The Journal Jar

Have you ever given much thought to your family's history, your heritage, your past? Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to be alive in the 1930's, in the midst of a Great Depression? I hadn't either, until my mom found the idea for a Journal Jar last year. She gave one to my Grandma for Christmas and since then she has spent hours upon hours answering the questions and writing them down in journals to give as Christmas gifts to her children this year. She writes so much that she put a desk in her bedroom because that's where she writes, and it was hurting her back to write on the bed. 

I got a sneak peek at one of the journals a few months ago, and let me tell you, it was amazing. There are stories about her walking everywhere she went because they didn't have a car, and how it was a huge deal when she once took a train to the city for a doctor's appointment. She writes about her fear of dogs that she's had since she was a little girl. She tells the story of how she met my Grandfather and their life together. She talks about being the oldest of 7 children and the responsibilities that went along with that at the time. 

There are good memories, funny tales, and sad stories that I sometimes wish I hadn't read. But it's who she is, and now we will always have her story in the pages of those books. Each book is a bit different from the rest; she isn't making exact copies of the first, but instead tailoring each book to the child for whom it is being given. She has also found that with each book, she remembers different things, things that she might not have put in the other journals. I'm just a little bit jealous (ok, a lot jealous) that I'm not getting one of those books. Not to belittle my Grandmother's relationship with any of her other grandchildren, but I've always thought that she and I were the closest, and I already know more about her than any of the rest. I guess it's because my mother is her baby girl. 

Because I have been so intrigued by my Grandma's stories, I've decided to answer the questions from the Journal Jar myself. I know that my memories aren't nearly as fascinating as hers, since I grew up with running water inside the house, electricity, television and a car, but I am going to write down my stories anyway. Maybe in 30 or 40 years they will be interesting to my children. 

I thought that putting all of this on the internet would be more secure (and easier) than writing it in a book. I guess I figured that a book could get lost or scribbled in or ripped or burnt in a fire, but we'll always have the internet, right? So I am keeping all of my memories over at Megan's Memories. I'm hoping that my answers will give you a better look into my world than this blog ever did.


Anonymous said...
September 16, 2009 at 11:07 PM

Oh wow I got chills just thinking about being able to read this in a few months. Or well be the first to read Daddy's copy after I let him read it first. I'll just have to make sure I get it before someone else does & I never see it. are the closest to Grandmama. I think b/c we lost touch for several years following my parents divorce. But I can't speak for the other grands.

I made my MIL one of these jars for Mother's Day. She loved it & expecially loved the nice journal I got her. But I know she hasn't done anything with either of them b/c they are sitting in the same exact place they were when I gave them to her.

I need to make one for myself (:

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