We Bought a Scanner…

My brother with Bert. I, of course, had Ernie.

There was no Sunday morning blog post – I got distracted.

For years we have talked about getting a photo scanner and putting it to use. Well, after years of talk, it finally happened. And now the work begins…

For the backstory, we went digital in 1999, and have an extensive archive stored away on hard drives and in the cloud. That’s the easy part. We also have multiple photo albums and the requisite boxes of old photos that never made it into the photo albums. We also have boxes of “deja-vu” photos that *might* be in an album, or might be double prints – because it was such a good value at the time…

Now, to compound this, both of my parents, and my EC’s parents have passed away, leaving their albums and boxes upon boxes of photos that haven’t been touch in decades.

So, I set up the scanner and got busy.

So many memories. So many experiences captured by our parents that we have never seen: Gramma liked to take pictures.

Here are three: My baptism day with my sibs, me and my sibs, and my nutty parents at the beach.

Me in my spiffy baptism-day suit on the right.
With two of my sibs – me on the right.
My parents at the beach on Oregon

Now I can hear your thoughts from here: I don’t care about Brad’s pictures. I get it, because neither did I. But now, as I am going through them, I am getting a wonderful gift: The Gift of Nostalgia.

Here is one definition for nostalgia: “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.”

I am a nostalgic guy, although sometimes I tend to brush it off, or avoid it when it morphs into sad memories. When I do get nostalgic, I tend to wallow in it.

These are crazy times. It has been a tough year for a lot of us. In some cases, one of the toughest. Something about looking sorting through these old photos brings me a sense of peace.

Nostalgia helps us remember our roots. It links us to people and things that shaped who we are. “Psychologists also found that nostalgia increases self-esteem, perceptions of social connectedness, and perceptions of meaning in life.” (link)

It also requires a lot of sorting.

I am blessed that when I look back, I see mostly good things, because I had a mostly good upbringing and childhood. Same with out college and early years as parents. I know not everyone has that blessing, and I count myself blessed.

Even better, my awesome cousin snet me a box that is full of pictures and letters from my dad’s young life that I HAVE ENEVER SEEN. The box is still sealed and sitting on my dresser, waiting until I can gather my sibs and explore the treasure together.

Nostalgia can be a gift. Literally: “When neuroscientists looked at the brains of people feeling nostalgia in an MRI machine, they noticed that nostalgia enhanced activity in the prefrontal cortex in similar ways seen in people receiving money.” (Link)

So, rather than write an enlightening blog post today, I chose to bask in a bit of pre-holiday nostalgia.

I highly recommend it.

And yes, those bangs were on point.

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  1. Seeing your parents was actually a jolt for me. I didn’t know I missed them. And their love. Those were some great people!

  2. My daughter sorted and scanned all the family pictures we could find, and combined them with the newer photos that started out digitized, and we gave our kids, my parents, and my brother digital frames with copies of the whole set, so everyone can see everything. Now another daughter has set up a Cloud thingy which the girls send current pictures to, and it auto-loads to the frame she gave us last year, so we can see every day how amazing the grandkids are. Technology is wonderful…as long as I don’t have to set it up.

  3. Many public libraries have scanners that can scan to flash drives or e-mail.

  4. Could be a wonderful Christmas gift — a thumb drive with family photos along with a mini bio or history. I say mini because Christmas is only around 6 weeks away. Perhaps a first installment?

  5. When my parents moved out of their house last year I found a couple of boxes of photos from their baby days, and even a few of relatives going way back (like, tintype photos). Unfortunately, there is no one alive who knows who some of these people are any more. I wish we’d found those boxes 30 years ago.

  6. It really is something special! I took all my family albums and unsorted boxes apart to separate and remake individual albums for each child. Scanning and using modern technology would have been a better choice

  7. As you probably know old photos can be enhanced. A good place is on My Heritage where you are probably a member or can be as partners with Family Search.

  8. You just described my boxes and boxes of pictures! I really need to do this too. What kind of scanner did you get?

Add your 2¢. (Be nice.)

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