Monday, August 1, 2011

Quite An Undertaking

My mother-in-law has been the keeper of the family photos for decades.  As she has now entered a nursing home and left her apartment, the task has fallen to me.  Actually I need to be honest.  I volunteered to do it, because I knew it was a monumental task, and the only other family member who has the interest, ability or desire lives in California - Everything Changes In The Light.  Delivery would have required a small dedicated freight train, funded by a king's ransom!

I've sifted through these photos before, and done a bit of random scanning.  So in my mind's eye, I had a rough idea of how many photo albums there were.  Well you know how are memories either tend to magnify, or simplify the truth.  My memory said there were about a dozen books and a couple of those are of trips that nobody really wants or needs. 

Ah how faulty my trusty steed of memory was - 31 books in all, and four were of trips.  However, I can't just dismiss the trip ones as recycle material, because interspersed amid them are family shots as well.  Now fortunately, three of the albums were specifically given as gifts to my in-laws from daughters.  These are just easy returns.  But that is where easy ends.  (Everything Changes - please tell C & D to pack light this fall, as they will be your pack mules - or Pony Express!)

No the photo is not about the cat.

From a different angle.

When I took the albums it was on the condition that I scan the pictures, and save them to thumbdrives to give to all the siblings.  And yes I will endeavour to hold true to that one - do you know how many hundreds of pages of scans that will be?  I can guarantee it will not be done tomorrow, or probably even next year at this time.

The next thing is to sort all the pictures into family groups.  There are seven siblings and all their offspring.  Again my intentions are to return an album or three of these to each family, specifically of their family.

In the end I hope to be down to a half dozen albums of older original photos and newer group photos (all of which will be shared via thumbdrive amongst the families).

So last night, the missus and I tried to get the albums into some semblance of order.  Actually my mother-in-law has done an amazing job of keeping them sorted chronologically.  But in the sorting of the apartment, and boxing up of stuff, things were pretty badly shuffled up. And then there were all the loose pictures, who had never found a home. They are now packed away in our spare room, awaiting further efforts.

Here is where it now sits; some of the albums repose out of view.

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

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. A tough but worthy job! The organizing is probably the hardest part. Don't pack any with D and C because CO is a bit far from CA. :-) Press on!

  2. There is a lifetime wrapped up in those books and that is a very special task you have been given. When my parents passed away, my siblings and I went though all the pictures and memories together(they kept so many greeting cards also). It was a beautiful, exhausting effort and took forever, but it was an experience that brought us closer together. There were lots of tears, but more laughter as we all shared that past.

    It is good to review a life well lived.


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