It's fun to go through those old pictures 'remembering' events and people caught in snapshots of daily life and special events. However, many of the pictures are mysteries to us - who are these people? why do we have pictures of them? how important or trivial are they to our family? Others are considered important, milestone, classic pictures with stories to tell.
Dad (center) with his parents and sisters - 1930
Going through my mother-in-law's photos this weekend we found several albums full of pictures of people we didn't know, fuzzy out-of-focus pictures, yellowed discolored pictures, etc. Thelma was very good at writing the who, where and when on the back of most of the pictures. That helps a lot. Still, Lloyd and I don't want to have albums full of people and events that mean absolutely nothing to us. His sisters aren't very interested in old pictures. So we have decided that we'll put them all on display at the family reunion in August and let everyone go through them and take any pictures they want (Lloyd and I have already taken the ones we want). The rest of the unwanted pictures will be trashed.
It made me think of all the thousands of pictures I've taken and collected. What will happen to them after I'm no longer here? Not every picture is a treasure so a lot will be thrown out I'm sure. However, the ones I put into scrapbooks will live on - the journalling on the pages will tell the family stories. Hopefully they'll be treasured.
Very important to Lloyd and me - the story of how I came to move from Nova Scotia to Edmonton in 1968.
This whole process of going through old photos has made me realize that I must work more on my scrapbooks, especially the ones I consider heritage ones. I want our grandchildren and their children to be able to look at these books and enjoy the stories being told and gain insight into who they are and where they come from. I don't want our stories to die with us, and I want to preserve the stories of our parents and grandparents through these scrapbooks.
So, a final word of advice. Take a few minutes to write names, dates, locations, etc. on the back of your photos so that those coming after you will know the important data when they do their scrapbooks. And keep taking pictures! And if you're looking for a new hobby to take all your time and money, consider scrapbooking. You'll never regret it.