Remember to Print and Share You Photos

Everybody clicks today, but do they share?

Today there is a new accessibility to photography.   Even the dumbest cell phone can take some kind of photo.  Which is great because so many more family moments are getting captured.   Unfortunately in this digital age very few of these snapshots are getting saved in a means that will likely survive time.   Before the digital age the only way to know what you took was to have your film processed.   For most of John Q Public that also included printing your photos.

I have boxes of photos taken before the digital age.  There are many that my husband and I have taken.  My mother had tons of photos she took and she has gone through them as well, labeling them, and sharing them with the kids.    Before that  grandparents had photos they saved and passed on.   By the very act of printing photos they were preserved.   Someone has to look at them and consciously pitch them in the trash.   It increases the odds they will survive.

In this age of digital photography we tend to share photos by asking people to look at the back of our phones.     That for most photographers is as far as it goes.   If you are a little higher up on  preservation, you are moving photos from your phone or camera to a computer.    Being a tech-weenie I can not tell you how many times folks have called me and said I lost my pictures or music.    Most folks never back things up, so history is lost in many cases.   In a perfect world that stuff on your computer gets backed up to a  local external hard drive and some cloud based place.

Even if you are preserving your digital photos on the cloud odds are when you are gone no one is going to look through them determining what to save and keep.   Odds are when you are gone so is your digital photo history and the significance of them.

Five years ago a social acquaintance at a mutual friends birthday party showed me the answer to preserving memories.   Print your digital photos and share them.    This acquaintance was there with her digital camera recording the friend’s party.   Two weeks later in the mail I got a snapshot of my husband and I walking hand in hand she had taken, with a post-it on it that said “We don’t often get pictures take by others. Enjoy!”  This picture still sits on our bedroom dresser, it was a great moment she caught, because we seldom are folks who PDA even as simple as hand holding.  It is a rare moment saved.

I can’t tell you how many times at gatherings someone has asked to take our picture.   We are dressed up and think yeah this would be a good photo and yet we never see it.    We have all been there.  Today many photos are shared on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr and other online social media.    It is there for the day and then as more stuff comes in it is lost in the shuffle.   I recently saw a family snapshot taken by a waitress in a restaurant of friend’s family.   It was an amazing photo of the whole family.    Hope they print a couple and share all of them together smiling deserves to be looked at a year from now.

How can you do this print and share?   I suggest:   If you have a color printer it may be as simple as that.   I personally like sending them to a local pharmacy or discount store and having them printed “traditional.”   Whatever works best for you.   Bring a smile to some one’s face.   Be an unexpected bright spot.   Be the only thing in the mailbox besides bills.     Who knows someone might pay it forward and you will receive the same?  Preserve and share some memories this holiday season as you gather with family and friends.

The Smell of Beauty

For me the smell of pines invokes so many memories.

For me the smell of pines invokes so many memories.

The other day I went for  a hike in  the high country expecting great vistas.   The trail  was high enough that when I could peek through the trees the sights were breathtaking.   But those vistas were few and far between as most of the hike was tucked in between rocks and great forests.    But I wasn’t disappointed because this hike had a different kind of beauty…  the beauty that smell invoke.

Beauty is usually associated with a visual experience.   Smells can bring back many beautiful memories.   They cause your brain to immediately paint a picture  with that first whiff.  The brain’s picture is a combination of all the times that you smelled that aroma, painting a perfect picture; picking bits and pieces of each experience with that smell and creating the best of the best memory.

The walk with the hot afternoon sun cause the resins of the pines  to create an overwhelming smell of pine.   It brought back memories of summers at the lake.  That memory gave me such a good feeling that everything seemed right with the world.  Not only could I smell the pines of the lake, but I could also hear the waves on the shore.    I could hear the winds in the red and white pines tall above the cabin.   I could feel the coolness of the cotton sheets on my bed.    I could see the sunset across the lake.   When I let myself embrace the smell of the pines of Montana, I could close my eyes and I was transformed back to the shores of Pike Bay in Minnesota.   I was a perfect moment of time travel that only the smell of the trees could give me.

Ice Cream Memories.

Growing up I have lots of ice cream memories.   I had two  different grandparents who liked to make home-made ice cream.   Their recipes and methods were dramatically different.  Unfortunately neither recipe has survived another generation and are lost forever.

My Grandma T lived in the same town as I grew up in.  Each Saturday she would make ice cream and bring us a container full of her ice cream along with biscuits. Grandma had this amazing contraption shown at the top of this blog.  It was an electric ice cream maker that you put in your refrigerator freezer.   I remember years of visiting on Saturdays and see the cord coming out of the refrigerator freezer and plugged in to the light socket.      I have yet to find a recipe that makes up like hers.   It had lots of sugar, I am sure because my favorite part was a thick almost syrupy concoction that formed at the bottom of the container.

My other ice-cream-making grandparent was my Gomper.  He lived across the state and we only visited for major holidays and an extended stay in the summer.   It was during the summer vacations that Gomper would make ice cream.  He cooked his ice cream fix’ins on the stove.  I am almost guessing it was more like a frozen custard.  His ice cream would go into the bucket with ice and rock salt.   It would sit out on the patio churning away.   It had a power turner, so the most involvement was poking in the drain hole so water would rush out.  As a small child it was something I could stand by and do the whole time it turned.   It was always vanilla like Grandma T’s, but his was so smooth; no sugar settled on the bottom of his.

My brother received her freezer when my Grandma passed on and he in turn gave it to me. I got it out and made up some ice cream for the hot summer weather we have been having. I pulled out the cookbook that came with Grandma’s freezer, looking for possibly her recipe.   The one I picked definitely turned out not to be it.   It was richer than the recipe that either of my grandparents made.    I put it all together and put it in my freezer.   Just like Grandma T,  I slipped the cord out of my freezer and plugged the big black cord into the wall.   It took much longer than the instructions said to freeze up.    I am not sure if that is because my modern freezer isn’t as cold as they used to be or it was something else.  I plan to make some more and try some frozen yogurt, sherbet and sorbet.   I looked online, where we all look for our answers today, hoping to find some insights on how to best use my simple but effective machine.   I found nothing like my trusty freezer.   I best take good care of it because it is one of  limited few that have survived.