We returned from a weeklong road trip to Pennsylvania Dutch Country last Saturday night. Everyone was happy for their own beds, but sad that the week had flown by so quickly. Sunday was unpacking day. Afterwards Ally & Maddy started sorting through all the brochures, photos and souvenirs collected in The Crayola Factory, Hershey Park, Amish country, Hershey Factory, Gettysburg and Harrisburg. What to do with these memories? They decided to scrapbook all of their treasures, so they could relive the trip anytime they’d like. We loaded digital images onto the computer and started choosing the favorites so we could order prints. Scrapbooking began in earnest on Monday. Armed with double-sided tape squares, scissors, and a collection of scrapbooking backgrounds we’ve amassed over the years from various school projects they began cutting out logos and sticking brochures on pages. Now, a week later, they’ve just about finished up their books and are already having fun admiring their work.
Their project forced me to upload all my photos, plus the ones on my iPhone, plus their iPods, phones, and cameras, to the computer. They’ve been culled, edited and ordered. It’s quite a project to get to the finished product. But when I think about it, even though I enjoy the act of capturing the images in the moment, the real reason I do it is so we can enjoy the images again and again later. And I don’t mean only when the kids are bored while waiting for a table at a restaurant so I pull out my iPhone. I mean so that on rainy days when the girls once again notice the cubby full of albums in the living room they can pull a book out and flip through it. Before you know it they’ve pulled 4×6 prints out to check the captions on the back, and come searching for Izzy and I to show us something they’d totally forgotten until they saw the photo again.
This is why I lug my camera around when we go for a day trip. I suspect it’s why many people take photos, so they can capture the moment to revisit later. Unfortunately I think these days we forget that all-important last step in truly making a photograph into a memory. Even if you just plug your phone into the kiosk at CVS and order prints from there, at least you’ll have something tangible to handle and share and show off…even if your phone tragically goes for a swim one day and never returns!
So here we are, Pennsylvania is already a week behind us, and we can look back on the sites and events that made our family vacation such a wonderful time!