Mum, Nance and me 1962
Mum, Nance and me 1962

So I spent most of Sunday going through old family photos, and I do mean old. My grandmother as a girl in the early 1900s, my parents as children in the 1930s/40s, and of course, my own sweet self as a toddler in the early 60s. nance and meI’m happy to say I was ruthless in choosing what to keep, what to chuck, but I still came close to filling a 300-picture album! That’s my dad and his dad, Gramps Mingo, in the header (our two dogs are also in the picture but cropped out by WordPress).

So many of the ones I kept have meaning only for me; my kids barely knew any of their great grandparents, and my parents died when my kids were still pretty young. But it was a cozy way to spend a spring-like February afternoon. I love seeing the adults from my childhood as kids, and looking at the pictures reminds me that I’ve always been loved – lucky me!

Nana and Gramps Pearson
Nana and Gramps Pearson
Nana and Gramps Mingo
Nana and Gramps Mingo, 1956

One thing I like about old pictures is seeing the familiar (but fading from memory) places I spent time/lived as a kid – things like the (now retro) kitchen curtains, furniture we had forever, backyards, swing-sets, animals, dolls, etc., including Polly, the beloved “chocolate” baby I requested the Christmas I was two (my dad wrote the letter to Santa for me, and it was included (and saved) in today’s treasure trove/purge).

Last Christmas, we scanned a couple of hundred pictures of our kids and put them on USBs for each of them, although, of course, we kept all the actual photos, too. I have a big closet shelf heaped with photographs, some in albums, lots in boxes, envelopes, all randomly organized. They’re precious to me, but I suppose they must have an expiry date – I’m hopeful a few might make their way into the hands of future generations (if my kids decide to have kids, that is).

Nance, Mum and me
Nance, Mum and me

How do you deal with photos (pre-digital, that is)? Got a few favourites?


  1. mirkabreen

    I’m an albumizer, and a frustrated one as digital albums are not quite the same. One thing I realized from album-making is that I love looking at the little incidental details in rooms, the items behind the now familiar frozen faces in the pictures. So for my kids I actually photographed the rooms in our house, and made an album of just that…

    1. Great idea, Mirka. I feel like we change things up more in our houses these days, but I’m sure a lot of our stuff has been around longer than our kids! I like looking at pics on the computer since you can enlarge them to see more detail.

  2. I started making a yearly photo calendar for our fridge. At the end of the year it goes on a shelf as our “photoalbum of the year.” Because no, digital is not the same. Some pics are album worthy, some are not. I try to include a nice mix of candids & posed. As for old pics… I have no idea! Most I could toss, but a few to keep are nice.

    1. Hi, Marla – thanks for stopping by. I’ve done calendars, too, and I used to do a “Best of” album for my mother-in-law, but now my kids have flown the nest, I’ve given up on that. It does seem to me that the B&W pics taken on old cameras are somehow nicer than the colour ones we take with digital cameras these days.

  3. I love all these old pictures. They are treasures. I went through mine before we moved to Spain and brought quite a few with me. I also gave many to my children and grandchildren who love them as well. I can’t bear to throw away any old pictures. My brother had put many into digital albums as well. Our family has pictures that are over 100 years old. So special.

    1. Yup – I’m sure moving is a good motivator for weeding out everything – we’ve lived in this house for 30 years, and it’s hard to stay on top of it, although I feel like we’re always getting rid of stuff. We have to hope there’s always at least one person in each generation who values our old pictures.

  4. I love old pictures. Scanning is a great way to keep them from fading and crumbling beyond recognition. I keep most of them on a flash drive. That last picture of you with your mom and sister is adorable—love the blue dresses!

  5. Thanks, Marcia – we had a spinster aunt who bought us matching outfits when we were little – made for good pictures:) I’ve started saving my digital/scanned pics to Google Drive – hopefully they’re safe on the (to me) mysterious “cloud,” although I try to copy them once a year to a USB stick as well.

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