A snowy day of photo albums and memories

Yesterday our family had a private memorial for my mother in the botanical garden she loved. The day was sunny and spring-like, and we had to dodge swarms of little children and parents there for an Easter egg hunt. We couldn’t believe the forecast called for snow the next day.

A snowstorm began around 8:00 this morning. At nightfall I measured nine inches of wet snow, with lighter swirls of flakes still expected. No school tomorrow. We know March comes in like a lion, but we didn’t expect it would go out as a fluffy, white, cold lamb. My visiting sister and her husband left at noon, and their drive home took an extra two and a half hours, with forty-five cars sighted in ditches. Facebook and Twitter are full of snow photos. The photos will help us all remember this crazy weather weekend.

Before she left, my sister and I started going through a box of my mother’s old photos. This can be a sad task after someone dies, but we had a good time discovering photos of the Japanese family we’ve never met. We also enjoyed seeing our own old family photos—look how skinny I was, can you believe that hair, there’s our old backyard, how come I didn’t get one of those pictures? There’s a lot to be said for print photos vs digital. There’s also a lot to be said for writing dates, people’s names, and places on the backs of photos.

I love sitting down and looking at print photo albums. To me, the physical act of turning pages adds to the sensory experience of delight at re-discovering forgotten photos. Scrapbooking is wonderful, but regular albums are just fine, too. Anything to get those photos out of the shoebox and bringing back good memories. I make family albums, but also personal ones for each daughter. They have a lot of fun looking through their albums and sharing them with friends. A physical book lying around seems to draw attention more than a file on a computer.

I took snow photos today, and some may make it into an album. I’m going to spend the rest of the evening going through my mom’s old photos—those make me feel a lot warmer.

Yesterday was a beautiful day for an outdoor memorial

Yesterday was a beautiful day for an outdoor memorial

The robins have failed to bring spring!

The robins have failed to bring spring!

Nine inches of snow fell today
Nine inches of snow fell today

About moonbridgebooks

Co-author of Cherry Blossoms in Twilight, a WWII Japan memoir of her mother's childhood; author of Poems That Come to Mind, for caregivers of dementia patients; Co-author/Editor of Battlefield Doc, a medic's memoir of combat duty during the Korean War; life writing enthusiast; loves history and culture (especially Japan), poetry, and cats
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4 Responses to A snowy day of photo albums and memories

  1. How nice,LInda, that the sweet memories of your mother warmed you on this snowy,cold day. I love going through family photos, too. What we anticipate being sad ends up being connecting us with happy memories as you have shown here. Lovely! Stay warm and let’s all “Think Spring.” 🙂

  2. doris says:

    I agree with you about how good it feels to touch family pictures and to experience the connection to our loved ones, and the sweet memories it sparks.

    I’m glad you got to spend time with family, honoring your Mom.

  3. Jean Lee says:

    Linda, this is a beautiful post. I’ve had similar experiences with my parents’ old photos, scanning some as far back as their dating years in 1940. When those pictures flutter across my computer screensaver, peeking out among pictures of my own family, children and grandchildren, my heart skips a beat. People take pictures of images that bring us happiness. Seeing them appear in random order is its own kind of thankfulness therapy.

  4. Jean, that’s a wonderful idea to use screensaver to view rotating family photos. I love catching glimpses of photos rotating through our digital photo frame, but have a still shot as my computer background. Too easy to forget about photos if they’re not in front of us. Someone in another forum mentioned to be sure to back up digital photos, and think about scanning old photos made from film – saving in two formats for safekeeping.

    You’re right, Kathy, about happy memories tempering the sadness. Thanks for stopping by, Doris. A photo can be a trigger for sweet memories to write down!

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