25 March 2021

Album by Album

 Okay, so I thought that organizing our photo albums was a good idea to do while simultaneously "celebrating" the one-year anniversary of the pandemic.  I make such good choices.

I started last....Friday?  (now two Fridays ago)  It's a blur, really, because time has no meaning.  Also, Kevin is back to working all the Saturdays so my schedule is really upside down. I am overwhelmed, time has no meaning, then add looking at photos from the past, and what day is it anyway?

Thanks to social media, I have photos everywhere and not all of them printed.  Then the ones I have printed (sorta recently) aren't in albums.  Then the albums that are (sorta) organized are coming apart because they were inexpensive Christmas gifts when giving photo albums as gifts was a thing. Or they are from the 1900's.

All the photos had to come out of the albums that were about to be discarded.  This was fun as the pages tore, or the photo stuck, or the GLUE wouldn't let go of the photo.  Yep, albums old enough to be glued. This also means those particular photos are sticky, just to add to the fun.  Then I realized that all.the.photos. had to come out of all.the.albums. in order to do this correctly.

Next I sorted the old photos and the ones that weren't in albums into stacks.  It took a little while just to decide the categories.  I knew that chronological would be a spectacular disaster so I went with subjects first: Cars. Trucks. House. Dogs. Family....oh wait, that needs subcategories:

My family, Kevin's family, our family, his former marriage, my former marriage.  How are FAMILY PHOTOS complicated?

So then I thought that with families I will separate between his and mine then separate them into events. I haven't begun to put them into albums yet so we'll see how that goes.

Sorted, sorta.  Albums are the floor are new & empty

Once the sorting was completed, I started with racecar photos because I thought that would be the easiest.  And then the universe laughed.  Days later when Kevin finally said "Okay, it's been a WEEK." I finally sat down and put everything into TWO ALBUMS.  How many photos of a red car can we have? The answer is TWO, 300 photo, photo albums.  And then some.

At one point, I handed him a stack of photos and asked for help sorting.  At first he was grumbly about it. Then as he began to look, he was all "This is isn't necessary, these aren't important, oh look....remember when..."  Sigh.  

Now I'm onto older vehicles, trucks, four-wheeling.  The progress is about the same for this.  Somehow along the way, we ended up with duplicates in two albums.  Because OF COURSE.  As most/some of these were taken Before Surely, it's a little more challenging. 

Photos, photos everywhere

Because I was getting frustrated, I got a different stack and album, then started sorting dog photos.  But I had this nagging thought that I was missing, like, a Whole Dog.  I went into my office and yep, there's a half-full album that I had skipped because I thought it was just family photos.  While that's a relief, that's also just GAAAHHH.  So I set that album and stack back down then returned to the car/truck/bike albums again.

I persevered and completed that album Friday night.  I handed it to Kevin and he began to look. Again with the boredom. Until about the third page and second story in, I realized we were in it now. I grabbed a chair and sat next to him.  Some of the stories I had heard...or experienced...and some I had not.  

This is where it occurs to me that we need to get together with The Nephew and share these stories.  He is most likely the one that will end up with these albums.  We best spend some time now giving him the context and stories.  Also, they need labels but I cannot even with that right now.

Then I also started tossing photos up on the social media. Kevin is always hesitant about this, he doesn't want to be That Guy.  I tell him, every time, that seeing old photographs is usually a happy thing for people.  And last night was no exception as comments started to build.

Off topic a little: I explained to him that showing these photographs and adventures he had when he was younger has got to be a surprise to some people now. Because it's very adventuresome and mischievous. Whereas now he's a grown-up and doesn't remotely look like the guy that would four-wheel a truck/bug/motorbike through a river while most likely consuming adult beverages.

I had to get cozy with tossing photographs.  This bothers my psyche on a deep level.  It just feels disrespectful.  Here is how I decided that a photograph would be tossed:

There are multiple photos of the same thing

We can't tell why we have that photo, a moment lost to memory. AND/OR:

My photography skills hadn't grown yet.

The "subject" is no longer welcome amongst our memories.  

AND THEN, there are two former wedding albums.  Kevin is all "THROW IT AWAY" but again, it just feels sacrilegious. It's part of our history, whether or not we like it.  His memories aren't necessarily as melodramatic as mine so I feel "better" about keeping his album than I do mine.  The plan, I finally decided, is I will eventually buy a wedding album and consolidate both albums. 

One of the reasons for keeping these are the kids.  The kids don't remember either of our former spouses but there are family photos in those albums that they would enjoy.  I wish I could post one of Kevin's because it's EPIC.  E.P.I.C.  Early 80's, blue tuxes, prairie dresses, long hair. EPIC.

Then there's my Photography.  I have a ton of pre-Instagram photos that are just pretty. *shrug* I am no Ansel Adams but I do alright.  Harkening back to the Toss Category: my skills were growing in the early days.  Also, I had a simple point and shoot camera that is probably older than me. Those photos are not only not great, they are also fading away into oblivion.  Many of those photos are finding their way into the trash.  And we're not thinking about the photos that are actually posted on the instagram. That is another day and that is what online photobook services is for.

Meanwhile, back to the kids.  I am sending their school and sports portraits to them.  They will be more valued with them than tucked into albums here.  I have PLENTY of photos of them and I won't be sad that I don't have the Nephew's second grade soccer photo or the Niece's junior prom portrait.

I discovered that I can't finish the House Album until I print the house painting adventure and the garden photos.  And I didn't finish the Dog Album....because of who I am as a person.  I have yet to buy a wedding album the last three times I went into town.

In the meanwhile, I have to finish SOMETHING.  I'm going to start with the family photos now. Because starting an entire new subject/pile has been wildly successful so far.


1 comment:

Swistle said...

Favorite part: the part about missing a Whole Dog.

Oh mygod, tell Kevin to STOP. IT. old photos are one of my FAVORITE THINGS on Facebook!! I feel like EVERYONE loves old photos!