Monday, January 12, 2009

Back to the Ice Storm

I still love the anticipation of seeing what comes from a roll of film. It may not be the instant gratification of digital, but there's something about holding pictures in your hands and getting out your strongest spectacles to evaluate the details.

I can trace my love of pictures back to my grandmother's house in Amarillo. A top drawer in a bedroom dresser was crammed with black and white photos. I still see the dresser in my mind, set between windows at an angle in a corner of the room. In the drawer were photos of my mother as a girl, her sisters and brothers, photos of strangers I couldn't identify. I would spend countless hours looking at these photos over and over again. Mamaw posing on the little bridge in the backyard. My mother posing in her swimsuit with her leg kicked up. Pictures of Papaw with the current family pet. According to stories, his name was "Buster".

Today in our home you'll find much of what was at my grandmother's home, endless drawers and boxes of pictures waiting to one day find their way into an album. Others pictures were much more fortunate and are neatly arranged, in order of their appearance on the film (or disc) no less, so as not to interrupt the time line of when they were taken.

Most likely and very sadly, the days of looking back at old photos are probably nearing an end. Families and friends gathered around old photo albums, pointing and laughing at at each other. Even with our group of friends in Dallas, Sylvia has made a magnificent effort of being our unofficial "historian", but at a recent party we noticed suddenly the pictures in the album stopped and we realized they were now online. We soon found ourselves huddled around a computer rather than an island in the kitchen.

Fifty years from now, if not sooner, pictures will all be relegated to a hard drive that's been tossed aside, or thumb drives that have been lost. No longer will they be destined for a specially selected photo album to share with others. Or, to be stumbled upon in an estate sale or antique store.

Below are a few images that were taken with my non-digital Canon Rebel SLR of the ice storm in early December. My hope is that whomever ends up with the task of cleaning out our belongings, that they take time to look at our collection of photos, including the ones below, because they're not just photos, they're memories that we thought special enough to capture on film.

As a postscript - The juxtaposition of the still green grass and the ice covered trees in the picture above is a bit unsettling and actually seems to have been an omen for our very snowy winter.


Mildred said...

Janet, I remember that drawer. I Come to see us someday. l0ve. Aunt Mildred

dixiet said...

Hear! Hear!