Photographs

I have been trying to get photographs moved from photo boxes to albums for 20 years.  Really. Twenty years. 

They haven’t been spread out all over the whole time.  I have gotten them out, sorted, discarded some, and boxed them back up more than once.  I couldn’t find photo albums I wanted until two or three years ago.  I got the albums and additional filler pages.  Eventually, I started loading photos only to find the first groups were too small to stay in the pockets.  I got black acid free paper and cut it to fit in the pockets and stabilize the photos.  Sometime in August, I set up the folding table and cleared the kitchen table and went at things again.  I have made very slow progress.  Slow progress is still progress. 

I find the task of sorting and deciding how to load them and the actual loading into the pockets tedious. The real challenge is seeing my tiny children in the prints.  I miss those little people so terribly much. 

I am trying to get this task complete because I do love mine and Rock’s two people and I want them and their girls, the Duchesses, to see all these pictures.

I want all of them to see all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends, too.  The family connections and where we come from.  Roots matter.  That is one of the major lessons I learned from Granny Sally.  She taught it through family stories, through visiting cemeteries and explaining the family behind the names carved in granite, through cooking her mother’s dumplings for me when she could and pinto beans when she couldn’t.  

Mother was always pulling all of us together.  Family ties matter.  Something about knowing our people creates connection.  I try to get our children together whenever we can.  We have several friends who are closer than a lot of our family members.  They create an even richer connection for us. They are included in my party tribe these days. 

I don’t remember to take pictures enough when we are all together.  I am in very few of the photos scattered on the table because I was always behind the camera. We all have phone in our pocket to take pictures.  Yet, I forget to do it.  Another thing that I don’t like is having everything digital.  I would like to have a lot of the photos saved on the computer or my social media account or a thumb drive printed into those ready-made photo books.  One of my sister friends is scanning her old prints of photos on to her computer.  It’s all a bit overwhelming for me.  There seems to be no end to this project. 

Oh, well.  I will keep progressing.  Slow, no doubt.   Slow progress is still progress.  I will keep reminding myself. 

Two More Months

I ran up to the store a little while ago and in conversation with the girl at the check-out, I mentioned it being August 31st and that meaning we have only two more months of heat.  It may be a little cooler over the next few weeks, but fall is two months away.  Around Hallowe’en we should get a cool front.  Meanwhile, cabin fever continues.

I want to go outside and do something.  It’s one o’clock in the afternoon.  It would not be even remotely pleasant.  Later, this afternoon, I have an outdoor project to work on.  I know that with my age and condition, I need to be careful.  I intend to try anyway.

A former co-worker has just retired.  I went to her retirement luncheon.  She has a retired husband.  They like to travel and already have a trip planned for the coming weeks.  I have been retired a year now.  I haven’t made a dent in any of my retirement plans.  I hear retired people say they are so busy they don’t know how they had time to work before.  I have managed to avoid that issue.

I have a few days each week to spend doing whatever I want here at the house.  And yet, several projects sit waiting.  Am I not really interested in getting them done?  Are they simply “should do” projects?  I was skimming through a book yesterday and came across a phrase:  rapt attention.  The rapt attention could lead to the feeling of childlike joy.  Or something like that.  I am looking for that something that can capture my rapt attention and evoke the feeling of childlike joy.

My mother had a gift for always being busy.  She had a sewing project, quilt project, crochet project or something going. In the fall or winter, she was often outside with a few hand tools clearing back the woods around the house a bit more.  Spring meant a vegetable garden to be put in.  Canning of green beans and shelling and freezing purple hull peas came around in the calendar. My brother was the muscle in the outfit.  Sometimes we would be joined by others just for the time together working on something.  As her physical ability waned, she focused on cooking for whoever showed up to fix this or paint that or watch the Cowboys play football on Sunday afternoons. 

I want to be busy, too.  I wrote last week of digging deep.  Looking for that something on all the lists that might be just the thing. 

Did I confess about my Pinterest boards?  A few weeks ago, I went through all the 4000+ pins I have on various boards.  I created a board of things that still seem to resonate with me.  Home décor, garden ideas, clothes, colors.  A variety of topics.  The other day I listened to a TED talk by someone whose opinion I respect.  He talked about vision boards being effective.  He doesn’t try to explain why.  He indicated he doesn’t know why they seem to work.  So, I made a vision board. I actually printed pictures from Pinterest and got a piece of poster board and put the board on the back side of the bedroom door.  I will let you know how things go. 

None of the things on the board are items for my rapt attention.  I will need to work on that direction some more.  I have some vague ideas, but I need some time and some resources to pursue the possibilities.  Time, I have.  Resources, not so much.  If Hobby Lobby and JoAnn’s weren’t so far away, I would be able to move along more quickly.  I could at least see if anything is available to develop my ideas further. 

I am not really discouraged.  Just stalled.  If I am anything, I am persistent in this venture.  For more than 40 years, I have persisted in seeking a way to express my creativity.  I want to be bolder.  Take more risks.  Be willing to fail on a grander scale.  Out of those grander failures, I might just find something to get my rapt attention and give me childlike joy. 

The pursuit continues for me.  I take a tiny step or two each day.  Some days I even move a good bit along the path.  Today, I moved a good bit along.  My idea isn’t working. And so, a failure toward success.  Simply being able to classify today’s flop as such is success all on its own.  Let me stop here and go try to get through some more failures on the way to success.  Will keep you posted.