Saving My Photos
It’s only a few weeks before we leave for Arizona. This will be a 2nd round of moving our possessions there. One lesson I learned was not to pack all the kitchen stuff too early, or not to pack all the clothes too early. I want to be ready when the time comes to go, and I don’t want to feel pressured doing last minute packing. A couple weeks ago, I pulled out my largest suitcase, and I packed up the majority of my clothes. I left enough to wear for the next few weeks. What I forgot was that the temperature may take a dip or two before we leave. Yesterday, I opened that suitcase to pull out some sweatpants and cool weather clothes. I didn’t pull much—but I do need something in case we have a few cool days and evenings.
I also packed the kitchen a couple weeks ago. The cookware I have in Missouri will not work on my induction stove in Arizona. I have cookware there, so I left the dishes and the cookware, but I packed things I don’t use often. The other day we had some peaches that needed to be used, and I promised Dennis I would make a peach pie. I went to the kitchen and made the dough. Then I remembered I packed the rolling pin. I have not closed any of the kitchen boxes because they all have a couple inches on top. I figured I could throw in the utensils and other small items before we go. I could not find the rolling pin. I knew it would be on the top of one of the boxes, but I was having no luck finding it. Frustrated, I walked back into the kitchen, and prepped the peaches, and while doing so, I calmly thought about which box I would have put the rolling pin. I then walked right over to the boxes that line the walls of the dining room, and picked out the rolling pin. Crisis averted!
I have decided not to pack any more of the kitchen. I will wait until a few days before we leave. I went to the closet upstairs. By the way, there are closets everywhere in this house. We actually had a prospective buyer look at the house and say there was no storage in the lower level. Yes, the lower level, otherwise, known as the basement, is ¾ a finished walk-out basement. As one comes down the steps, there is a huge walk in closet. There is a kitchen down there with a ton of cabinets. The unfinished part of the basement has three sets of shelving, and a big walk in area under the stairway. I tried to imagine what he would be storing in the basement that would not fit into any of these storage areas. I think sometimes prospective buyers are not interested in the house for one reason or another and they make up an excuse to the real estate agent that may or may not make any sense.
Back to my upstairs closets . . . There are two linen closets in the upper level, not counting walk-in closets in each bedroom. In one of the linen closets I stored miscellaneous stuff that I brought with me when I married Dennis and moved to the house. In this closet are boxes of photographs. About half of them have been digitized, and the other half still await. When I digitized the first half, it took hours upon hours setting the photos on the flatbed scanner of my printer. It literally took forever. A couple years ago Dennis purchased a high speed photo scanner that has a sheet feeder. This scanner will scan two sides at one time. So, if the photo has writing on the back identifying the people, it is also scanned. Each photo going through the scanner takes about a second or less to scan. They just zip right through.
I scanned well over a thousand photos this week. The timely part was going through each one after the scan was done. I have a MacBook Pro, and all Apple computers have a photo program that allows you to identify people. It is similar to “tagging” people on Facebook. I go to a photo and I type in the person’s name. It makes a file with those photos. When I want to see photos of a certain person, I go to the “People” tab in my photo program and I can click on one person, and every photo I have of them comes up.
I spent most of the time in the scanning process tagging the photos and also adding the date when taken if it was written on the back of the photo. Then I could delete the photo backs because all the information was on the photo.
This project made me smile all day. I found photos of family and friends I didn’t remember taking. Some were funny, some just brought back memories of time spent with friends of my past.
I also did the unforgiven. I threw away a ton of photos. They were old. They were of scenery that I don’t remember. They were also of people I don’t remember. Most were people from my college days. I had names on the back that identified them, but even looking at the names, I just did not remember them. Other than a small group of friends from college that I have kept in touch with over the years, the other photos were tossed. Is that bad? It almost felt sacrilegious to toss these photographs.
I went back and forth on the decision to toss photos. I thought what if I connect with them in the future? Well, fat chance of that. I am even moving away from the part of the country where most of them probably live. I’m 70 years old. What are the chances I will see these “unknown” folks again? When I am dead and gone, my kids will go through these photos, and have no idea who these people are—why make their clearing of my stuff harder than it should be.
Now comes the real questions. Once all my photos are digitized, what is the purpose of keeping the actual photograph? My children will be able to get on my computer and find all my photos. They will be able to go to the “People” section of the photo program and find the ones they may want to copy for themselves, or they may go to the “Places” section and find photos taken a particular geographic location. The photos I scanned will not be in these “places” folders because they don’t have a location. Only photos I have taken since we have had GPS on our phones, tag the photo with a geographic location. There are times I cannot find a particular photo I am searching, but I remember where I took the photo. For example, my photos taken in London, England. When I go to “Places” in my photo program, a world map pops up and it shows locations of my photos.
What are your thoughts about old photos? What does one do with them? Who will want the actual paper photo? What happens with all our photos when we die?
Here are a few examples of the fun photos I have discovered.