As I look over my blog, I realize it has been ten months since I last posted. All of the material is still accurate and relevant, but I have changed. I took that time pursuing another venture and although it did not work out as I had hoped, it has led me to a more focused direction. Before, I would let the photos tell the story. That is a quick, wonderful way to get those photos printed and in albums so those who know the photos and were there can truly enjoy. However, what about those who weren’t there?
- You are placing heritage photos in the album and you remember a story your mother told you about the aunt in the photo and smile.
- You are scrapping your photos and as you look at them while you place them in the pockets, you enjoy remembering a lesson learned or an example of love from that occasion.
- You are telling your granddaughter a great story about when you were in middle school, as she is now.
These stories and memories need to be shared. Don’t wait until they are with you some evening to tell the stories of their heritage, write them in the albums so they can read them again and again and know these people in a new and unique way.
I have decided to share these memories as well as the photos. Now, as I place a photo in the album, I write about it. I include that special memory or that adventure that led up to the photo. I introduce the reader to the person in the photo. I am keeping memories, not just sharing photos.
Here I have journaled not only that I helped a girl with her gown, but the stories and memories it triggered:
Journaling: When I think of the many skills my Mother taught me, my favorite is the ability to sew. As a very young child I would sit behind the sewing machine and clip the squares apart that she was sewing for quilts and neatly stack them for the next run. I remember playing under the quilting frames watching the ladies with one hand under the quilt and one on top making their rows of stitches. She made clothes for our baby dolls and then fashions for our Barbies. She made most of our clothes growing up. We were never teased about “homemade” clothes, but were admired for our stylish fashions and cute outfits. She made all the dresses for my wedding, including my gown, the maid of honor and the flower girl dresses. After we left home, she got her first electronic machine with all the fancy stitches and took a tailoring class. She never enjoyed sewing as much after that. She loved her machine but having her work critiqued and criticized to perfection, took the joy out of sewing. She made dad a suit that was amazing, but after that, she didn’t make much clothing, but still enjoyed her quilts and crafts. She did make my girls some amazing matching Easter outfits and we never bought pajamas.
I received mother’s original Singer when she got her new machine and it is such a treasure. Dad said they spent nearly a month’s wages on it during the depression but it has paid for itself so many times over. It still sews a beautiful straight stitch and I have made clothes, quilts and Halloween costumes for my kids and grandkids using it. When Mother died five years ago, my Dad gave me her fancy machine, but he never would let me actually take it. He just couldn’t break up her sewing room. Now, that we are getting the house ready for my nephew and his family to move in, the sewing machine has taken a place of honor in my home.
It amazes me how many girls today do not even know how to replace a button, or hem a skirt. I have the confidence to try anything – after all, as Mother taught, it is just construction. I was recently approached by xxxxxx having her Quincenaera, her turning sixteen celebration. She had purchased a fantastic dress for almost nothing because the zipper down the side was broken. She asked if I could do anything. Unfortunately it was a very fancy formal and too snug to just replace the zipper. I told her I would try. I decided to remove the zipper and insert ribbon lacings on each side. She loved it! I would never have had the confidence to even think I could do something like that if it hadn’t been for Mother’s amazing talent and her willingness to teach me.
Take the extra few minutes to tell the story!