Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Videos, Tapes and Pictures

What do you cherish and why? I have an old trunk loaded with pictures of me and my family as well as yellowed fragile pictures of relatives long gone. A stack of audio tapes sit preserving my children's voices when they were toddlers and James' growing voice all the way to college. Video tapes fill a box. All are of old play and musicals in which the kids performed, my industrial films from my acting days and those taken of the family over the years. What to do with this mass of memories.

I love estate sales and auctions. The treasures I gather at these sales become my treasures. But more and more I see old family photos and other personal treasures that, evidently, no one wanted. When my Aunt was ill, she cried, "Who will want these old films of our trips? Who will care about our dreams?" Who will care?

Maybe I care too much. I look at the old pictures of relatives I would never know and delight in the fact that they are my past. I love that I can still listen to my babies's first words, first songs. I have a tape of my oldest granddaughter telling her first story. I can remember plays and wonderful memories of family and friends through the videos. I could no longer part with these than I could any other family treasure.

My grandfather had a picture basket on his coffee table. In it were old postcards. I would sit for hours looking over the old cards. Now I have those cards. In fact, I have 2 baskets. One is my favorite pictures and the other? Of course, my grandfather's basket and cards. My granddaughters love to sort through the baskets. We snuggle and share observations and my memories.

I think I'll hold on to these treasures. Maybe the tapes and videos can be put onto discs since tapes are obsolete. But these will be tucked away for my granddaughters to deal with at some other time. I have never heard my grandmother's voice. I have never seen videos of an older generation. But I do have the pictures.

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