Family History

6 Mar

Over the last couple of years I have been using my spare time to compile my great grandma H’s writings. I finally finished all the loose papers and have started on her daily journals. Being a frugal woman who survived the great depression, she utilized any and all random pieces of paper. She wrote on big pieces of paper and some very small. She wrote on the backs of calendars and coupons. She even wrote on the backs of letters from businesses she received in the mail. Many of her stories were multiple pages, but staples weren’t used. If I was lucky I found she had put a small page number in the corner, but more often than not I had to guess when one story ended and another one began. I truly loved the challenge because it made me think like she would think and actually picture her descriptions of nature and the life around her. Before I gave the original work back to my grandma C (great grandma H’s only daughter) I snapped a few pictures to share a glimpse of what I have been talking about.

My Life in The Hills

Here is an example of her writing her memories of her life in ‘The Hills’ on the back of a coupon from Kentucky Fried Chicken. This makes me laugh because she made some of the best fried chicken.

My Life in The Hills

 About 90% of her writings were done by hand. I only found a handful that were actually typed. It took me awhile to get use to her handwriting. When I first started I had to sometimes guess what the next word was.

My Life in The Hills

Here she has used the backs of a MFA calendar to write on. If you look closely you will see she started on two different ends of the page. I finally figured out that each top was the beginning of a new story.

My Life in The Hills

This is my grandma C looking through the pages yesterday when I took them back to her. Every time we talk about great grandma H she tells me a different story she remembers her mom telling her. Maybe someday I will get her to write them down too.

My Life in The Hills

These pages were actually torn from a notebook. And the smaller page wasn’t even the smallest I found.

My next challenge is to start recording all her daily journals. My grandma C has many boxes full of notebooks and I can’t wait to get to all of them. I have not sure when she started writing in a journal, but I will soon find out. Most entries are fairly short and are descriptions of the weather and life on the farm. The first notebooks I picked up were from 1973 and 1975, so that’s where I will start. Maybe I will share a few entries with you.


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