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Entries in memory (1)


How do you Keep Memories?

With the arrival of our granddaughter, there’s been renewed interest in capturing, sharing and storing memories.  How you do so has changed through the years, and provides an interesting perspective on family.

My daughter has been taking pictures of her new niece and putting them into a collage using a smartphone app called Pic Stitch.  Using a monthly photo with Hobbes (of Calvin and Hobbes fame), a real sense of her growth is emerging looking at the collage.  It’s fun to look at, and fun to share on Facebook.  I look forward to the collages; one is included in this post.

A couple decades ago we did things differently.  We didn’t have smartphones, we had dial phones used for talking (with real dials, no buttons.)  We had cameras, and you would take the film to the drug store or photo store to be developed.  Prints were pricy, so were used sparingly.  Friends wouldn’t see the photos unless they came over to the house or a handmade physical collage went “on the road.”

We kept track of our children’s growth by holding a pencil to the top of a child’s head and marking the wall.  When growing up, my parents made marks on a wall behind a furnace so they would not be disturbed.  The problem is inevitably someone moves, and those memories are lost.

When we had children, we wanted to do the same thing.  We were the second owners of a house where the previous family kept their heights on a garage wall.  When finishing and painting the garage, we preserved the height chart by not painting over it.  In fact, we just added to it.

In contemplating this post, my thoughts kept running to the house with our childrens’ heights in the garage.  “What ever happened to all those?”  We moved out 14 years ago, certainly they were not there.

Curiosity (and a confluence of events) had me driving to our former home.  Would the current owner think I was nutty, or intruding?

“What luck,” I exclaimed to nobody.  “The garage doors are open and there is someone in the garage.”

Introducing myself to the owner and asking about the wall, he smiled and assured me the wall was intact.  He even offered to move his car to help with pictures.

Sure enough, the wall was very much intact. (See photo.) The only change was the addition of other children’s heights over the 14 years since we lived there.  The history was on the wall!

Here was a house, built in 1955…holding nearly 60 years history preserved over four owners who never communicated about saving a section of the garage.  Four sets of families respecting their predecessors and preserving for perpetuity (or at least for now) the memories of those children.

I know the original owners of that house are gone, with their name preserved on a stone marker somewhere.  Would they believe their children’s height markings lovingly scribed on the wall would still be there?

How you preserve memories is something you and your family need to consider.  Family albums are in my basement for others to look at years from now.  Ancestry.com lets you look up public records after they become public!  Facebook seems to hold all recent history of my family, and I wonder if Facebook will have my grandchild’s photos in 60 years.

How are you preserving your family memories?