When photos come alive

I think kids today are missing out.

They’re missing out on one of my all-time favorite hobbies. When I was young, my mom kept a large, green shoebox full of family pictures in her bedroom closet. When I was bored or felt blue and needed a pick-me-up I’d pull the box out to look at and reminisce about past vacations and family milestones.


We weren’t a big photo family. We didn’t have any natural photographers in our family and this obviously was well before the age of the selfie. However, I used to love looking over the photos we took and had packed away.

I’d spend hours looking over each picture, my mind racing thinking back on where we were, who we were with and what we were doing. They were all mixed together. Some very old, some recently taken. Most of the pictures were in color, but there were a few faded instant Polaroids and black-and-whites too.  There were pictures of our Christmas trip in the mid 70s to Florida; our trip watching the wild horses on Assateague Island in Maryland; and birthdays for all three of us kids.

Nothing like the original

We keep our photos today online via a number of different social media outlets or stored on our personal computer (with back-ups.) The photos are still there, but we’ve fallen behind in getting our photos professionally printed out. We still have our version of the photo box, but there’s a clear delineation that shows the growth of technology. The actual photos are rather old.


I love technology so I think it’s wonderful that we’ve grown as a society, but I also think it’s neat sometimes to skim through the real thing, the real printed photos. If I visited my mother today, I’d still probably be able to find that original box of photos. I’d touch and feel the photos and be taken back immediately to the moment.  I’d look for the ones with my brothers  and make fun of their dorky haircuts. I laugh because they both have full heads of hair now and well . . . yea, I’m losing mine. I’d look for the ones of my mom in knee-high 60s boots and shake my head questioning how she went from Amish garb to go-go boots wearing Laugh-In dancer.  I’d even stop and look at the one of me as a fourth- or fifth-grader at some amusement park with my arm around a plastic, make-believe American Indian girl. The look on my face is one of obvious disgust and fear of “catching the cuties,” albeit plastic ones.

Still fun all these years later

Oh hell, just thinking about our old pictures makes me want to pull up all the ones that my wife and I have taken over the years on the computer. Yes, it’s different, but maybe different isn’t such a bad thing? At least then I could import the most embarrassing pictures of my kids and post them immediately to Facebook or Twitter.

How about the shot of my oldest son dressed up in a pair of tights doing his best Mr. Incredible pose or the picture of my daughter as a young infant with spaghetti sauce covering her face? Or even one of my youngest son wearing his big sister’s ballerina tutu?

The choices are endless and oh so embarrassing. Hmm, as I think more about it, this new tradition might work out just fine after all.

2 thoughts on “When photos come alive

Add yours

  1. Brian,
    This was great. I still go thru my albums and boxes of pictures…Growing up…trips…grandparents taken away to early in life. Parents taken away long before their time to leave this world. They are my memories I can hold in my hand even though they are always in my heart.
    I love reliving the good ole days by just reminiscing ❤️



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