Thursday, August 20, 2009

Family Pictures

I have a huge plastic bin full of pictures. Old pictures--some that are far older than me. New pictures. All sorts of family group pictures. And in almost all of them, at least one person is frowning or looking in the wrong direction or squinting...

That's the wonderful thing about family pictures. They're a snapshot frozen in time. When you look at them over a bit of time, you can actually discern something about the people in the pictures. Were they happy? Were they sad? Body language tells you whether they were lovers or friends or siblings.

I love looking at family pictures. Some of them tell such wonderful stories. I have a picture of one of my family groups taken in the early 1920's. The family is lined up in front of the old home place. Only back then it wasn't "old". I suppose I find that picture interesting because I stayed at that same home place when I was a girl.

I have another picture of an ancestor's blacksmithing shop. He and his brothers are lined up next to the open door. I have an old plumb bob that ancestor made in his shop.

And there's the picture I have of four generations of women in my family--again taken back in the 1920's. Life was hard and their faces clearly show just how hard.

I wonder what our descendents will be able to tell about us from our pictures? Will they find us as interesting? Will they be as fascinated?
Or will they be disappointed because we didn't video record everything?



  1. The pictures sound fascinating. I love old photos.

  2. LOL...when K and S were little, we had two 'As They Grow' tapes for each kid's first year or so of life. One day, after viewing his, K asked, 'Do you have any movies of when you were little?' and was disappointed when we explained we only had pictures.

    And now my little one will never know about having to rewind the tapes. Of course, he also thinks live TV can be paused and rewound!

  3. I love old pictures - I have a collection of my grandparents photographs from my Grandpa's WWII days and photos from their wartime wedding. I love those pictures so much - you can see how clearly in love they were. Best of all, you can still see it in the photographs taken in their 60s before my Gram died.

  4. I love old pictures! Every holiday, the kids drag out the old boxes and picture albums and have a great time. I love going through old family photos! My favorites are one grandmother at five with her sister (who never smiled in photos) with their dutch boy bobs and big ribbons in their hair posed by a steamer trunk. My other grandmother at 19 or 20 in a studio shot of her in a grass skirt doing the hula! Interesting times;-)I doubt if my descendants will think I'm half as interesting!

  5. I have piles of old pictures in boxes, manila envelopes, old broken albums...I inherited my mom's pictures too. What I can't figure out is what to put them in and how to sort and organize them. By approximate time period? By who's in them? I'm clueless.

    However, I have some really cool ones from back in the 1800s of my pioneer ancestors. Bushy beards, bonnets and lots of wrinkles from working in the sun.

  6. Mostly my descendants will think the red demon eyes were a permanent fixture.

  7. I have boxes filled with old pictures, some dating back into the 1700's. I took a lot of these pictures and had them color copied (that was before I owned a scanner/copier/printer of my own) and had the copies laminated. I made albums of the pictures for each of my three kids, with labels on the backs to tell them who the people were, and what the approximate date was. Now I scan photos into my computer and give the kids and grandkids a picture CD that I make on my computer. They can print their own copies or have a slide show on their screens. The CD's also play on the DVD players I have. I did that because I don't plan on living forever. :p

  8. We don't take pictures as often as we should and that's a fact. I love my old family pictures. I have lots of the old-time portraits where nobody smiles. Wonder why they were so solemn? Have some of my grandparents when they were young-uns. They are sitting in a field with other couples along with their picnic baskets. Horses and buggies are in the background.

    Oh and in case you're mom was a 'late in life' baby so no...I'm not about 100 yrs. old. ha