears in our eyes. There were the annual Memorial Day weekend beach trips, with margaritas to be consumed and mischief in the air. Yes, I remember the firemen from Rockaway Beach, NJ. Good Times…
So many years and so many memories in these two boxes. It is so hard to decide which ones are disposable. If I throw one away, will the memory be gone forever? Regardless, they deserve a better home than a box. I suppose I will invest in several photo albums, and on a cold, yucky February weekend, I will begin the tedious process of culling through my past. We’ve had a good time ladies! Maybe I haven’t been everywhere I want to go, yet…. but I’ve certainly lived my life. There’s little I would change… well, I maybe could have done without the short marriage stint, but even then, there were a few good times. I think my photos are some of my most treasured items.