When we were home for my dad's memorial service, I went up to my brother's plumbing shop attic and retrieved a few of my grandmother's diaries. My granny was a writing record keeper. All of her life, she kept a diary. She recorded her daily doings, her purchases, her impressions, and her observations. I find these diaries absolutely fascinating. I love my granny and I appreciate the great impact she had on my life. There was a big box of her diaries, but I chose the years when she lived with us. I wanted another glimpse into those days, beyond what I can remember.
She didn't dwell on her "not so good" days, but she did record her state of mind and body. She never WENT to the basketball games, but obviously the outcome mattered to her. So dear.
She took care of her little life details. I feel assured as I read her words. Life is good even if it isn't flamboyant or "river raft exciting"!
My mother tells me that my granny was a counter. She counted the cookies she baked and every penny she spent. She was very thrifty. I love the way she spelled cat with a K, just for effect! The cat she is talking about here was a sister to the cat I loved (Leroy) and this particular cat kept having babies. White ones. This was a source of frustration for my parents. Five kittens! I love remembering. Thank you, Grandma Evelyn.
She wrote that she put the "can" out. I think she meant the trash can. I'm so glad she wrote down what we had for dinner. I cherish these sweet words. The WORD is beyond important. This is why I can get myself geared up for school again. I get to teach words. Writing is essential to the dignity of mankind. Reading is a miracle. God's WORD is life eternal. My granny's writing soothes my soul.
I've always journaled, but for a few years I kept more of a diary using Susan Branch's Daybooks.
This is when the kids were all home and we were SUPER busy. I was cleaning houses AND working at Starbucks. The kids were buzzing through their daily activities and I was blissfully happy mothering them.
I have always made dreamy lists.
I am reminded that mothers care about the people who influence their children. I sure did.
This excerpt is from one of our summer camp assignments. We'd go all the way up to the fjords of British Columbia and witness hundreds of teenagers' exposure to the Good News of Christ. Our family would bumble along, trying to stay out of the way, while Bill spoke or managed the staff.
And then we'd come back and get the kids ready for a new school year. Look! Jeff had a wart frozen off! Funny!
Kim from My Field of Dreams and I are making Anne of Green Gables journals. We are journaling after we read chapters and drawing and jotting down our thoughts. It's FUN and another joyful way to enjoy the gift of the written word. Last summer, Lisa (Pen and Ink and Maybe Some Paint) and I sent art back and forth. We still do even though I am behind. I love this sharing of words and images! Well, remember our The Wind in the Willows book that flew around the world? Same thing! Badger is going to Mags soon. I think I have a few too many little projects, but I am fine with that! Anyway, here's another page of the Anne journal.
When I went to the Anne Frank House, I wrote in the guestbook, "She loved to read. She loved to write. Thank you, Anne, for writing." I am in awe of diaries (obviously Anne's diary has been read by millions even though that was not her intention for the youthful record-keeping she worked on) but the simple act of "writing it down" is so valuable. Do you write stuff down?
Now, changing the subject, I wanted to share this book with you again. Do you love Beatrix Potter like I do? Susan Branch's new book A Fine Romance is out (I'm waiting for mine) and she went to Beatrix's house last summer and draws and writes about it in this new book. I can't wait to read it! You probably should order your copy at Susan's blog (see blogroll) so you can revel in all kinds of English goodness.
This Ultimate Peter Rabbit book is a feast, too. I look at it almost every day. I ordered a copy for my mama so she can enjoy it, too. With all the bunnies in my garden, I guess I must admit that I have had a lifelong love for rabbits and little clothed animal drawings. Do you, too?
Words and drawings/paintings delight my heart. I don't think my granny knew how much I would pour over her simple words, feeling a strong connection to her and her every day life, but I do. Please write. Do it. It doesn't have to be fantastic or interesting to the masses. It's a gift and a privilege. I'm so thankful for the alphabet, for sentence structure, for spunky nouns and verbs. I am thankful for YOUR words. Thank you for reading today!