Scrapbooking and personal history is in my genes. Imagine my surprise to find this gem in my paternal grandmothers box of records.
Pages and pages of her life that she added and recorded, perhaps for her own personal memories, but more importantly they are here for us... her descendants. The pages have all come out of the original binder, but at some point someone placed them into sheet protectors. I love the texture and quality of the cover, it's beautiful. The scrapbook was given to her by her cousin Jay Ashton. I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know what that is so I will have to ask my father.
I carefully removed each page and snapped a quick cell phone photo. I also snapped on of each of the photos and some of the details. I knew my father would be scanning at a higher quality, but I wanted something more immediate.
I don't know if you can read the upper right photo, but on the back of her original drivers license application she wrote, "When I got my drivers license I had to go up twice because I used the clutch too much and didn't back up right."
It made me think back to all those times driving with my grandmother in the truck and looking at her arthritic hands pushing and pulling the clutch. I have a story that now needs to be written.
Seeing my grandmother's old report card reminded me of the paper versions I have from elementary school, where everything is hand written and signed. Everything was starting to be computerized in Jr. High and High School, but we still got a paper copy. Now everything is done online
Education was very important to my grandmother, but more than the grades I remember her asking me what I had learned. She valued continual learning and growth.
Another thing I loved about my grandmother's scrapbook is that she was not concerned with the archival nature of what she was adding. I love that there is her winning portion of a wishbone and that she got her wish of a date with the boy. I'm a little grossed out by the bone, but that is for another story.
The ring was given to her by the first boy she ever really liked. He died at 13 years of age and this page was a memorial to him. Perhaps I will try and find him on FamilySearch and see if I can add this to his file. She has included so many little gems like this in her book, if I were to go and add them to all the different people she listed perhaps it would mean something to those living family members. I know I love hearing stories from different people who associated with my ancestors. Each perspectives paints a different stroke in the beautiful and complex masterpiece that is their lives.
My grandmother didn't say whose hair she included, did it belong to her?
All these photos has stories to go with them. All these memories.
Seeing these little snapshots made me realize how a few simple lines can help paint a larger story. Even something as simple as instagram has become something I treasure more and more each day. In one little instant I can share a story, build a memory and add to the legacy that is our lives.
I have questions I want to ask, did my grandmother take the photos in her album? We have a wonderful legacy of film that we used to watch growing up of my father's family, but I think that was primarily because of my grandfather.
I would also like to ask about her friend Helen, who is in many of these photos.
Remember how I shared with you that my grandparents met while rehearsing/performing "Pride and Prejudice" (a book, movie, play that I adore), see this post. Well Grandma kept a copy of the playbill. My romantic heart melted a little finding it in her scrapbook.
Words can never describe the treasure that this is to me. More so as I pour over the images and think about the kind of woman my Grandmother was. She wasn't perfect, she would be the first to list and admit her faults, but she was strong, kind, and generous.
For today's a chance to win a spot in the History Project class giveaway (one winner each day) leave a comment with one thing that you would include about your grandmother in your history project. Contest ends Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 11:59 mountain standard time. Winner will be announced Monday, January 18, 2016.
Don't forget to enter the RootsTech 3-day pass giveaway.