I know, I know. I said I was on a blogging break – and I still am. But I found something yesterday that I simply had to share with you.
Just to give you a bit of backstory, Dan and I were full-time residents of the Los Angeles area back in 2004. That fall, we drove two thousand miles to visit my family in New Orleans – and to clean out my old bedroom (in my mother's house) of any pertinent items. So, into the super-tiny rental car, I managed to squeeze my Lego collection, my high school yearbooks, and boxes filled with photographs, among other things. Although I don't believe in a higher power – other than the universe, of course – I do believe that some benevolent force was smiling at me that day. After all, roughly ten months later, Hurricane Katrina flooded my mother's house and destroyed everything but the Christmas decorations in the attic – which means a lifetime worth of photographs would be history now.
While I did lose a lot of precious memorabilia in the floods that ravaged the Big Easy – old videotapes and math trophies, for instance – I thank Serendipity every day that my photographs were spared. On the other hand, while Katrina taught my mother – who lost most of her possessions, including her old photographs and yearbooks – not to get too attached to material goods, the big bad storm only made me more paranoid to lose mine – which is why I currently keep my photographs in a storage facility in southern California and drag my negatives with me around the country. Dan, naturally, thinks I'm a little loony – for one thing, he claims, the negatives are more likely to burn up in a horrible car accident (thanks, honey, for that image) than be flooded in a storage facility, and for another thing, he believes I'm way too attached to the past.
On that second point, he could be right. Recently, we purchased a negative scanner – in order for me to begin transferring my old negatives to digital files – both to preserve them for posterity and to satisfy my need for travel-related images for my American Nomad blog. After all, I've only been using digital cameras for the past few years – prior to 2006, I used nothing but Kodak film.
So, long story short, I decided to begin scanning my negatives yesterday – no small feat, given the thousands upon thousands of negatives I possess. Although my ability to use the scanner (and color-correct the images) is a work-in-progress, I relished this walk down memory lane. So far, the images that have tickled me most are the photos from the three-week-long East Coast trip that I took with my mother back in 1988 – when I was, gulp, just a few months shy of my twelfth birthday. That summer, Mom and I journeyed from New Orleans to Canada and back again, visiting everything from Williamsburg to Monticello to Washington, D.C., to Niagara Falls (all of which are pictured here). Each photograph brought back a mass of memories, proving the old adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” But no image haunted me more than this one of me in New York City – which proves that some moments are truly frozen in time.
And, with that, I'll quietly slip back into my self-imposed break. See you in 2010 - and may all your resolutions come true!
3 hours ago