Filed under: Vintage Photo Album | Tags: 1970s, collecting, ephemera, grief, instamatic, kodak, pittsburgh
We cleaned out our studio this past month: 12 large trash bags and three trips to Goodwill later – we find things. Like a copy of “Nights of Arabian Dentistry” that Jeff found in a thrift store. My tiny black wallet that looks like a toddler-sized handbag. A plastic garden gnome that I did have in the trash pile, but Jeff rescued by popping off the head and keeping it. The books – I could spend hours talking about parting with the books. Once I admitted that I’d never read To Kill a Mockingbird or Wuthering Heights ever again, they went straight into the donation pile. It feels good to get rid of things, and to make solid promises to yourself that you will not accumulate like you have been for years. It made me ask why I carted around dated grammar books year after year, or keep clothes that don’t fit anymore. It made me think too about all the things that my mother held that I now own, things that were very important to her when she was alive, like books, and pretty dresses, and photos – especially the photos. “Things” don’t matter, but sometimes those things keep us happy, inquisitive, curious, and creative. I like looking through these old friend photos that my mother took during a time in her life when she was clearly happiest. They comfort me since she is no longer here to answer my questions, or tell me her stories.
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