Question: Dear Luise: I have a problem that will seem miniscule to those who have earth-shattering crisis in their lives. It’s still an issue that bothers me that I can’t seem to get a grip on. I’m a senior who has boxes and boxes of pictures that need to be sorted, organized and put into albums. It isn’t that I don’t have the time…I just use it for other things. The task looks monumental to me. Some are pictures of babies… and I know longer know whose baby it is. Some are of scenery that doesn’t even look familiar to me now but most of them I can place and want to keep. I know if I don’t handle this, my kids will have to after I’m gone, and if I don’t know who’s who, they sure won’t. I’d like to make an album for each of my daughters, and then some for myself. Do you have any handy-dandy advice about this? Thanks, Thelma
Answer: Dear Thelma: This is a common problem. Very few people of my acquaintance have lovely, neat albums all in a row and no boxes of scrambled, battered photos. For a long time, I was with you. I’d even get them all out occasionally and get started but I never had the momentum to keep going, so eventually I’d be right back where I started.
There is only one way I know of to face the music…misery loves company. Get a few women who are in the same boat together once a week and work as a group. A good place to work is a school, church or other meeting place where there are large tables you can spread out on. It can be fun. Stories are shared as memories come bubbling to the surface. In my group, our unofficial motto is “Just two pages a week, makes 100 pages a year”. And we all do more than two pages per session.
There are as many ways to display photos, as there will be people in your group. Some can be very artsy-craftsy and some might even know calligraphy. Don’t let them intimidate you! To each her own, that’s the whole point. They are your mementos and you have the right to organize and display them any way you want to.
If you’re interested, I made one for each child, and then broke my own into twenty-year periods that reflected my age at the time…birth to 20, 21 to 40, 41 to 60, and 61 to 80. For reasons of my own, this worked very well for me. I also threw away tons of pictures that no longer interested me, and tossed out a lot of duplicates.
Don’t give up. The whole process can actually be enjoyable. Blessings, Luise