About a month ago I was asked if I would scan a bunch of old family photos from my in-laws so that everyone in the family could have digital copies of their own. I’ve always been really curious about my own family history (don’t even ask me where my family is from…. I will just name about 10 different places where I’ve been told my ancestors lived), so I love finding out stories and backgrounds of my husband’s family because they actually know some of it. Add a few boxes of old black and white photos to it and it’s even better! Now to learn who all the faces in the photos are….
I love people’s stories. I love learning about where they came from, what their lives were like, and how they got to wherever they are. Whenever I look at old photographs I always think of these things. A lot of years ago I was in an antique store in Vancouver when I came across an old black scrapbook with gold script across the front that was filled with photos that looked like they were from the 1900’s. I couldn’t resist getting it, which some people found extremely odd that I would want someone else’s family photos, but I fell in love with the mystery of it. Who are these people? Where were they? Who was it that had a camera back then and took all these photos of of their family or friends doing everyday things? How did this scrapbook end up in a tiny little antique store tucked between a brightly painted alley and a bakery cafe in Vancouver? These are questions I’ll probably never know the answers too, but I’m okay with that.
It also makes me see the importance of keeping my everyday life and memories documented for my future generations. You might not think that anyone will want to see what your life was like in 2015, but I can almost guarantee that someone down the road.. maybe 50 or 100 years down the road, but someone will want to see, and learn, and love your stories. Why keep that from them? I would love to know the names of the places my family came from. To learn what they did for a living, what was it that made them who they were, to know the names of their kids, and their kids kids all the way up to my family now. And to have photographs from that time.
I’m not a scrapbooker, but I do love to print photos and have them around the house. I try to write on the backs of them the date, names of who’s in it, and where it was taken. One of the things I love when I’m scanning the old photos is when I turn one over and it has something written on the back. Yay, information! Even messy handwriting looks awesome when it’s “antique” ;)
I also keep a 5 year line-a-day diary that you can read about here. I’ve never been a journaler, but I can keep up with this one since all it requires is me jotting down a few things that happened that day. It just takes 30 seconds to do before bed and it’s already cool to see how last year compares to this year. Who knows if it will still be around in 50 years, but if I had one of these from my grandparents or even my parents at my age I think that would be pretty awesome.
We starting making a family tree sometime last year and one day I hope to make a big written/drawn out version that we can frame and hang up. We just have to fill in
a few a lot more blanks first, but it’s slowly coming along.
I’m just over half way through this scanning and restoring photo project and I’ve already scanned over 400 photos! I’ve come across some that I definitely want to make reprints of for our house. I also immediately fell in love with those peach tree photos that you see above. I’m sure the person that took them (probably my husband’s nona) had no idea that someone else would ever want photos of her backyard fruit tree, but I love them! That light and this colors… mmmmm.
So even if you only ever take photos on your phone I encourage you to get some printed once in a while. Write on them, stick them in an album, or on your fridge, or in frames, or washi taped to your walls. Someone someday will thank you for it!