Paper memories. Remember when.. ? (revised)

Three ordinary boxes encompassing a generation of our lives caught on paper, what to keep? This does not include the movies on super eight film or the VHS cartridges oh, and let us not forget the projector and slides! This job is not for me alone, mainly because I don’t throw away anything. That’s why I have three full boxes my unwillingness to let go of anything is really annoying. I am not a hoarder but lordy, lordy I have the makings of one trying to breakthrough!

I don’t keep plastic bread bags (grocery ones don’t count) certainly not the plastic bread clips either. Well.. the jam jars and glass of any kind really should be rinsed out, washed, and saved don’t you think? What if I make homemade soup or pasta sauce? Well ok, that was last year, so what?

My closets are full of clothes of varying sizes but everyone’s closets are like that.. well, aren’t they? Sure I have that perfect dress that I will fit into again someday.. soon, maybe hmmm So it is with my pictures, and I took almost every one of them. I wonder now, what did I miss while I was recording everyone else’s life? The VHS tapes and the movie camera required a lot of my time and effort and patience, which was not always appreciated “put that thing away, will ya ” or “ok.. that’s enough.” I only wanted to record those moments I felt were important but, it seems like everything was important to me, ah well.

Mothers day sees me at my son’s place with my daughter and grandkids sitting around the dining room table and sorting through all of these precious memories caught on paper. Some pictures are so special I remember the exact moment I caught it on film or the time spent trying to get that perfect shot. Those I keep, but the rest are up for grabs.

There have been marriages and divorces and babies and dogs and, and.. oh my, pictures of every single vehicle and toy we ever owned and even some we didn’t buy! I have pictures of everything, recorded right here in this box. The pictures of cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, and sleds go to the Ex, they were all his toys anyway. Pictures of friends and relatives are a bit harder and where do you draw the line? Uncle clown blowing a paper horn at an unrecognized party was easy to chuck. No one even knew who uncle clown was, well he was a distant cousin of mine, but I feigned ignorance on that one.

My repeated admonishing about liquor and smoking to my kids takes a beating. Here is a picture of me, the longest cigarette in my mouth, sitting on a patio ledge with an alcoholic drink in my hand, I was so obviously inebriated, so much for my credibility. So ok… I had a drink, and sure I smoked, we all smoked in those days. We were the generation that singlehandedly subsidized the government with our smoking and alcohol taxes! You guys would be still driving on dirt roads if not for our generous bad habits.

Then there were the funny pictures when we all had afro’s, even the guys, I was a hairdresser remember? The pictures with the ex and his brothers in perm rods seem to have disappeared, unfortunately, it is still seared into my memory bank. Yes, I was skinny, we were all skinny and so young. We had diet pills, the doctors were handing them out like candy until some started having heart problems. The diet pills started a whole generation on yo-yo weight gains, were we gullible or what?

Who are these people hmmm I can’t remember, why didn’t I write on the back of those pictures, ah well into the garbage? In my daughter’s pictures, I remember every single one of her outfits like it was yesterday I loved buying her clothes and dressing her up.

There is a picture of the great Dane making my son cry once more. He just wanted to play with him but kept knocking him to the ground, needless to say, the dog didn’t find a forever home. I gravitate towards taking pictures of bawling kids.. even if it is my own. The pictures of my granddaughter dressing her brother up like a girl, go into the keep pile. I’m sure they will show up again somewhere, probably at his wedding.

It was an emotional journey into the past and it was necessary. We never made it to the recorded stuff, not enough time. I came away with a precious handful of memories and a strange feeling, why do I feel like a load has been lifted from my shoulders? I am not the keeper any longer of these glimpses into the past, caught on paper. I wonder what will become of all of our memory sticks or all those pictures in the clouds? My iPhone currently has 1435 pics and videos.

Do you think we will put these sticks, chips, or whatever they all end up on, into a media device and watch them once again? I really do doubt it, I think paper will make a comeback someday. It was nice sitting around the table and passing around pictures, laughing and groaning, some happy moments, some sad and, even now making more memories to look back on and reminisce. This, our lives, our stories, in these three boxes …

Remember when… ?

copyright 2015