I had hours of anguish after discovering I had lost photos from July through December. Heaven knows my pictures would never be classed as good photography, but they were precious to me. It all began in the afternoon when my brain was already in steep decline. I’ve chanted it so often that it’s almost a mantra – “I wake up instantly, and it’s downhill the rest of the day.”
John’s request was reasonable enough. I hadn’t copied photos to his computer, and he was missing two years. He remembered seeing a picture he wanted to share, and he didn’t have it. I had put water on to boil for pasta, the first step in assembling baked ziti for dinner. Thinking it would take only a few seconds, I went to my computer and copied the files to Dropbox. It was merely a matter of moving them onto his machine. When I checked to make sure everything was there, one folder had only two pictures. I must have hit something wrong. I went through the process again, saw there were many photos in place, and started back to the kitchen. John reclaimed his chair, looked for the picture, and came to tell me it wasn’t there. He explained, “It was taken in July.”
Can you see that I had set myself up for a colossal failure? By insisting on finishing the job when I was tired and had other things on my mind, I was stubbornly speeding the wrong way. I looked at the original folder and found the last date was the end of June. I was annoyed at that point, but I assumed all I had to do was copy another set from a flash drive. Looking at my main backup, the one I keep with me all the time, I saw with horror that only six month’s worth of photos were there. Hoping I hadn’t overwritten the folder on a secondary backup, I checked it. Golly Pete! What had I done? How could I have messed up that one, too? Then it occurred to me that the fault was on the hard drive. I had somehow erased half a year and carefully overwritten all my backups. Aaaauuuuggghhhh! I stopped and went back to the boiling water on the stove.
Speaking sternly to myself, I said, “Don’t think about it until after dinner.”
Not obeying, I thought, “What all is missing? Will anyone have copies they can share with me?”
“Stop it! You are in no state to think clearly.”
“I know I’m too tired to think. Still, various guests were with us for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know I sent them photos.
“Good grief! Will you stop it? Nobody keeps email photos.”
“Wait! There is one last hope. Go get the external backup.”
By this time, the ziti was in the oven. I plugged in the external drive and couldn’t find the logs I wanted. There were so few files with recent dates. After bumbling around a bit, I told myself to put it all away and wait till the next day. No one should attempt to work in such a hopeless state. Again, not listening to myself, I looked at my master file. Understanding dawned slowly. I got up and put out the plates for dinner. As we sat down together on the porch, I told John and our grandsons what had happened.
I explained, “I had a really rough day, or at least one terrible hour. I was sure I had lost half my photos for a full year. You know what? I was dealing with 2015 and 2016, and you know I’m not good with numbers. I forgot 2016 was the present year. I was searching and trying to restore pictures I haven’t taken yet – photos from the future!!!!
The boys controlled their faces until I rolled my eyes and laughed at myself. A snicker escaped from David. He said, “You’re gonna write about it tomorrow, aren’t you?”
“It’s almost funny to me now,” I replied. “It will be after I sleep on it.”