Short entry because I’ve spent much of the night immersed in one of these:
For preserving our family’s experiences, I have my writing and my wife has her scrapbooks. When my memories falter, her photo spreads help jump-start the recovery process for those old, lost anecdotes. She’s been assembling these for years and years, building up quite the family library. Vacations, conventions, special one-time outings, random notable occasions, family holidays — if we did something besides work, sleep, eat, or stare at screens, she’s scrapbooked it.
I’ve delved into this one tonight to retrieve several old 35mm photos from our 2006 vacation for future use. A few were previously scanned, but not all of them. It’s so weird looking back at my son, tall for an 11-year-old yet far from his adult height; my wife, timeless as always; and me, the year after my diet. And many of the shots with her 35mm camera looked better than the results from the frustrating digital camera I had at the time. Quite unfair. So I’ve been scanning and scanning and scanning and scanning the night away and I’m really, really tired of staring at the scanner and waiting for the platen elves to hurry and make with the magical uploading.
Sometimes we’ll share her scrapbooks with friends, walk them through with tag-team narration. For the most part, they’re for our own future use, especially for revisiting in those golden years (so to speak) when individual tales begin to blur, vital details vanish, names become scrambled, and punchlines lose their impact. If either of us are stricken with one of the worst-case-scenario kinds of conditions, the ones that pulverize mental faculties and effectively sever any connections to prized talents and qualities, I want these scrapbooks right beside us as our reminders, as our life-savers, as our virtual tour guides to ourselves, imbued with all that we were and all that we meant.
The above pictures-in-picture are from a small-town Wizard of Oz festival we attended in 2006, a cavalcade of Oz cosplay, surviving Munchkin actors, arts-‘n’-crafts booths, and general whimsy. One day we ought to share that story, but I kept it in reserve for a few reasons, none of them personal. When the time is right and the story yearns to be told, either to ourselves or to others, the scrapbook will be waiting.