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Memorializing Dad
Bar Harbor
Spent the bulk of Memorial Day working on The Dad Project. About a month ago, I went to the storage unit containing all his worldly goods, and salvaged things that I thought might have some sentimental value. Since then, I've been slowly but steadily going through them. I've mostly been trying not to get too obsessive about it, but Memorial Day seemed like a reasonable exception. So I took a deep dive into the photo archives.

Ye gods, dad took a lot of pictures. And seems to have kept most of them. If you thought I posted a lot of his work before, that's only the tip of the iceberg. Of course, the iceberg is too huge to fully deal with, and now largely stripped of its original context. So phase 1 of the project is, sadly, doing a cursory check through, and throwing out about 3/4 of it. Yes, those are pretty (trees | birds | waves | flowers | landscapes | sunsets | boats | mountains) -- but how many such pictures does anyone need? He even kept all his negatives from the 1960s.

Once I finish the first cull pass (itself a big sub-project), I'm going to see which formats of stuff I can scan myself. Other stuff will need to be sent to someone like ScanCafe. I'll definitely need to outsource the few reels of 8mm film I found in one box!

My plan is to spend an hour or two on the Estate every Monday. Indefinitely. At that rate, it's going to take many months to get through Dad's stuff. But that is, itself, only a sub-project. Once that's done, the focus will move to my *own* estate. Seeing the remains of someone else's life in such detail has brought some things into sharp focus that I had already sort-of known, but am becoming more serious about. I had already internalized that I should be evaluating my own possessions in terms of "Will I ever use this item again?" But now I add to that "Will *anyone* ever use this item again? If I get hit by a bus, will the existence of this item just annoy or confuse my inheritors?" So a lot of my own stuff is going to be getting thrown out, given away, or sold.

Other bits of wisdom:
* If you can't find it, you don't really own it. (Lots more organizing in my future.)
* If you're young, poor, and setting up a household, find an estate sale. People die with an amazing amount of basic household stuff that the heirs don't need and would happily sell to you cheap.
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