I was doing some rearranging at my house and this inevitably involved dusting the shelves of pictures that I have on display.  As I looked at these photos more closely, I realized that most of them are dated from several years ago. I had relatively few current photos in my frames.

It occurred to me that I used to be the one who would take the pictures, have the roll promptly developed, get double prints and share my bounty with friends and family. Now, except for the obligatory photo in or on the Christmas card, I can’t tell you the last time I printed pictures. Since they have become digital, they zoom through the airwaves from phone to computer, never pausing to be printed, let alone framed.

I wonder now what to do with all the “old” photos in the many frames. Do I keep my display, frozen in time from ten years ago, or do I make the effort to update it?  Perhaps Santa should have brought me a digital frame so that I can at least see what I have stored on the hard drive.  

Photos have become far more pervasive thanks to the ubiquity of camera phones, and sharing happens at an astronomical rate as well. But preserving them and displaying them is becoming a lost relic, along the lines of handwritten letters and pressed flowers, that used to grace attics across the land but is there no more.

No doubt there is a printed photo in your house — on a shelf or hanging on the wall — that you walk past daily without really noticing. Today, pay attention to that reminder of the past and pause to relive the memories that it has framed for you.

— beth triplett

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