I did the hard way. Set up a photo stand and copied the old family photos via film using my old Nikon 100. THEN I scanned them, one by one, one by one. If you’ve ever tried to tackle the task of copying old family photos, you know why most don’t. It’s too hard, too iffy, and too time consuming. You could grow old yourself in the process.
So where are your old photos? Does this look familiar?
Enter ShoeBox–the same I-Phone app that let you scan receipts and business cards now lets you scan your old photos. You can even straighten, rotate, caption and tag the image. You might have to watch for glare, but that minor compared to the mind-numbing previous possibilities.
You can upload them directly to Facebook which is rumored to be creating a scrapbook function, soon to be available for those who want to document their life pre-Facebook.
OR, if that’s not to your liking, the photos can be stored in your I-Phone and/or uploaded to your computer. It’s nothing short of getting the old family photos out of the shoebox and into your busy life. I’m excited.
If someone in your family hasn’t reminded you of The Great Depression lately, you haven’t been listening.
I have an quilt that my mother found among some old things and gave to me. From the fabrics, I already know it was made in the 1930s, when everything, including fabric, was precious. From the workmanship, I know it was hastily made. Not all the pieces match. It’s a common pattern, thirty star blocks, predominantly yellow in color. The charm of a handmade quilt is that it’s make-do made art. Since most of us have had to make-do, at one time or another, we know it’s one thing to handle hard times with grace and another to handle them with style. Taking scraps of material too good to throw away and turning them into quilts has to be one of the higher expressions of make-do.
Dump-cake is another example. The recipe that has came down in my family is actually quite good. If hard times include dump-cake, I’m not likely to whine. Of course, the recipe assumes you have a jar of fruit sitting around. Canning your own fruit and vegetables is also an art that not many of us do any more.
My mother is sure we’re all going to have to learn those old skills again. She sees a root cellar in every back yard. Hope not, I like my deck and umbrellas. However, I do have a compost box.
Writing for the Denver Post, a friend, Claire Walter, gathered some wonderful stories about keepsakes and how they keep us healthy. Check out the article; there are medical studies that indicate that keepsakes aren’t just kitsch. Because they mean something (have a story attached), they help us stay balanced, in-touch-with-our-past, and healthy. As an example, Walter lets Hollis Brooks tell the story of her lamp:
“There is a pretty lamp in my life that I inherited from my mother . . .. It was her favorite lamp, and I have recollections of her standing by it, admiring it and saying aloud to me, ‘Oh! This little lamp gives me pleasure every time I look at it.’ “
“It has a porcelain base, painted with a peacock. It is colorful and somewhat distinctive, but not the sort of decorative item that brings the word ‘wow!’ to mind. After my parents died, the lamp came my way, making the journey from Connecticut to Colorado. I have placed it by my bedside, so it’s the last thing I see before I close my eyes to sleep.
“I have moved seven times since my mother’s death, and wherever I live, the lamp is the first item I place in my new nest. What makes the lamp extra-special: there is a tiny scrap of paper nestled in the lamp underside. It reads, in my mom’s distinctive handwriting: ‘For Hol. xx.’ Sometimes when I need my spirits lifted, I sit by the lamp and turn it upside down to read the note. And I always feel my own light go on again.”
After a fire, flood or tornado, there’s a deep reason why we are willing to sift through the rubble looking for the keepsakes. We need them.