Memories, Photos Albums, and Scrapbooks,

Me with Snooks   




Me with Mom

About thirty years ago, I took up scrapbooking. I enjoyed it, although it was time-consuming.

In the business of life, I focused on the present as my husband and I raised our children, and we went into ministry. The past, though not totally forgotten, took a back seat as I dealt with the day to day needs of my family and work.

I loved going through my parents’ boxes of old photos and learning about ancestors and family history. But much information was lost because the photos were not organized or labeled, and we had no information about the people in the photos. My dad labeled some of them before his death, and since my mother’s death, my brother has put together more family history from documents and photos we discovered.

My photo albums begin with my wedding, progress through our parenting years, and include photos of our extended families. I wrote pertinent information on the back of these photos–dates, locations, and names of people–and inserted them in the album pages. The ink on some of these photos seeped through and the vinyl of the albums often discolored the photos. But they are organized and less apt to be lost or torn.

When scrapbooking became popular, I took it up. It was a great way to preserve memories. Instead of inserting the photos into a plain, dull, plastic pockets, I attached them to decorated pages with notes about them, like journaling, so I didn’t have to pull them out to read the backs. It was fun and creative. My scrapbooks include my grandchildren.

I intended to replace all my photo albums with scrapbooks, but other pursuits took precedence. Too many photos and not enough time.

However, I collected memories into a scrapbook with photos, letters, and other memorabilia from my childhood and the years before my wedding. Arranging my personal scrapbook awoke memories that lay buried in my brain. It was refreshing in so many ways, like opening a window and letting in fresh air. Uncovering these memories, significant people, events, and details from my past opened the way for me to become more authentic with my writing. In remembering my experiences from the past, I felt freer to express my characters’ thoughts and feelings.

I also have an organized memory book for my children and grandchildren, except I don’t know where it is.

We have moved three times since I created that scrapbook, and I’ve found all the photo albums and scrapbooks except mine. I’m sure I put it in a place where I knew I would find it. When I do find it, I’ll share some of my memories with you.