Reeling in the Years

Well, the Summer Scrapbooking Challenge is finally over and I am happy to report that I finished the challenge with 303 pages completed. What a ride it has been! I did a heritage album of my mother’s side of the family from my Gr.Gr.Gr. Grandmother up to my mother. I scrapbooked my mother’s life up to her present day at 92 years young, I started my own heritage album and have just gotten through my Army years, and I finished the heritage album of my father’s life.

Speaking of my father, it’s been a bittersweet time. Dad died while I was on my honeymoon almost 27 years ago. He never met my husband although he did talk to him over the phone when George called him from Greece to ask for permission to marry me. We had planned to redo our vows back home once we rotated back to the States so that our parents could attend the ceremony but that wasn’t to be.

Putting these old pictures into a scrapbook and writing down all the old stories has been very emotional for me. I’ve been reliving all these memories. Take this picture, for instance. My brother and I are posing next to Lake Superior while we were enroute to the farm in Minnesota. Notice the bloody bandages on both of my knees. With my usual grace, I had decided to run down a hill at a rest stop to get to the car and had lost my footing, skidding down the remainder of the hill and across half of the parking lot. Ouch! I still bear the scars on both knees. When I look at that picture and when I read the journaling about it, I can remember that day so clearly.

I think people still throw pictures in albums but not many write down the stories these days. We need to do that, even if it is writing it up on the computer and then printing it off and sticking it in your album. Every culture has had its storytellers. In early cultures, that’s how they passed on the group memories and traditions. In our extended families, someone has to be the group storyteller because the older generations are passing on and as they do, many of those wonderful stories are being lost forever.

So I’ve spent some enjoyable time with my dad this summer, I’ve caught glimpses of my mom in college, and I’ve relived the triumphs of my college theatrical career, all through the combination of scrapbooking and memories. Not a bad way to spend the summer, if I do say so. But I must admit, after 303 pages completed…..I’m taking a break for a few weeks to do some knitting, crocheting, and looming.


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