Monday, October 12, 2009

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I am taking an online class to help me with my scrapbooking.  I have mounds and mounds of pictures and I tend to take too much time thinking about layouts and embellishments and papers, etc. to really be effective in getting things done.  So I thought this online class at Big Picture Scrapbooking might help me "git'er done".  I'm in week two, and this is my completed intro page. 

What I found interesting was that the homework for week one was to  answer the question:  "If I were gone tomorrow, what would I want people to know?"  So I spent some time looking through old photos and scanning them.  I even sent some to my brothers and sisters, in a quest to find out who really is in the picture.  But I found myself wondering things about my parents and grandparents.  It really makes you realize that unless you sit down with them to get their story, it will be gone.  And I've always said this about scrapbooking...If nothing else, I'm giving my kids, grandkids and great grandkids a history for them to look back on. 
Because I've done some genealogical research, I'm usually the one the family turns to to figure out the relationships in the family, when someone was born or died, etc.  I used to have a whole lot more in my head, but have come to realize that it needs to be documented (and it's slowly getting there with the help of Family Tree Maker). 
My future daughter-in-law, Jamie, loves genealogy.  I'm so glad!  She might very well become the family expert once she gets her hands on the info I've collected.  And many times I think about ways I want to incorporate my genealogy research in with my scrapbooking (let me count the ways, people!!). 
A curious observation:  My daughter and I took a trip to Ireland about five years ago.  When I would ask questions of people who knew some of my grandfather's family, information didn't necessarily "flow".  It was almost as if they would hold on to the stories because it gave them "one up" on others.  (I assumed this had to do with the infamous storytelling that took place in the local pubs).  The sad thing is, when they die, the story dies with them. 
I now have no one in my family to ask questions that I should have asked years ago.  Questions I didn't ask because I never slowed down enough to hear what they would have gladly shared.  That makes me sad.  And at the same time, it motivates me to tell my story, and the stories I do know of my ancestors.  Have you taken the time to ask? 

8 comments:

Leanne said...

So excellent, Peggy! I love the intro page - it is wonderful. I have been motivated to try organized old photos lately and are using some of your suggestions. The question "what would I want people to know about me, if I was gone tomorrow?" is a great one. Hmmmmm . . .

Please bring the intro page w/you on Friday!

Bill said...

One of the ways my family got after this was to sit in front of our "elders" with a tape recorder and ask them to tell their stories. It worked pretty well. If done with two or more story tellers they seem to prompt each other. Well worth the effort. Wonder if any of the young will be interested in our stories???

Peggy said...

Maybe we're not old enough yet that they start thinking they'll be losing us anytime soon...so it just doesn't dawn on them to ask.

Cindi said...

That's great! What class are you taking?

Peggy said...

Yesterday and Today

Linda Casserly said...

Hi Peg,

I love the old pix...( especially the BOW). You are right,everyone turns to you to get the story.Larry was having trouble figuring out who was who in the picture you sent with Terry pointing the toy gun at Jerry. I got it!!!Was Larry taking the picture? I really wish we had been able to ask my parents some of these questions before it was too late. I'm glad you are able to keep track of it all. Do you sleep?!?! It's great that Jamie has the same passion for it as you do...another thing to draw you to each other!

love,
Linda

Anonymous said...

Mom, I love the page. You were so darn cute as a little girl.

And I do like to hear your stories...and I like Bill's idea of tape recording them. I wish I could have been old enough to get Grandpa Kasallis's stories, and not so afraid of Grandma June to get hers...

Storytelling is a lost art. It used to be entertainment, but now we've got technology for that, so the stories get lost. I am glad you are leaving your stories in scrapbooks. Tell more about your childhood!
xoxo
Christine

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

My experience in asking family some members for their stories is that they think I'm prying or being nosy and they refuse to tell me! I think that even if the younger generation doesn't ask, you should write it down anyway. Someday they'll want to know. I'm a classmate from Yesterday + Today.