25 January 2009


In early December I wrote a post about the birth of my brother 51 years ago (see 5 December 2008). And, I remembered a photograph taken for our Christmas card that year. It was printed by my father on "from our house to yours" card stock and I do believe I have an original around here somewhere, but it's still hidden, awaiting a day of rediscovery. But, last night during a late night movie, I met up with a happy, exhilerating moment. Success!

At some point in the last six months I did something in the Elements 6 program I use (part of Adobe's Photoshop) which loused up my catalog terribly. I've not had the heart to get into it, frankly. The prospect of straightening it all out seemed nearly impossible, having swelled the number of images in the catalog from roughly 9000 to nearly 16000. How would I ever straighten it all out?

Then came these cold, foggy, wet grey January days. Grimly and determinedly, I set out to fix it, giving the project three to four hours a day and using my occasional sleeplessness to advance my progress. I'm still not clear what actually happened, but it seems I ended up duplicating a vast majority of the images in the catalog. The rememdy was, beginning with the oldest first (my choice), working my way through the collection, image-by-image, eliminating the duplicates and updating the catalog as I went.

There are benefits to beginning again. But, it takes not obsessing over the mistake that necessitated the new start; it takes letting oneself enjoy the process, allowing for discoveries and enjoying the treasured images. What else are they for, after all?

This is what I was hoping to find in early December: a photograph of my family just days after Paul and Mother had come home from the hospital, our Christmas card picture for 1957. Now, this is not the photograph my father took, I don't think. This image is in a square format, was extremely crooked and included, along the edges, information about the photograph in my Grandmother Tarbox's handwriting, making me think my grandmother Tarbox took it (Family Photographs D, image #50). Now, I don't remember my grandparents being present that day, but I was just five years old and remember with extreme clarity my wonder at all five of us sitting on the piano bench and the beautiful dresses my sister, Joyce, and I were wearing.

All I did to the image is beef up the contrast, straighten and resize it. And, while I'm still hoping to find the actual Christmas card one day, it's my pure pleasure to be able to post this one.

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