Saturday, March 21, 2015

Past, Present, Future

My friend Mary writes two beautiful blogs -- Frugally Challenged and Trundling Through Life.   She has written a series of posts about her childhood and her grandparents home in England.  I read these posts with great interest because I am a lover of family history and have researched my own for more years than I care to admit and continue to do so to this day.


My grandparents in San Antonio, Texas, probably on their wedding day 1918
Mary and I have been talking about how important it is to preserve the past for the future generations and not forgetting that the present will someday be the past for the youngsters.  Mary has talked about life at her grandparents house, how the house ran, what kind of activities took place -- just everyday things that probably nobody thought to document anyplace -- it was just life.  It is the same of all of us, even now.  I would never think to get up of a morning, put  a load of wash in and go in and write a diary entry about it and our foremothers and fathers didn't either.

So......

about two years ago I started babysitting my  granddaughter full time.  At the time I decide to start a daily journal for her describing our days.  That project lasted about half a week because it became extremely repetitive and most days were not chock full of journal worthy happenings.  So, I am afraid I abandoned the project before it even really began.

However, after having these conversations with Mary I began to rethink the whole project and decided to take a different approach.  I went to my local bookstore and bought this journal --

front

back

It is very hardbacked and sturdy and gives the appearance of being hand bound but we all know that isn't true -- only hobbyists hand bind books anymore but I digress. 

The format of this book is Letters to Caroline.  I am writing her a letter when we do something -- like the outings we had during spring break -- or when there is something I want to tell her.  I recently wrote her a letter about our Advent activities this last Christmas and I talked about how the tiny shepherd got broken, how she felt about it and how Mary had written one of her blog posts about it.  I printed out the blog post and it is attached to the page for her to go back and read one day.  I am not including this to make her feel badly about the figurine getting broken but just letting her see how our life was at that particular time.  She absolutely loves my pumpkin bread.  There is nothing unusual about it -- the recipe is from a Betty Crocker cookbook -- but I am going to write her a letter about it and include the recipe so she can one day make it herself and she will remember that ordinary, day-to-day activity.  Of course, we will make it together someday and I will write her a letter and maybe that letter will invoke the aroma of baking pumpkin bread. 

I know this probably sounds like a silly thing to do -- most people would think it a waste of time and view me as a silly woman with nothing better to do, perhaps living in the past a wee bit too much.  Well, the reality is, I have nothing better to do than to nurture a child and instill a sense of family, of roots, of love that surpasses all generations and time.  I wish that my parents, grandparents and more would have done something like this for me and my cousins.  I wish I had had the foresight to ask questions but the young don't, do they?  So, I am hoping by doing this project, our Beanie will have memories to pass on to her own -- or at least a pumpkin bread recipe.