Thursday, August 18, 2011

An Afternoon With Grandma

I blogged a couple of weeks back about my impending task of cataloguing and organizing all of my mother-in-law's photo albums.

Well I have two albums scanned thus far.  And in doing the first of them chronologically I realized that there were many of the pictures not properly identified.

The lovely old vintage album

Last Sunday we headed to Grandma's at the retirement home.  Well actually, we went to church with her first and then took her out to lunch - kind of the equivalent of dinner and a date.

Then we went back to her room and proceeded to spend most of the afternoon looking at the old album.  At first she didn't remember ever seeing any of these pictures, and then eventually she realized that she had probably taken most of them with her own camera.

She perused each picture and with each she remembered some little story or setting, which she shared with me.  A few of the pictures she could not recall the individuals, but the majority she was able to eventually name.  Sometimes it took a bit of prodding (I eventually started to recognize people and patterns).  I think she thoroughly enjoyed the process, but I know by the final pages she was tiring.  I think it required a lot of mental energy to come up with all that information.  I wonder if my mind will be as sharp at 86?  That's why I carefully label everything now, just because I'm quite sure it won't be.

Little orange sticky notes with all that precious information as to identities.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. I love all those black and white photos and for you to actually have someone to identify the people is great!
    I am the official photo collector in my family. It has taken me years to do what you are now doing (no, I'm not finished with the task). It's sad that my kids don't give a rip about any of it and will probably trash them all when I'm gone.
    I hope you have someone to pass yours on to.

  2. Right now I'm going through all the collected memory box stuff and homeschool papers and consumables, choosing samples that will delight, fright, or shame my children at a later date. :-) I'll be making up a scrapbook for each, including photos of some papers and projects not found worthy to keep in hard copy. Right now, they are galavanting all over the world and probably couldn't care less; but I think there will come a time when they will appreciate the history of their lives. When I was pregnant with Danny, Seth wrote that he wanted the baby to come out, presumably so mom could be back to normal; then we were going to keep it for a few weeks and then get rid of it. :-) Now, even if that brings a smile on the way to the trash, it's worth it. And besides, this trip down memory lane is fun for me right now.

    Thanks, Phil, for doing this. And I'm sure the time spent with mom also made her feel involved and valued.

  3. My mom labeled every picture and we are all so grateful. I did not and sometimes I look at baby pictures of my children and are not sure who I am looking at.

    Today, because of digital cameras, there are so many pictures taken and most are meaningless. When my family took out that old Brownie, it was for a special occasion or a vacation.

  4. After my father died, I ended up with mountains of old picture albums filled with pictures stretching all the way back to the 1800s. It was a joy to share some of the old pictures with other family members, especially with my father's brother. He's in a nursing home and suffering from dementia, but when he looked at those pictures from his childhood, he remembered. And at least for a little while, he was lucid.


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