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NOW WHAT HAVE I DONE TO MYSELF?
27 November 2005
You all know the situation with the photographs and the scrapbooks. I've left out the part about the slides and the home movies because...well, because they've been hidden away for decades and I don't have to think about them.
But they're there. When the kids were little, we took lots and lots of movies and slides. We had a fair movie camera and then Walt and his friend Dave bought big fancy movie cameras (well, fancy for us) and they fantasized about making movies and what they would do when they were rich and famous [I'm still waiting]).
Then, of course, there were just the silly stuff that had to get recorded for posterity.
For a long time we took slides and photographs, but the slides have been packed away in slide boxes for so long I don't even know what years they cover. I am thinking about getting a new scanner which has the capability of scanning slides as well as regular photographs. Another project on the list of things to do with all this crap I've collected to document our family's history.
There came a time when the kids started getting interested in film themselves. Ned brought a big box of some of those home movies to Thanksgiving dinner. They always did great movies, for their age. They had plots and sets and when they graduated to video, sound effects and music.
Watching the old movies the other night, I was reminded of the lengths they went to create some of those movies. The huge pile of soft stuff so "Superman" could jump off the roof and land safely. The "set pieces" they would create in miniature, or full size. The huge hole they dug in the back yard to fill with water for a Star Wars video (the hole eventually was filled up but it still is a shocking indentation in the ground if you aren't watching for it when you walk!)
But of course, as much fun as that was, it still adds to the pile of "historical crap" around the house.
I told Jeri recently that I started this "record our whole life" project when she was born with the idea in mind that when my grandchildren came along, I would be able to spend long hours laughing with them as I showed them the crazy things that their parents did (it would be my way at getting back at the kids, I figured, when their kids started doing the same things that drove me crazy and were now driving my adult children crazy).
Well, as I told Jeri--joke's on me! A house full of blackmail for my children, and no grandchildren to show it to.
But, of course, that doesn't make it any easier to just toss it all out.
When I got a digital camera, it was great. Now the only "clutter" was on my hard drive, where nobody ever saw it. I could organize things into CD and share them with the famiy and I didn't need scissors or fancy paper or little cut-outs or anthing else. It was glorious.
Now along comes digital video. And a camcorder. And my obsessive "get it all on film" personality hopped right on the band wagon as easily as if I'd never left it.
It was fine when I was doing these little 3-5 minute videos to throw up on the internet, but over Thanksgiving things got taped in earnest.
I had brought the camera with me to my mother's, thinking I'd make a little Thanksgiving video for a video blog. But then I got my mother telling stories about my grandparents and great grandparents. Some were stories I'd heard before, others were not, but I felt it important to get them on video for my own children, because by the time they are old enough to wish they'd paid more attention to the stories, the story-tellers won't be around to tell them any more.
I wish I had started this project before Walt's mother, at 92, got so feeble. I have her on cassette tape, but it would be lovely to get some of her stories on video.
But of course that presents a logistical problem: where do I store the damn digital video tapes that I suddenly find myself collecting??? When you make video for the internet, you just rewind the tape and tape over those tug of war battles between Sheila and the dog-du-jour and all is well.
When you have a precious piece of film that last for 30 minutes, it's really too LONG to move all to disc, and you are loathe to erase those precious moments that will be lost forever if you do.
So now in addition to the crap that I've been trying to organize for months, I've now tossed some digital videotapes into the mix as well. There are snippets to edit and put in a format that can be stored on CD, but I can't throw away the stuff that I'm cutting out, so now I have digital tapes as well as photographs, scrapbooks, movies, slides, VHS tapes and CDs.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Flower arrangement at my mother's