There is a big plastic tote that has traveled with me from house to house, every time I move I notice it’s a bit heavier; it’s full of pictures. There is no rhyme or reason to this over-sized bin, just hundreds of random 4×6 memories, carelessly thrown in.
It started out as a ‘put them in here until I have albums to put them in’ and it slowly transgressed into a catch-all. My memories have now been intertwined with my husband’s and pictures of our nieces and nephews mingle in the picture-rave going on inside this tote.
I go through it about once a year and I’ve stopped pretending like anything good is going to come from separating them into piles that eventually don’t make any sense anyway.
The inner dialogue always goes something like this…
This pile is for family pictures. This pile is for extended family…well, they’re still family – that can all be one pile. This pile can be pictures of Bennett… he’s family though too… so that can go in pile one also. Second pile…flowers. What the fuck am I going to do with these pictures of flowers that were taken when I was 16 years old… nothing. Nobody wants to see them, I am not going to put them on display… I’ll make a trash pile…maybe my mom wants them.
Never fails. Secretly though, I enjoy it. I find joy in the surprise of which picture I’ll pull out of the pile next.
I can always count on pulling out handfuls of my favorite baby pictures of my Bennett. I get lost in them… while he’s jumping up behind me, laughing his ass of after scaring the shit out of me… it’s easy to forget that he was once so little.
Will it be one of the few pictures I have of my parents looking happy together?
Most recently I was reminded of a camping trip. My husband and I felt guilty telling our kid we were leaving him at Grandma’s for the weekend to enjoy a weekend without him. Naturally, we told him that we were drafted for a secret mission to save the world… we weren’t sure what battles may lie ahead… but we’ll pick ya up on Sunday.
I completely forgot how awesome of a time we had until I pulled this out…
I’m brought back to the flaming marshmallow.
Imagine sitting around a fire with friends, roasting treats, when one catches fire. Typically, you’d think nothing of it… until you notice the handler of this fire-lit marshmallow is lifting the stick straight up in the air. Her neck bent back, a few of us watch the flame release itself from the roasting stick and fall directly onto her neck – more specifically, if she was a man, her Adam’s apple would have been its target. It wasn’t pretty and she still has the scar to show for it.
Something I wish we would have documented from that trip was when we threw a can of beans into the fire, to warm them, without puncturing the can in anyway, shape or form to provide ventilation.
Amateurs. I know.
The ironic, and most humorous part was when it exploded sending everyone for cover. Eventually, we realized it wasn’t gunfire, just beans, and lifted our heads to find our Mexican friend standing there, covered in beans.
I literally just giggled after I read that last sentence…
When it comes to this hoarder tote of mine, I always end up realizing [what I already knew anyway], that all of these photos will forever remain in this tote. It’s their home. I’ll take a trip down memory lane and put them back in their place in the basement – right next to the big cardboard box full of empty albums and picture frames.