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I spent today with a group of friends with at least one thing in common: we all love photographs and the family stories they tell. So I started thinking about which of my thousands and thousands of pictures is my favorite. The answer changes from moment to moment, memory to memory. But they each involve family.

I think my absolutely favorite pictures is from Christmas many years ago…I’m thinking possibly 1959 or 1960…Mom is standing in front of the Christmas tree in her favorite fuchsia sateen robe, cradling her new hunting rifle and crying to Daddy, “My rifle…you got me my own rifle.”

Or maybe my favorite is the publicity photo from the San Bernardino Sun, showing me in all my fifth-grade glory, pointing out my piano teacher’s oil painting, “American Folk Song,” for which my sister and I modeled (also c. 1959).

Or could it be the picture of The Four DeMurls, sitting side by side — my grandmother, my mother, myself, and my daughter…all of us sharing the same middle name. Or the next set of The Four DeMurls — my mother, myself, my daughter, and HER daughter…

Or the picture I snapped with my phone this New Year’s Eve, with both granddaughters in their bathrobes and holding their Great-Grammy’s vintage noisemakers, ready to head outside and shake in the new year.

No matter how grand or how ordinary, pictures are one of the ways we hold on to wonderful memories and pass them on to our next generations. I am blessed to have loved ones to take pictures of, and loved ones to tell my stories to.

What is your favorite picture? I’d love to know.