Each of us remembers and organizes our life differently. Some by grades, some by how old they were, others by what school they were attending at the time or the job they were working at. I organize my memories by what home I was living in at the time.
For instance, the memory of having my fingers scratched by a cat when I stuck them under a door happened at our 23rd Avenue home. We moved there soon after my birth and moved away around the age of five. I swallowed a dime while I lived there, jumped on a curtain, while jumping on a bed and the rod tore a deep cut into my eyebrow. My sister and I also wrote on a bedroom wall with sample lipsticks we found in a mischievous moment. That was also the first time I saw my brother get a spanking and I swore I never wanted one.
The sound of being awakened on Saturday mornings to the neighbors ducks under my bedroom window would be Saint Lucia Drive. That home also held memories of several pets that came and went, the smell of the dairy farms nearby, and having next door neighbors with the same last name as ours. We attended elementary school there too. I learned a bit of French in second grade and got sent to the principles office twice during those years. We lived there between the ages of five and ten.
George Way held most of my teen memories. Late night summer hide and go seek games, football in the middle of the street with the neighbor boys, some serious crushes, Confirmation in the Episcopal church, a first date, a couple more, my first job, and my first car. There are also memories of my grandmother, who moved into that home with us. Watching her polish her nails weekly, while telling me I should stop biting mine, helping her cut roses for the kitchen table, and her teaching me how to make a great mushroom omelette. I broke my schools long jump record, and took four years of self guided art classes that included calligraphy, graphic arts, and more.
I have so many memories that I hope to write in a book over the next several years. I am on question eighty of one hundred in a memories journal called A Grandparents Reflections. I bought one copy through some party based company years ago, but they don’t exist anymore. My father’s mother filled one out for me. I have reproduced it in my Mixbook digital photo book app www.mixbook.com and my father has filled one out also. I am trying to take a few minutes on a regular basis to ask my honey the questions and have him dictate the answers to me so our kids, grands and someday great grands can learn a little about the family they belong to and what shaped us and by extension, them, into the people they become. It’s a start. Writing a real book may have to wait for retirement, if I ever get a real one. I have started hitting down memories in a document, but I don’t get around to that as often.
Right now, this blog is a good way for me to document these years of my life. Sure, it’s just a snapshot of a day, but it’s something. I know my grands love looking through my photo books. Someday yours may too. If you are like many modern day folks, you take lots of pics, and store them all on your phone, sometimes struggling to find a specific picture when you need it. That Mixbook site I referenced earlier? If you download your pictures to a book, it can auto fill the book for you based on the digital time stamp of the photo. A quick, efficient way to print your photos in book format for posterity to view.
May your memories bring you happiness when you need a lift, clarity when you need to be reminded and understanding to those who will come after you.