Thursday, July 31, 2014

Our Visual Diaries

My high school scrapbooks filled with memories of dances, clubs, trips, and other special events barely made it to my 40th high school reunion. I recalled some things I wanted to share with my old classmates, but what had been important years ago had crumbled into shreds and faded into faint blue writing. The last time I worked on a scrapbook was ten years ago. Charles surprised me with a birthday party that included many family members and friends. It was such a special event; I immediately wanted to record the memories and made an attractive scrapbook that I still enjoy today.

Blue - Alexa
Red - Frieda
Yesterday my ten-year-old granddaughter announced she wanted to make a scrapbook. My plans for her three day visit included playing dolls and Disney video games. Her changing interests show how quickly she is growing up. So the money I planned to give her was spent at the craft store instead of on back-to-school clothes.

Just for fun, I decided to research the subject of scrap-booking. I discovered the concept has been practiced for at least 500 years. In the 15th century young ladies, compiled Commonplace Books which were collections of recipes, quotes, letters, and poems. By the 16th century, Friendship Albums were all the rage. Girls wrote notes in other girls’ albums and decorated them with artwork that signified their friendship. Creating a photo album was the next wave after the development of photography in the 1830’s. Collectors identified the photos by describing the people and the location of the picture. The 20th century saw the advent of the School Year Book. Collecting signatures and notes in the yearbook was a sign of the owner’s popularity. Hardcover and digital scrapbooks have taken the lead as the preferred methods for storing today’s memories. Scrapbooks made today will last much longer because the quality of the paper and computer storage options.

Today scrap-booking is a big business that reached its peak in 2006. Specialty stores are dedicated to the craft and hobby stores contain aisles of stickers, colorful papers, ribbons, and other embellishments. Alexa and I spent an hour figuring out how much stuff she could buy for the money I gave her. We brought the supplies home so she could begin her project entitled “My First Ten Years.” It was fun watching her creativity bloom and a reminder to me that I need to get busy again storing my memories. Then it occurred to me that my blog is a visual scrapbook–an online diary–that records my life events and thoughts not just for a few, but for all to see. 

No matter what form we choose, all of us should find a way to preserve our memories for future generations. Our efforts will provide us a sense of accomplishment and will inspire others for years to come.

Friday, July 18, 2014

In With the NEW

This summer season resembles the beginning of a new year. Out with the old and in with the NEW.  Change lurks around every corner. The picture of Charles and me in our hard hats standing in our NEW church building is just one example of how things are changing. Two years ago our church property was purchased for student housing at Kennesaw State University. Our congregation moved to an old school building and was grateful to have a place to meet with classroom space and a large gymnasium for worship. However, we have been away from our community and in a less than desirable location. The church also endured problems with freezing pipes last winter and no air conditioning during this hot Georgia summer. Most Christians in third world countries would be glad to have what we consider an inconvenience—so we try not to complain even though it is taking a toll on nerves and attendance. We will occupy the NEW building sometime in October but there is a lot to do between now and then to get ready to reach our community with the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Charles and I decided we needed to find personal providers closer to home. We will soon see our NEW dentist and are still looking for NEW doctors. I thought I was all set with my family physician until I received notice he was moving to a new position in the hospital. Charles visited the replacement doctor and was not happy with his advice, so now we are both searching again. I finally found a NEW hairdresser five minutes from home after driving a long distance to see the same person for thirty years. Now I am looking for a NEW massage therapist to treat my fibromyalgia. She had the nerve to get married again and is closing her practice.

Speaking of marriage, two of my 64 years old friends found NEW loves and got married during the past two weeks. I am excited for both of them and remember that exciting time when Charles and I remarried later in life. New adventures are good for us when we are senior adults. Old patterns are changed and we have to move out of our comfort zone to embrace the new opportunities. 

Out with the old and in with the NEW.  We shouldn't be surprised by change. The Bible always is challenging us to do new things. “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19.  We need to remain flexible and trust our future to Him and then be prepared for whatever NEW doors open for us.