“There is no cure for laziness, but a large family helps.” – Herbert Prochnov

My grandmother’s mother, Leona, at her graduation.

After my grandma died last spring, I took on the task of archiving all the old family photos that she had kept track of for so long. Grandma had done a great job of keeping the photos in albums and labeling some of the more important ones, but now that she is gone, we need to duplicate them so each of her five children and their families can have copies. Also, some of the oldest albums were beginning to fall apart, and many of the photos were in danger of becoming damaged. I was really happy that my family let me do the job of duplicating and archiving the photos — I love doing things like that, and I love the old photos and the stories behind them.

But the months have been slipping by without the job being completed, and I know it’s really time for me to get it done. Plus it makes me nervous to have ALL the family photos here at my house. What if something were to happen and they were to be lost? I would never be able to forgive myself. So I’m eager to get them scanned, copied and put into albums. Last night I worked on it for quite a bit and got a lot done.

My grandfather’s mother, Mabel. Isn’t she stunning?

The project is kind of huge and overwhelms me sometimes. Hundreds of photos, many of which are creased and torn in places, some of which have labels and things stuck on to them, all needing to be sorted and cropped and edited and copied and …. it’s a lot of work. But whenever I work with the photos, I can’t help but enjoy it. I love seeing the faces of family members, some of which I met and some of which I didn’t, remembering the stories I’ve heard about them or imagining what their lives must have been like if I don’t know much about them.

Some of my favorite photos are the ones of children. Dressed up and posed formally the way they did back then, they just look adorrrrable! When I have kids, I’m totally going to make them wear button-up shoes and huge bows. At least for pictures.

The little girl is Amanda, maybe a cousin of my grandmother’s (need to check my notes). Check out the cross-eyed baby!! Love it!

The boy in the center (yes, that’s a boy!) is my paternal grandfather, Chester. Now you know where I get my good looks. :)

I have gotten nearly all the photos scanned into the computer now, which feels great. Next I need to begin editing them, making them look as good as possible (most are over 100 years old, so “good,” of course, is relative) and getting them ready for printing. Should be fun. I am enjoying the process but also looking forward to the day I can present my aunts and uncles with their very own family photo albums. Of course, I probably won’t stop then — this batch of photos only includes the oldest photos we have, up until the time my grandparents began having children. I think there will always be photos to work on. (And that makes me pretty happy.)

My good-looking grandparents, Chester and Ilith, at their wedding in 1939. Grandma made the wedding dress and veil herself — we still have it. And don’t you love my grandpa’s hexagonal glasses?



  1. Anna

    COOL!!! I’m so glad you’re doing this…love the pics. You should do more. Or make a separate blog about Ingebretson awesomeness. :-)

  2. Anna

    Oh and by the way… every time I see the URL for this blog, I think it says “at home with the bethany,” which is quite funny…not sure why…

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