Not that long ago, I started receiving emails from OneDrive titled “Your memories from this day.” At first, I didn’t really pay attention to them. My motto, stolen from a book called The Year of Jamie’s Diary (which I’m ashamed to admit was also stolen by yours truly from the Scarsdale junior high school), is “Forward ever, backward never.” But eventually, driven by a combination of curiosity and an urge to procrastinate. I opened one of the emails. My instant reaction was… what the hell is this???!!!
There are no dates. No explanations. Just mismatched photos taken God knows where and God knows when. What is Kyokukids.com and why do I have a photo of it? My own kid was never remotely interested in karate. When was I interested in that anti-aging serum? And are those photos of New York City? I assume so. But when did I take them? And where was I???
When and why did I take a picture of this photo of a literal anarchists’ picnic? My mother, grandfather, and grandmother are in there somewhere, along with a few relatives and friends. Who did I need to show this to? Hey look, it’s one of my vintage cookbooks! And photos from Eliza’s college orientation. At least I can date those: August 2018. But why on earth am I hanging upside-down in our local park and who took this picture? (It wasn’t a handstand. I can’t do those.)
And here’s a picture where everyone is upside down. Plus three photos from one of my many trips to New Orleans, and a picture of the terrifying fire that burned the hillside up the street from us one night. Luckily, the wind was light, saving our neighborhood from total incineration. You know what these pictures have in common? Absolutely NOTHING.
At last! A “Your memories of this day” where I have a context, if not a date, for every photo. Clockwise from top left, the question mark graphic is my go-to for occasional Cozy Mystery Crew posts; that’s a Christmas-themed frittata I made for a Mystery Lovers Kitchen post. (The recipe is in my third Catering Hall Mystery, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder.); there’s our sleeping doggy Pogo; I downloaded a picture of Betty Crocker because I wanted to make a parody of it featuring me for a possible collection of recipes from my books that I never got around to putting together; and friends Keenan Powell, Chere Coen, and Mark Bologna joined me in a Zoom for the 2020 release of Murder in the Bayou Boneyard.
I’m now addicted to “Your memories of this day.” I can’t wait to see what surprises and mysteries lurk within each odd melange of photos. And you can bet that someday one of my protagonists will either spot a mystery or an important clue in one of their own “Your memories of this day.”
Readers, do you get these emails from OneDrive? If so, what do you think? If not, are there photos from your life that are now a total mystery to you?