Goodbye to the Family I Don't Know...
A year or so ago, I bought a digital picture frame from the thrift shop where I volunteer. My husband pointed out that it was old and the technology behind it was not great, but it was cheap and I wanted one for my desk at the office.
I got an SD card and filled it up with photos of our family. (Ok, let's be honest it was mostly photos of my son.) I managed to get maybe 200 photos on it. (I have a LOT more photos stored on my computer and in the cloud...I may not be the best photographer, but I LOVE to take photos. They are my history and preserve my memories.)
I put in in the card slot in the frame and turned it on. NOTHING. It didn't seem to load. Crap!
Then I took the card out and turned on the frame. Photos came up. Photos of a family that I didn't know. I wanted to delete them, but there didn't seem to be a way to do so. They seemed to be mostly scans of old photos. There were a few "newer" ones; like the picture from Disney World from 1996-1997. (How do I know the year? That was the period that Cinderella's castle was turned into a celebratory pink cake for the Magic Kingdom's anniversary. In my opinion, it was ugly and I hated the fact that it was there when we were there on our honeymoon.) They seemed like a nice enough family, but...
Finally, I put the SD card in AFTER the frame was on and showing the photos of the family that was not mine. Amazingly, the SD card loaded and my photos came up! Success!
Well, sort of...once all the photos on the card were cycled through; it went back to being blank. It wouldn't repeat the cycle. So after an hour or so, I would have to pull out the SD card, let the photos of the other family start up again and then put the SD card in again to get my photos. A crazy process, I agree, but...I mean this was a frame that I got at the thrift shop. I maybe paid $5 for it and every once in a while when I looked over to that side of my cubicle, I would see different photos. It was not perfect, but it was nice.
Sometimes when my photos has cycled through, I'd pull out the card and get distracted by something else. The frames' saved photos would cycle. I probably viewed this unknown family just as much as I viewed my own photos!
A week or so ago, a newer, better digital frame came into the thrift shop. It was still far from being "new" but it was bigger and had more features than what I currently had. I bought it.
This one actually had an instruction booklet. This one had NO photos on it and I loaded my own. It looks a lot nicer than the other one did in my cubicle. Moreover, it holds a lot more photos, which is definitely a plus.
My plan now is to donate (re-donate?) the original digital frame back to the thrift shop. I want to include a note with it, explaining that you need to turn it on, wait for the "unknown family" to start up and then you can put in your own SD card and get your own photos. Again, it is not perfect, but for a couple of bucks...
However, I think I am going to miss that unknown family. In my mind, I can see the New Year's Eve photos, the photo in front of the Cinderella's castle, and the photo of the man in uniform (obviously from the WWII era). I will never stop wondering who they were and what their lives were like. I suspect that the older man and woman were someone's grandparents and are no longer with us. From the photos, they seemed to be a happy bunch. I hope that is true.
Even though I don’t know them or their story; I will remember them.