Monday, June 06, 2011


Bookshelves made from boards balanced atop cinder blocks. They were all over my house when I was a kid. That and macrame plant holders. And end tables made from electrical cable spools. Everywhere. If you were born of hippies in the '70s, you probably tell a similar tale.

But anyway, the bookshelves. There were lots of them. And the bottom shelf was always lined with photo albums. Always.

When I moved out of my mom's house and into a cramped 2-bedroom that I shared with four other people, I insisted that we make space for my bookshelf. And I lined the bottom shelf with photo albums. If one of my room mates thought to store something else on that bottom shelf - something as brazenly incorrect as a book, for example - I would wait until said room mate had left the scene and quietly correct his mistake.

I was maybe wound just a little too tightly as a young adult.

My point is this: the photo albums were always there, always within easy reach, always being added to, often being flipped through. There is a vast collection of photos and albums between my mother and me. Or there was, up until about six years ago. Six years ago I purchased my first digital camera and effectively stopped taking pictures.

With digital, there's no need to remember to take film to the drug store to be developed. There's no need to purchase more photo albums in which to store one's collections. There's no need to reserve the bottom shelf of one's bookshelves for photo storage. There are no photo albums staring at me from across the room, inviting me to take pictures. There's no physical reminder.

And so I forget.

I have failed to document vast swaths of The Kid's childhood. And photos of The Baby's first several months are few and far between. Photos of me? The Man? Abysmal.

Which is why I've recently tasked myself with carrying my camera with me everywhere I go. It's why I've added "take a picture" to my daily to-do list. I am not even remotely skilled as a photographer, and see no need for a personal Project 365 type endeavor. But occasionally I may post a few photos here, so that you may share in the delight of watching my children grow.

Like right now. Glimpses of us from May:

This is what it looks like when we mop the kitchen floor.

This is what it looks like when The Baby spits up while I'm trying to photograph his new hat.

This is what it looks like when The Kid gets behind the camera.

This is what it looks like when The Baby "discovers" the camera.

This is what it looks like when you take a photo in bad lighting of your kids napping together.

This is what it looks like when we walk home from school on a sunny day.

This is what it looks like when we do our homework in the back yard.

This is what it looks like when my kids crack each other up.

For the record, I would still put photo albums on the bottom shelf if I had any, but now it's because they're heavy and the bottom shelf tends to be the strongest. See? There's logic there. I'm not crazy, just practical.


Amybeader said...

Amused about the photo albums and what digital has done. But I really zoomed in on your mentioning those bricks & boards bookcases (that's what we called 'em even if they were concrete. I had many of those in my first couple of apartments. And one thing I vividly remember was what they do in an earthquake: they crack in place. I lived in San Jose when the Loma Prieta (1989) quake hit and had to disassemble several shelves to remove the two or three concrete blocks that cracked. *sigh* Remove the books from the top shelf, then remove the board, then remove more books, then take out the cracked black—carefully! Then replace the block(s), put the shelf back, put books back and so on. Repeat as needed on any set with cracked blocks.
And just so you know I actually read everything, nice pictures! :-)

lisa said...

Six years ago, when I started living with my husband, I started to make photo-books online with my digital pics. There's a lot of different software out there to do it. I find it very easy and now I can finally flip through pics again without looking at them on the p.c., uff! Perhaps this might work for you, too?

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