Monday, September 3, 2012

A memory keeper.

For as long as I can remember, I've been keeping records of memories. I've consistently kept a journal since I was about thirteen. I hoard little bits of my life and make scrapbooks of our family vacations.
Today I was straightening up in my room {trying to take this quote to heart: Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. -William Morris} and sorted through some pretty weird things I've held onto: ticket stubs from a Newsboys concert in 2004, pictures from my last day in public school, summer reading list from high school, etc.
I used to wonder why I feel such a desire to record the happenings of my life, to be a memory keeper. But finally I's a family trait.
When my family was cleaning through my grandmother's house after she died, I was able to keep this little book. It's a composition book that belonged to my great-grandmother. It was her school book in 1908, when she was about 17, and she wrote in it for a few years afterward. I know I'm a history nerd, but it blows my mind to realize that this book is over a hundred years old.

She spelled her name three different ways inside...Lucy (the real spelling), Lucie, and Lucye. That makes me smile. Maybe she was trying them all out to see which one she liked best.

Here's a poem that was tucked inside. I assume she wrote it (at age 21), because there's no other author noted. It's a slightly sarcastic take on reasons why people attend church..."Some go to tell their woes, while others go to show their clothes...Many go for recreation, precious few to help the collection." Ha. :)

I love the (very few) parts where she used it as a journal instead of copying or writing things for grammar. One page says: "Tonight, June the 24, 1911. Eunice, Fannie, Nannie, and Lucy all sitting around the lantern telling jokes and having a good time....We are all wondering where we will be next year at this time. -Lucy" And further down: "December 1, 1911. I, Lucy, was at Mr. Boaze's helping Lillian and Velma quilt and oh!-the sun was shining so pretty." I love that. :) {And she was quilting. Very cool!}

But my very favorite part is on the back inside cover, where she wrote: "Some one keep this for coming generations to look at. -Mama Lucy"

I'm so thankful my grandma held onto this book, written by her mother-in-law, so I could read it now, over a century later. And now I'll hold onto it. :)

Speaking of my grandma, she was a memory-keeper, too. She kept cards in boxes under her bed (I do this too with cards and letters!). I have this scrapbook that she made for her senior year in high school (1938). It has clippings and little name cards of her graduating class (nearly every person had a nickname written under their real name :) and superlatives and class songs.

It cracks me up what she wrote in the graduation program under delivery of diplomas:

My grandpa was in the Navy and a Pearl Harbor survivor. My grandma kept the Sunday evening edition of the local newspaper of the day of the attack...the paper that was delivered to my grandpa's father. (Can you imagine? It gives me chills.)

So you see, it runs in my family. Keeping inky bits of paper and scribbling memories is in my blood. I do it mostly for myself, because I love to look back and reminisce. But I think, maybe, a part of me does it "for coming generations to look at." :)

P.S. It reminds me of this quote from Ann Voskamp's journaling series: "Fear would silence us, leaving the descendants with old plates and tarnished jewelry, but no words, no hand-scrawled, inky words."

Until next time,


  1. Wow. I love all of the family history you've collected. A wonderful glimpse into our past. Thanks so very much for sharing.

  2. Hey Kristin! Amazing-ness! I love that you have your Grandma Lucy's (Lucie, Lucye)special books. From what you say, she reminds me of you - or at least how I think you are through your blog. =) My Grandma Winnie is 98 & has kept diaries all her life (until she couldn't use her hands to write without lots of pain). I wonder who will get them when she finally goes Home... I'd love to, but then I'm probably not the only one (& being the youngest one I may not have much hope). Now, I just want to keep her around forever. She still has a great mind & loves God!
    Thanks for sharing the memories!

  3. This is so amazing, Kristin! I go crazy for historical stuff like that. It's so neat when it's actually from your own family, too. I just love getting a glimpse of what people were thinking about and what their lives were like back then. You are blessed to appreciate it like you do!

  4. How neat to have that journal! I journal all the time too... and I sometimes think about who may be reading it 100 years down the road. But I try not to think that too much or I start to censor my writing :P I love looking through old family pictures and hearing my grandparents memories. :)

  5. Kristin,

    Wow! I did not know you had that stuff from Granny's! (I think the perfect person has it!) I know we would love to see it sometime. (Please!) So glad you shared!

    My grandmother kept a journal in high school with prom flowers, autographs, photos, etc. - even report cards. I was not able to keep it but was glad to be able to see it.


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