Like many families, we have a plethora of photos — family gatherings, vacations, special occasions or just every day, random captures. Thanks to the digital age we now store our photos and videos electronically. For the older printed photos, they have spent years in boxes and most in their original paper folders that came from the developer. Remember those? And then there are the luckier ones that actually made their way into photo albums!
When my husband and I bought our home many years ago, we decided to take a winter season to pull out all of those photos. We sorted through them, categorized and then properly stored them. Some went into albums, others into storage totes. As we were going through that process, we would find a photo here and there that brought back very vivid memories. Some made us laugh, some left us a little sad. All held a special place in our heart. Those are the photos we set aside!
Once we had completed our project, we started to look back at those pictures and decided that they were the ones we wanted to be able to see often. To keep all those memories fresh in our minds.
So we created “The Gallery”.
The Gallery is the wall space that surrounds the staircase from our first to second floors. We walk it every day, multiple times a day. The perfect place to display this wonderful group of keepsakes! So we went out and bought frames. Different colors, shapes and ones that allowed us to create collages.
We started that project more than 10 years ago, and today it is still going strong. A hodge-podge of photos, canvas prints, concert tickets, picture boxes. Old and new, strewn between candid and artsy. A lifetime of memories that we can see and reminisce about each day!
The Gallery has become more than just photos on a wall. It has become memory central for us. It has become a conversation-piece, of sorts, for when we have guests. Family and friends both love to walk The Gallery, even if they don’t know anyone in the photos. It is a “remember that” conversation, a sling-shot back in time. A warm hug!
Just yesterday, as I was going upstairs one photo caught the corner of my eye. A friend that we lost tragically about 2 years ago. It was his smile in that photo. I remember the day. I remember the spray of the water and the warm sun on our faces. I remember how much fun we had that day. How much we laughed. How sad we were when the day was over and we parted company for the visit. It was the last day we would see him. I remembered like it was yesterday and I remember with love!
So what started as a project to display pictures, has become a passion. A way to honor those we have lost and keep close in our hearts the people and places that hold importance to us. The visual actually causes you to slow down and take a moment and see and feel those memories. Not a bad thing, in our ever-hurried life!