September 14, 2011

{Preserving Memories}

I got into researching my family history in college.  When I was stumped and didn't know which direction to go, I thought, "What I wouldn't give to know more about my ancestors."  I wished they had a journal or diary where I could read about my Great-Great Grandfather's daily life.  How did my Great-Great Grandmother meet my G'G'Gpa?  What was their home like? 

So, I decided I should really journal for my descendants.  I started okay in the beginning.  I recently looked at it and took it on a trip where I thought would be a perfect opportunity to update it.  I opened it to my last entry - 2009.  It was regarding the scare of the worst flu predicted- the swine flu.  Thankfully, it ended up not being as big as anticipated. 

Two years, I guess it was too much pressure.  I felt like I had to be descriptive, spell out the maiden names of people I was talking about so other's reading it later on would know who I was talking about.  And so, it has been sitting for the last two years, waiting for the next perfect entry.

In the meantime, I felt like I had to jot my family's daily happenings somewhere, so I would remember.  And so my refrigerator calendar became my journal.  Different colors and sizes describe special and even simple events. Going to visit family, family coming up to visit, the day I planted my winter garden and what I planted.  The first time I found out if I was having a boy or girl both pregnancies.  (Girls both times).  It even substituted for filling out my daughter's baby books.  I have updated some of the information, transferring it to the baby books once a year.  I have kept all of my calendars for the last 10 years since I have been married.  It is fun to look back, there are so many things I have already forgotten that happened this year. 

Although it is not beautiful like a well crafted scrapbook (it has always felt too permanent), or a lovely documented journal, I have "preserved" my memories.  Maybe someday, I will figure out a way of a more sophisticated way to pass this down, but until then, I will keep my calendars and look back at my memories fondly.

How do you Preserve your Memories?