We came across two scrapbooks this past week that were filled to the brim with pictures...a basket sitting beside them with more to pilfer through. Black crumbly pages with photo corners in silver, black, gold, and red, holding in memories of the 1950s. Some were labeled and some were not, which left you guessing who and where. Two books left behind by family who didn't want to bother finding out. We scooped them up and brought them home, and took two meticulous hours removing the pictures from the glue behind them, the pages disintegrating from the stress of the process. The photo corners piled up on one side, as we were able to recover them with the pictures. Black dust blew across the table and in our laps, and pictures settled in a neat stack...vacations, school, Girl Scouts, animals, friends, and family gatherings. About 100 of them. The next book holds about the same.
It's fun to look at the images and create the story of how they lived, what they enjoyed, and how many children they had. They had two cats. They saw a bear in their camp site on vacation to Yellowstone National Park. He came up to their car. She was in Girl Scouts and kept pictures of her troop; individual portraits of girls she spent time with each week. She must have loved her teachers...she had pictures of them too, labeled with their names and the subject they taught. There were some pictures with several copies; she must have saved duplicates to give to friends and family. Pictures of war heroes coming home. Each spot in the beginning of the book was labeled with a white raised ink; I would like to know what she used. Maybe acrylic paint?
I'm about to leave for a retreat this weekend to scrapbook, and I have realized that styles change...trends come and go...and we decide what we really want on paper to pass along to our loved ones. It doesn't matter what paper you use...the most expensive or just plain card stock...the raised stickers or the glitter pens...what matters is the heart that is poured out onto each page, the story you tell, and the things that are important now, that you preserve your stories and keep them safe for the ones that will divide your things when you are gone, and know that you loved, treasured, laughed, cried, and lived your way to a legacy.