A lot of our family activities these days seem to be spurred by whatever Groupon, Living Social, Mamapedia, Certifikid or similar deal-of-the-day coupon my husband has snagged. We've gone kayaking, enrolled our daughter in swimming lessons, and taken in a Nationals game, all spurred by these deals. (Not to mention sampling our local restaurants' global cuisine.) We would have done some of this stuff anyway, but some of our activities are definitely deal-inspired.
Now, based on a Groupon purchase, we're in the middle of summer-long photo scanning project. Essentially, we're reclaiming photos from the attic, old trip albums, and desk drawers and repackaging them for digital transformation. Already, we've bundled up 2000 photos (mostly of people, not scenery) and sent them off to be scanned by ScanMyPhotos.com. (So far, the quality has been good, although we did opt to pay extra for the higher-resolution service.) My husband's been hand-scanning hundreds of photos that are either too old, odd-sized, or too precious to be sent off to the commercial scanner.
Most of the photos pre-date the digital age. Or at least from before I entered the digital camera era, just before my daughter was born. (My husband, an early adopter of all things digital, bought a digital camera well before I did. Unfortunately, he rarely took photos.)
I'm finding the process fascinating. There are photos of long-dead relatives and worlds past such as my grandmother on an adventurous solo trip to Paris and my husband's parents as children in pre-WWII Germany. There are also pictures of more immediate family and long-term friends, who remain at the core of my life. (Of course, everyone looks a lot younger!) Mementos of important life milestones - birthdays, anniversaries, bar and bat mitzvahs, graduations, and weddings. And pictures of my first boyfriend/then fiance/ultimately husband and me in our early days and travels together. There are also images of people and events that I barely remember now but recall were vibrant at the time.
My pictures, in particular, are a chronicle of the whole other, rich life I lived before I became a "mom." A life that has receded even if it remains a vital part of who I am today.
All this effort to preserve my photographed past has made me wonder whether this archive will have any meaning for my children. Whether they'll maintain these computerized images once we're gone. Now, my kids love to look at "old" photos of themselves on the computer, from back when they were babies. They also like looking at photos of my husband and me as children as well as our wedding album. And, they've gotten a kick out of seeing old photos of people they know well. But, beyond that, who knows? Will all these pictures simply become digital artifacts hidden away somewhere up in the cloud?
I don't know. I like to think that, at some point, my children will want to explore these photos, ask questions about the people and places in them and search for their stories. For now, though, all I know is that this is one daily deal that's given me a lifetime of memories.