Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sorting Through Family Photographs

In my constant quest to live life with less "stuff" and as simple as possible, one of my goals is to clean out my garage and that means actually opening boxes and boxes of photographs to sort through them to either throw away or put in flood safe containers.  There are boxes of photos that I've moved from one place to another without opening the box.  When it's moving time, it's easier that way.  Also, I've inherited several boxes of photographs that belonged to my grandparents that I have yet to open.

My garage flooded a few months ago and ruined everything that was on the ground.  I know that cardboard boxes are the worst way to store things so I made a point to start opening the ones that were on a shelf to go through each box and sort through everything to either discard, keep or save to send to a family member.  This is not an easy task!  I spent the entire day going through photographs, cards, letters and old papers.  I think I made it through 3 boxes.

Seeing these photographs made me miss the loved ones that are no longer with me, but I was lucky enough to be close with my grandparents and my dad before they all passed away.  Seeing these photos brought a smile to my face and made me remember once again what is most important in life.  The relationship you have with loved ones.

One box was filled with every letter my father wrote to my grandparents ("Mama Lois" and "Big John") while he was in college at Oklahoma University.  I read a few but knew that I had to put them aside in order to tackle the project at hand.  The ones I read were pretty funny.  My father asked them to send the local newspaper so he could keep up to date on the local sports in the area (Mama Lois and Big John lived in Spanish Fort, AL at the time) but mostly he talked about working hard in his classes while spending most of his time studying.  Riiiiggght......

It was interesting to remember what it was before the technology we have today.  Back then, people would sit down to write a letter and wait a week or more to get a response.  In today's world, if you don't get a response from a text you sent twenty minutes ago you start wondering what's wrong.  He wrote to them a few times a week with about two pages long talking about sports, studying and girls.  What else is there to talk about with your parents when you are in college?  I look forward to sitting down and reading them all.

Here are some of my favorite photographs that I found so far.  It's funny how technology can turn your photographs the way they once were.  Now and days, the only clue to when a photograph was taken is with the clothing and hair styles.

I am very fortunate to have these reminders of the people who are no longer physically with me.  I look forward to finding more "treasures" and I would encourage you to do the same.

The photograph on the top is my father sunbathing in 1967, "Mama Lois" (Father's mother) camping in 1963, my mother and father in 1968, "Big John" (Father's father) and me in 1972, Both Grandfathers ("Poompa" and Big John") in San Diego in 1965, "Big John" with his car and "Mama Lois"(Dad's Mother) and my dad in 1962 - his letter writing years in college.


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