Hiddey Ho Scribblers! J Monkeys here. Sadly, I won’t be able to respond to your comments until Monday because I’m at my annual Scrapbooking Retreat this weekend! Yay! Let’s just pretend that whole Blizzard thing isn’t looming.
I love a good story and to me, no story is more interesting that the story of our lives. I can’t tell you how much I wish my grandmother had kept a journal during her life. She was born in 1909, the 7th of 8 children and she died in 2006, just a couple of weeks short of her 95th birthday. She lived through so much of what I view as “history”. WWI, The Great Depression, WWII, the really icy bits of the Cold War, the advent of electricity, the phone, the radio, the TV – all of those were things were new at some point in her life time. She used to tell us how when she was a child, the ice-man would drive his horse and buggy to their house in East Hartford, CT to deliver blocks of ice for the ice-box. To her dying day, she called the refrigerator an ice-box.
Now, my grandmother and I had issues. I’ve probably alluded to them in the past; she wasn’t a happy woman and like to be sure that many of the people around her were unhappy, too. But I bet, if she had kept a diary of some kind, I might be able to figure out why she was so unhappy. And that would mean a lot to me. Her siblings weren’t unhappy. My aunt Grace (my g-mom’s next oldest sibling) was a very upbeat lady, with a ho-ho-ho belly laugh.
When Auntie died (that’s what we all called Aunt Grace, now I’m Auntie to a new generation, which is really cool) I helped clean out her house. In her basement, I found an old photo-album. The pictures were likely taken in the 30’s or 40’s or something. They are glued onto black construction paper-like stuff and the whole thing is tied together with twine. The worst thing is this: there are no notes or captions for the pictures. Clearly, the pictures, people and events were important enough to her to go to the expense and effort of making the book, but she’s gone now and those stories can’t carry on.
So one of the things that I do when I scrapbook is to write notes of what the picture is about or why I liked it. Those in the Scrapbooking trade (and if you don’t know about the scrapbooking trade you are missing out on a billion dollar business!) call that “journaling.” I do some journaling, but I’m more of a snarky-caption kind of girl. I think that my boys and even my grandchildren will (hopefully!) realize that those captions say as much about me as they do about the photo.
And one other thing about scrappin’ before I leave you and go do it – I don’t have any photos of my life before college, which is when I started my very first photo-album. My mom has some albums of my childhood which I’ll likely inherit someday, but I don’t have anything now, when I think my kids might find them interesting. My mom doesn’t have them handy, they’re packed away from her last house move before the kids were born. So in addition to making albums for me, I’m making albums for my kids to have when they are older. Each kid has an album. When they get old enough to be interested in doing the crafty part of it, I’ll have him or her help me. Yes it means I’m printing 4 copies of a few hundred pictures each year (this year I’ve printed 4 copies of more than 500 pictures) but I think it’s a small price to pay. Pictures are cheap these days. I think I’ve paid something in the neighbor hood of $125 for all the 2012 pictures. If I hadn’t left for the last minute, I probably could have gotten them even cheaper online somewhere.
Today’s secret: take the time to print off some of those zillion photos you have on your digital camera and phone. Stick them in an album and write a few notes so that when you are gone, your descendents will be able to know you a little.
Today’s question: what do you do with your extra photos? I invariably print more than I use and the extras are sitting in boxes in my office.
Bonus Secret: I almost forgot to tell you what the title of this post has to do with scrapbooking! YIKES. My annual scrap-retreat is down in Westbrook CT. And every year, when I get there a moment or two after the places opens (Papercraft Clubhouse – it’s awesome!) on Friday, I go over to the Westbrook Deli and order a sandwich that is good enough to wait a year for: The Mother of all BLTs. It’s a grinder with like a pound of bacon on it! YUM. Sadly, they aren’t open on the weekend and I won’t get one this year because of the stinky blizzard. But there’s always next year!