Thursday, January 22, 2015

Blank Photo Album...Memories

I own a great little phone.  It takes the best pictures, even better than an old Leica.  I took it on vacation when I celebrated mom's recovery from heart surgery last year.  We climbed the rocks in Sedona.  There she was standing so proudly.  My brother joined us there.  I took video with the camera of his first reaction when he saw the Grand Canyon.  Photo of my daughter and my mom at her 80th birthday party.  Hugging my son after he signed his letter of intent to play baseball at a Division 1 college in the fall.  Oye.


Last week the phone wouldn't charge.  I'm told the photos can't be recovered.  New phone.   How did I let this happen?  Why didn't I just spend 2 minutes at the drugstore downloading these?  Why?


Over Christmas, my daughters watched videos from their days as little girls.  There was their grandfather dumping leaves over them as they squealed.  My son turned and asked where the videos of him are.  I had to explain that when he was a toddler, he took the video camera and smashed it on the front porch.  I just never replaced it.  What a pity.  All those little moments in his life.


I used to be the best photographer and no one was more organized at keeping photos in order.  I even worked at a photo lab when I was a teenager.  I couldn't wait for the roll of film to be complete so I could have it developed.  Then these "scrapbooks" came along and with it came "scrapbooking clubs" where you would get together with friends and clip photos.  Instead of a cute picture of my daughter in the tub, I felt compelled to take 10 pictures of her in the tub, so my scrapbook page would have a theme.  Those books involve stickers...like ducks....around your daughter in the tub.  It was just too much.  So I stopped taking pictures. 


One of the best Christmas traditions in Chicago is scoring a table for lunch under the Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room at the old Marshall Field's store, now Macy's. On the last Sunday before the end of the holidays, and the day before the tree was going down, I called my mom and told her we were heading to the city for lunch in the Walnut Room.  That morning I was happy to just tidy up the house, but remembering Blago in prison, I knew what had to be done.  Create a new memory.  I had yet to miss a Christmas in the Walnut Room.  Why start now. 


The shock of the day was that no one was standing in line.  The wait is usually over 3 hours.  We were escorted to the BEST table in the room.  We had a great lunch.  We were so happy to end the holidays on such a high. The tree was gorgeous.  I took a picture.  It's gone. 


I'm trying to make sense of it all.  From now on I'll process the photos.  But those pictures mean so much.   I have vivid memories of those special moments, but I realize it's just not the same.   Take your photos.  Cherish them.  Put them in a simple album.  You don't need stickers! Get them off your computer.  They bring you happy thoughts.  If you're Blago, your album is blank.  No memories.