Quote of the Day: Years are like milestones that tell us the distance we have traveled. And while each passing year robs us of something, we can always recapture it in memory. Strange to say, even those things that are hard to endure are pleasant to remember.
Through the medium of our written chronicles, we can turn back the pages of Time and review the events of yesteryear as they apply to our own lives…a lasting record of our activities, our experiences and our viewpoints…a living memoir of things attempted and things done… a vivid story that is ever new and ever refreshing to us in hours of recollection. This diary is designed for just such a purpose. It can be started on any day of the year and record the events of any five years on your journey through Life.
From the Foreward in my Aunt Millie’s Five Year Diary, spanning 1936-1944. It looks like she wrote in it in 1936, 37, 38 (set it aside?), then picked it up again in 1944. Here’s the entry from June 1, 1944:
It was 8 below and New Year’s day, All of (name?)’s here and Wayne and Beatrice here for their first dinner. Junice & Joe went to Grygla. We have suffered a setback in Germany, but have regained some.
Journaling is in my blood, folks. Here are journals from my paternal grandparents and Aunt Millie, my dad’s older sister. Back in the day, they used the Five Year Diary, and in about 2 cm, or less than one inch, they recorded the happenings of each day. The above writing is a typical entry: the weather, who came to visit, or where you might have gone on a Sunday afternoon, who had a cold, the farm. I like this entry because Millie mentions the war in Germany. I grabbed my Grandma’s from the year that her oldest daughter died. And, while my relatives weren’t much for recording, or showing, emotions, there is an entry where she writes that she visited her sister Nettie, “And the tears flowed freely.” Her oldest daughter, my dad’s other sister, Thelma, died that year after giving birth to her first-born son. It was a pain that never went away for my family. An entry later that year said, “Little Steven came to visit, but no Thelma” no mama. I teared up as I read that.
My grandpa Arne was born and raised in Norway, then came to the USA in 1921. Most of his entries are in Norwegian, with an occassional word or phrase in English.
What a grand legacy I carry on through my journal writing, and now, blog – the Web Log, a glimpse of life in the years that I occupy this Earth.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Do you have heirlooms? What are they? What is the story behind them? Do you find value in journaling, writing, or other art forms?
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No one in my family keeps journals, although I’ve done a couple for major vacations.
What a treasure!
My family has a diary kept by my great-great-grandfather, who lived in Iowa in the late 19th century. He didn’t have the most exciting life externally but I think he felt compelled to write to record the frustrations of his life. It’s really fascinating. He had a daughter who died of cholera and every year on the anniversary of her death he would write a long mourning poem.
Mary, this is fascinating. I just came from Roxanne B. Solonen’s post tody on her “Peace Garden Writer” blog. I liked the way you said in your comment following her post, “I find that the Holy Spirit is working through me even when the topic is not faith related.”
In my comment I quoted what you had written and wrote about my blog, “A 1961 Park College Diary.” Then I came to your blog and discovered that today you wrote about and photographed diaries kept by members of your family. The Holy Spirit is indeed working through you.
I think it’s fascinating too how the journals have changed and advanced from the early 1900s volumes of your ancestors, filled with script, to the blog of today! Wow, time marches on, and yet the purpose of the journals remains the same.
Mary, my Dad got me hooked into writing in diaries in junior high and they are treasures now. At some point, I quit writing in them, though I kept journals for all of my kids for a while, recording what my life was like with them during pregnancy and then when they were infants, toddlers and until I could no longer keep up. Then the blog entered the picture, and for now, that fulfills my need to record, share and learn from my own ruminations, even, at times. 🙂 Neat old books. Love old books! They make me smile.
Wow! What a blessing journals play in your family history! An inspiration for sure!
This is why I journal. I’m hoping my decendants will be able to pick up my journals or go to my blog and see what I was all about.
What a treasure and blessing to have memories in writing from relatives who have gone before you. I’ve always wondered what certain people are really thinking in their heads and a journal is an awesome glimpse into that.