Friday, July 31, 2009

Projects and Incentives

I'm in complete agreement with Jennie on the projects. Some people are starters. Some are finishers. And some of us fall somewhere in between. This year as a goal, I planned to get all of my 50 plus years of pictures organized. I was thrilled to complete the photograph portion of this early in the year. Then came the slides. Years and years worth of slides. They aren't as easy because you have to have a projector or other cumbersome mechanism to actually see who those little figures are in the pictures. So that portion of my goal slipped to the bottom of my to-do list!

Of course, when you have plenty of incentive, getting to the task becomes easier: a son and daughters urging you to get them organized and digitized so they won't have to do it after you're gone. Plus they'd like to be able to show them to their kids and have them for their family histories. They'd really like them today, please! Who knows? I might be gone tomorrow since I am getting up there in years!

I bought a little $99 gadget that plugged into your computer and you could scan negatives and slides yourself. It was a very time-consuming project and I hated the software that came with it. I gave it to my daughter to scan her negatives. Then I mailed off a couple of thousand negatives and photos to be scanned by Scancafe. The easy way out.

Then another incentive: 15% off on all slides to be scanned! Okay!! Coupled with the fact that I was putting my office back together after totally clearing it out and painting the ceiling, and all of the slides were in boxes in the middle of my floor, I decided it was time to tackle this most formidable task.

Unfortunately, through the years, pictures have been removed from their original boxes and put into slide shows in carousels or slide trays for ease in projecting them on the screen. I didn't want to just dump everything into a box and send it in a helter-skelter fashion. I wanted some cohesion and organization to the DVD's that will be returned to me with my digitized pictures. So I now have little stacks of slides covering the 11 1/2 foot long built-in buffet in my dining room, and all over my dining room table.

I just get the year 1965 organized, then open another slide carousel and discover 100 more slides my husband extracted years ago to do a special show. Now I have to go through this 100 and integrate it with the 150 that I already organized!! AGGHH!!

In all honesty, I have to confess that I started this process about three years ago. I set up a little card table in my study and began sorting - putting little stacks according to year, or subject, and it became so cumbersome and time-consuming, and other things took precedent (like another re-write of Maggie II) that those little squares sat there with blank pieces of paper covering them to keep off the dust for at least three years! Then came the ceiling project or they would probably still be there!!

But I've now pre-paid for the scanning (I estimated 3400 and sent in my order!) so I'm under deadline to finish this project as quickly as possible and get them mailed. That and the fact that I have to clean up the current slides under consideration by dinnertime each afternoon so we can eat!

Some of us need more incentive than others to complete projects. I've certainly had my share this month! But it is the most glorious feeling in the world to be organized - to have a clean study - to have an entire sparkling clean house!! I'm on top of the world!

Or at least I will be when I finish up these last 1500 slides. On second thought, I think I'll pay the $4.95 per carousel and just let them handle the 800 slides in carousels from our 1976 trip to Italy. That should save me a couple of days! Now I just have several hundred to go and we can sit down to the dining room table!

Then they will downloaded into my Shutterfly account on line and I will be able to do whatever I want with them. I'll also have DVD's to make copies for my kids and siblings. More projects.

A few additional projects on my to-do list this year:
-15 boxes of family history to organize and get on the computer.
-Photo albums to make for my grandchildren from the photos I've organized. (They need them, not me!)
-My Mom's life history to finish with 150 photographs inserted in the text.
-My life history to write. A zillion photographs to insert - on second thought - attach the DVD! (And just maybe I'll put this one off for a few bit until I have finished the others!)

And the list goes on. As you can see, I have so much to do I can't possibly die for another 20 years. In that case, I'll live to be as old as Mom before she died. And I won't be leaving all my projects unfinished like she did - I forgot to mention all the scrapbooks and slides she left for me to organize! Why did we ever make our photos into slides instead of just photos!!!

But how wonderful it will be to have it all done - a family history treasure chronicling my kids growing up years, the places we went, the things we did, the places we lived. Do finished projects get better than that??

1 comment:

Cheri J. Crane said...

Lynn, you've been tackling some noble projects. Family history is so important. I'm very impressed with all you've been doing. Just take good care of you in the process.