Friday, December 18, 2015


Do you have a shoe box or an album filled with old family photos? I hope so.

Chances are those pictures are grainy, out of focus, discolored, and lacking any sign of creative composition. And yet, or maybe because of these imperfections, they're wonderful.

The grain and fading give us the context of time. And history. And belonging.

This is my husband's Uncle John and his kids and . . . well, this little deer. I came across this image in a folder of pictures my husband scanned for Aunt Prissa, Uncle John's sister. I'll have to get her to tell me the story behind this photograph since Uncle John passed away. And we'll have a laugh and a hug, because, really every story she tells has been polished by years of telling.

She knows just how to deliver the details, letting them slip out kind of sly-like, so the funny parts sneak up on you. And then you're laughing till you cry. That's Aunt Prissa, the sassy one on the right.

And what strikes me most, the lesson of these shoe box pictures, is the glory that is ours when we simply rejoice in the way things are - right here and right now.

I want some pictures like these of my life and the people I love.

So here's to a new year of taking pictures, not because we want to be better, but because we love it. Because we're passionate about it, and it gives us joy. Because it's a blessing that we can do it.

Let's rejoice!

Congratulations to the winner of a Year of Wonder - Cathy Ward.

Cathy, send me an email with your address, and your subscription will begin in January 2016.


  1. I think I would really like that Aunt Prissa love her name. I am Suzy in my family as that was or is my middle name without the zy and a e instead. The old time images are just the best aren't they? That was a time when we couldn't wait to develop our images instead of having them mostly on the computer or heaven forbid IG. Happy Holidays

  2. I am THRILLED!! Thank you Donna Thank you Helen!!! I am an avid "old school handwritten" letter/note girl, but rarely get any in return. So this is going to be a REAL treat for me!!! And I think perfect timing for my new life back in the USA!

    aunt can tell just by the way she is standing that she is full of spunk and attitude!!!

  3. I love looking through the stationary boxes of old pictures that I have of my family and of my husband's family.

  4. I will rejoice in the new ├Żear by telling the stories of my life with photos.

  5. Thank you for sharing your family's old pictures dear Donna! Besides being family treasures for you and husband, they are time marks by their "universality". If I search for some old family pictures, I'll find photos which may look like yours... hair, clothes, postures were already the same from one country to another... even if fashions and trends at that time didn't spread so fast all over the world... and yet in France, young people were already looking on the American trends, music, fashion and trying to copy them... I can juxtapose your pictures with some I've already seen in family albums... I love so much looking at fifties' or sixties' years pictures...
    Enjoy a beautiful Christmas time dear Donna! Happy that Cathy won this "Year of Wonder" subscription... Congratulations Cathy!

  6. Oh gosh Donna...when I read your first sentence about "a box" or "an album" my mind immediately went to my mother's sewing room. You see my mom has hundreds of albums and yours truly will end up with them all this year as I prepare to move her. So my thoughts are that I'll get them all to Arizona so I can take my time and go through and determine what I want to keep or not. I had the daunting task a few years ago of going through all those albums and finding the "story" of my parents lives to have for their memorial service. It took me many visits and lots of hours but both of their life stories are so special to me and worth every moment. So, having said all of that I so get what you're saying about finding so many stories in each and every one of them!

    I'm thrilled that Cathy is the recipient of the Year of Wonder! Such a deserving win as she works her way through so many emotions after returning to the US. Love that you "pulled" her name out of the hat!!

    And yes, to another year of doing what so many of us LOVE to do. I really don't know where my life would stand if I hadn't found photography. After so many years of corporate work I was so lost in life when I retired. So yes, let's rejoice! And rest assured...I'll be here with you every step of the way in 2016! Big hugs!!!

  7. Because we're passionate about it and it brings us JOY. A very good reason, my friend. Blessings on your Christmas!

  8. I was never fortunate enough to have boxes of old photo's but I am in possession of some lovely ones of my Dad's time in the military that I knew nothing about. I discovered his box of photo's after he passed...sometimes I just sit and stare and think of what it must have been like to be in two wars, with a family waiting back home. My mom was not such a big camera person but she left enough to put the pieces together...hopefully, I'll spend more time with those photo's next year. You remind me though that i need to somehow include more photo's of myself in my photography. I have so many of everyone else but not so many of myself in the group...time to stop being missing in action...thanks for the kick in the pants that I needed.


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