From the time I married in the 1970’s to this very day, making family memories and creating traditions has been a big part of my life. And I must give my parents credit for my endeavors in this area.
My father was the picture taker in our family. He purchased a “movie camera” (that’s what we called them back in the day) in 1957. Movie cameras became available for home use right before World War 2, and they became more widespread in the 1950’s as the baby boomer population grew. And oh, how I treasure those sweet memories when my father grabbed that movie camera for so many special occasions when I was growing up. In my mind’s eye, I can still see my father attaching a cumbersome four-light apparatus to the camera itself. That thing must have been heavy. And certainly awkward in comparison to our video taking on cell phones. How I wish someone in our family had saved that camera! And Daddy made sure the still-picture camera was always close by.
My mother was into the photo albums and scrapbooks for me and my three sisters. I don’t think she got into all the photo albums out of necessity with the many pictures my dad was taking over the years, rather, I believe she just really enjoyed her hobby. And thankfully she dated all of our pictures! When we live in a digital day and age where photos are saved in google, I feel I am holding a valuable treasure in my hands as I look through my own childhood photo albums. Words escape me to describe my amazement when I look at my 60-plus-years baby scrapbook which contains all of my baby congratulations cards. First, I can’t believe my mother saved all of those. Second, baby congratulation cards are almost extinct these days.
Take note of the pictures. I still have the original movie projector my father set up for family movie time in my childhood years. He would heave a bit as he lugged the large screen on a heavy stand out of the storage closet to get everything set up. My scrapbook shows only a couple of pages of those many precious baby cards my parents received. Such memories—oh, those were the days!
The example of my parents preserving memories through the family cameras, albums, scrapbooks and traditions ignited my desire to do the same for my own family. What are some ways you preserve memories in your families today?