Monday, June 24, 2013

Opening the flood gate

I have started tackling one of the many things on my retirement To Do List. This resembles a bucket list, only a very practical one. Achievable, too, if you actually do it.

It is my photo project. It is daunting, to say the least.

It started with taking a box of loose photos belonging to my Mom, who passed 18 months ago. It's the last remaining task to wind up her affairs, which puts it all-too-neatly into a compartment, which seems sad and unfair for a person's life.

Going through her photos, dividing them among family members, was a sharp and sad reminder that she is gone. Many long, deep sighs went into sorting through the pictures, a flood gate of memories opening up, reliving so many good times -  of Mom, and all of us as a family. Missing her all over again; riding another wave of grief.

I was once given a card with this saying on it. So true, isn't it?

Well, I finished. Everything is in envelopes ready to give to my sisters, my brother, and even some cousins. The big box is empty.

Of course, this only served to remind me that my own photos needed attention.

Ordinarily a fairly well-organized person, subscribing to the notion, "A place for everything and everything in its place," somehow I fail miserably when it comes to photos.

In this case, it has meant jamming photos and keepsakes into a bedroom blanket chest that has never stored a blanket. The day of reckoning came when my own collection of my Mom's recently-sorted  photos would no longer fit into the chest. That, or I could no longer close the chest.

So...I got a banker's box, took a bunch of old file folders and labeled them in five-year time spans. Then I unloaded the full contents of the chest and started sorting.

Because I am doing this in my media center (also known as the bedroom), I needed to stick with the task or not be able to go to bed to sleep at night. I shifted piles to the floor for a few nights, then worked more speedily as I have an aversion to messes. Well, messes that I have to constantly look at.

Okay, the photos are now in their five-year-time-span folders. And now I don't know what to do with them.  Photo albums? Scan them all (we're talking thousands)? Sort by time period? Event? Make scrapbooks? What to do?

Until I figure out how to keep them all (or even whether I keep them all), all those beautiful photos and related memorabilia are in a banker's box, in five-year-time-span folders, awaiting further action. On top of the blanket chest.

But until I decide, I will savor all the memories my photos hold.

In nothing else am I rich. In nothing else am I poor.