Blogging, Gratitude


I LOVE the idea of taking part in a blogfest (even if I only found out about it twenty-four hours in advance). I also LOVE writing about a wide range of topics. But writing about an object–and a most cherished one at that–well at first, that just seemed wrong.

I have previously written about some of the people in my life whom I deeply cherish (A Love Letter, Dear Son and Thanks, Mom). I have even written about our adored dog, Cody. How could any material object that I own inspire such passion?

To help with this endeavour, I imagined our house burning. What would I run to save? Most items that we own are replaceable. What wasn’t?

By engaging in this basic exercise, the task was now so simple. I instantly knew what I would rush to save: the guardians of my memories.

Memories become our life stories and our legacy. They define us and give our lives meaning and purpose (source). My memories remind me of my roots, ground me and inspire hope. They are not simply nostalgia or longing for the past – they are, as scientists have now discovered, a bridge to the future. The same brain processes that we use to remember the past are also the same processes that we use to imagine the future. When our ability to remember the past is compromised, so is our ability to envision different outcomes (source).

Through my material object (in this case, a collection of objects), I am quickly transported back to beloved people and places.  Sadly, many of these people and places I can no longer access in any other way.

This most treasured possession, that is so priceless to me, is of little value to others outside of my immediate family. It will not be recognized as having artistic merit. What is this magic portal that is both old and new, faded and glossy?

My collection of personal photographs.

Thank you to the initiators of Cherished Blogfest for providing the platform, and the inspiration, for this post. Thank you also to my family for taking an abundance of photographs, and for passing on this trait (as well as family photo albums) to me!




  1. Those photos are precious. They may not have meaning outside of your family, and they may not have the same meaning, even within that close group, but to you they are priceless. I love photos like that and I love finding them from time to time and having those memories be refreshed. I didn’t know about the memory/imagine connection, that’s pretty cool.

    Thank you for joining this blogfest. If you don’t mind, where did you find out about it. We’re always trying to figure out better ways to promote it. Thanks, Dan – cohost – #CBF16


    1. Thanks, Dan! My husband and I just returned home yesterday from a 2.5-week backpacking holiday. While I was catching up on some blogs that I follow, I came across your blogfest on “” As soon as I read a couple of past posts, I was hooked and knew that I wanted to join in too.
      Thanks to you, and your team, for hosting. I look forward to reading the other entries this weekend.


  2. Old photos will always have an appeal that digital ones don’t. All the more reason to cherish them! I just love that old frame on the wedding picture. Lovely post, Donna!


    1. Hi, Wendy – I agree that old photos have a great appeal. This has reminded me to get more of my current photos printed!
      Thanks for reading!


  3. I have many plastic tubs of family photographs and, like you, I cherish them all. The photographs bring back memories of our lives and special moments. Thanks for participating in this year’s CBF, even though it was last minute for you. Very nice post!

    Mary J
    CBF Cohost


  4. I agree with you. My photos are special links to the past that I return to again and again. I love stumbling across them and the corresponding memories just start tumbling out. It’s like being teleported. 🙂


  5. I have a collection if lettere that I treasure from my Aunt, (who cared for me as a child) my grandmother, my dad and even my kids as tweets and teens! When I read them my heart bursts with love! You write so well Donna, I always enjoy your reflections.


    1. Thanks, Gerry! Ah, pen and paper cards and letters! I have a collection of those as well that I also cherish. Thanks so much for reading, commenting and keeping in touch. I greatly appreciate it!


  6. Our memories are so precious. I used to believe they were the only thing we have that could not be taken away from us … until I learned about the reality of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
    Now the thought of possibly losing my memories is horrifying and my heart aches for those dealing with this reality.

    A lovely post. I didn’t know that our ability to visualize the future is a function of our ability to remember the past.


    1. Hi, Joanne – I agree that our memories are precious. The thought that they can be taken away from us by diseases such us dementia and Alzheimer’s is very frightening–and makes me appreciate them even more.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. I am pleased to be able to take part in this year’s Cherished Blogfest!


  7. I, too, almost chose family images. Memories are so precious! Mine are triggered by images, not by dates, so images are important. Thank you for your share and the connections.
    Kate, CBF16 co-host


  8. Photos are indeed cherished by most people. No wonder they are the first things people try to protect in case of a wildfire, earthquake , flood or any other natural disaster. Also, when moving away. Lovely post that will talk to everyone.


    1. Thanks, Evelyne – My collection of personal photos have gone with me on every single move that I have made – including to University, as well as to China and back. They have been of great comfort when I have been far away from those that I love most.


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