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Lessons from my Grandmother

Most people have warm memories of baking cookies or sewing quilts with their grandmothers. I do not have these memories.
In fact once she gave me food poisoning.
The memories I have with my grandmother to me are much more valuable, well to me. While some were cooking or quilting with their grandmothers I was being blinded and told to "stay right there, last picture I swear".
To have your picture taken by my grandmother is a great honor, to have your picture taken means you go down in our family history.

The older I get and the more I learn about myself the more it is apparent that I have inherited these gifts of documenting lives inherited the role of family historian.

While I was at my grandparents house over the Easter weekend I took a look around the house my family has loving dubbed "The Shrine". I noticed that we could all learn about being our own historians...

1. Hard Copy Photos.
These books are just a sampling of the HUNDREDS of photo albums she has. These are unique because they chronicle the last 6 years. The years she has had a digital camera. Yes, they are all backed up on her computer (although she wouldn't know how to get them if she needed them) but she always makes a point to print out her favorites so she knows she always has the physical picture. 

2. The moments in between.
In this photo not every one is looking there is laughter and joy RADIATING. A photo should capture a moment and if that moment is of pure unequivocal laughter and joy then THAT is the photo you frame and enjoy!

3. History.
This wall is my favorite wall in my grandparents house. This wall contains pictures of everyone in my family my grandmother could get a hold of. Some pictures date back to the early 1900's. Honestly to see my family's heritage displayed all in one place so proudly gives me chills.

4. Surround yourself with photos you love. 
To say my grandparents house is littered with photos would be an understatement. I would be hard pressed to find a surface in their house that dose not have a photo one it. This is their life. Their life surrounds them every day. You can not go into a room and not be struck by an amazing memory,

(I told you …EVERY SURFACE) 

5. Documentation.
Every and I do mean EVERY picture or album has the date, names, ages and location of anything in the picture. This attention to detail is one of the things that I cherished the most about my grandmothers pictures. She has literally created a living timeline

PS isn't her hand writing GORGEOUS 

When I think of my grandmother and what she has meant to me over my 23 years of life I will always be grateful for the lessons she taught me, though not "traditional" important none the same!

This is one of my favorite pictures of me as a little kid. Thuggin it out with mickey!



Shoeboxed Photographs said...

My family is the same, and I love walking down the hall at my grandparents. They taught me so much about the value of family.... AND pictures!!

Unknown said...

love this post!

Jess said...

Hahaha LOVEEEE that picture of you thuggin with the mouse...too good!

And your grandmother's handwriting is gorgeous!
I love that she uses a digital camera but still prints out her favorites!

I'm definitely have a wall of photos in my house someday like her "history wall"...I bet she never gets tired of looking at those!



Emma said...

I am in love with this post!! I always enjoy looking back through photo albums and mom has never been big on displaying photos around the house, so I take the task upon myself to do so. I love the way your write about things :) Perfect.

Courtney said...

I love the gallery wall she has of everyone in the family, so awesome =)

Leanne said...

I love this! I can totally relate, my grandmother (in-law) is the exact same with her photos! They surround the home, every surface. She has an HUGE library documenting the entire lives of my husband and his sister, so that's over 25 years!

Plus she has a lot of albums and scrapbooks from her growing up years, married life, and her children. Very attentive to detail. What a great legacy these two grandmothers will have left for us!

Michelle said...

LOVE this post!!!! I can relate so much to it. My grandma spent years digging up our family history, and she gave me all of it. I even have letters my relatives wrote during the Civil War. My other grandma has tons of photo albums and pictures everywhere, even of our Danish ancestors. It's my goal to carry on the tradition and write out all of our family history and keep lots of pictures.

Oh, and that wall is awesome!!! I want to do something like that someday! We are going be awesome grandmas ;)

Kathleen said...

My grandmother did the same thing! She passed away before digital cameras but I know if she had not of, she would be all over digital cameras. One of my favorite things that my mom has is all of the photo albums she created! It's great having those as memories and keep sakes! My mom has a wall like that in our house and I intend to have one as well! :) This was a great post! :)

Laura said...

Reading your post made me really miss my grandma. She was an amazing lady! You are very lucky!

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

My mom has been a total champ at archiving our life and accomplishments. It's amazing! I fell off the hard copy bandwagon a few years ago, but I really need to fix that. i don't even have a wedding album yet! It's almost been a year. Oops. :-/