February 21, 2010
Shortly after the ghost, or whatever it was, brought down the bookcase in our office, the cleanup began. We uncovered some treasures and some junk. What really slowed down the whole cleaning process was going through that huge box of photographs that we had accumulated throughout our families’ lifetimes.
You know what I mean. All of those snapshots that have been filed into a box that just never seem to find their way into a photo album. Well, we were going to change all that and sort through the piles and put them into some semblance of order.
Easier said than done. It’s impossible to just look at them and categorize them. Set this one here and that one there. Oh, no. They all have to be examined. So many memories caught in time. Perhaps this was the reason for putting the chore off. We knew that once we got into it, it was going to take a lot of time.
Deb and I went through the pictures of our childhoods. Then our children’s. Baby pictures, school pictures, family event pictures; a half century of visual evidence. Two things stood out while we were sorting them. One: how quickly life goes flying by and two: did we really think that we looked good wearing that!?
Clothing styles, hair styles, facial hair styles. Remember those glasses from the late ‘80s and early 90’s? Some of the styles were so big you could have removed the lenses and used them as dinner plates or signaled aircraft flying overhead or something.
And seriously, nobody called it a “mullet” back then. No, really! It was just a cool hairstyle that everybody was sporting. Wrong now, but groovy then. Don’t ask me why that is, it just is.
You know what they say about hindsight being 20/20 and all that, but you really do have to wonder what we were thinking looking at some of the choices we made so long ago. We obviously thought that we were looking pretty good in some of those styles or we wouldn’t have been wearing them. And, as stated earlier, hindsight is 20/20.
It’s never a bad thing to have a walk down memory lane. We left the sorted piles of pictures on the dining room table so the kids could go through them while they were home visiting during the Family Day long weekend. Our family shed tears of laughter, at those old styles, and tears of sadness as memories of lost friends and family members were uncovered through the pictures.
Now all that’s left to do is get the Kleenexes ready and go through them all over again as we put them into the photo albums. I can hardly wait.
“We try to grab pieces of our lives as they speed past us. Photographs freeze those pieces and help us remember how we were. We don’t know these lost people but if you look around, you’ll find someone just like them.”-Gene McSweeny, Grey Water Photography, 06-04-2006.