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  • Kara Hunt

Preserve Your History


As you start your new life together, everything seems to be about the here and now, and your rosy future. That's fine, but don't forget to preserve your past, and your here and now. While you're living an exciting, fun or traumatic experience, you can't imagine you'll ever forget it, but you do. Rather quickly, I might add, so make sure those memories are preserved. While it's true that this generation takes a myriad of pictures and selfies so their lives are better documented than their predecessors, make sure you remember the stories that go with the pictures.

Keep a Journal

Many options are available for journal writing. I do mine on my computer because I can type faster than I can write, and my hand doesn't get so tired. Plus, it's much easier to read and I have spell check available. I use Word, but Google Docs would be another good option, and it would be available from other devices. Just make sure to print it out periodically so you have a hard copy in case your computer crashes or the Cloud blows away and your memories with it.

Hardbound journals or notebooks are another nice option, and have the advantage of preserving your handwriting for future generations. Always use black ink, not colored, even blue, and store them somewhere they won't be exposed to direct sunlight or moisture.

Even a regular spiral bound notebook, or jotting things down on a calendar then keeping that are better than not making any kind of record.

Scrapbooks and Photo Albums

Technology has made scrapbooking so easy. I've kept scrapbooks for myself since the summer after I graduated from high school, and took all my mom's boxes of memorabilia for me and put them in books. I also kept them for each of my four children. About every six months I'd lay everything out on my dining room table and it would take me two weeks to catch up on them all. Now I do them online using Picaboo. No muss, no fuss, and I can do them while sitting on the couch watching tv.

It can be even easier than that. If you post a lot of pictures to Instagram or Facebook, or keep them on Google Photos, they will actually put together books for you that you can order and have shipped to your door. I'm more of a control freak, and I don't put anywhere near all my photos on social media, so I prefer to do them myself, but again, it's way better than nothing.

Why have books at all? Why not just store everything on Google Photos or computer harddrives? I'm old fashioned, I guess. What if the power grid crashes and we no longer have access to electricity? It would be a shame to have all your memories go up in a puff of smoke, so to speak. Plus, they're more easily accessible to children and other people to look at.

I spent the past two weeks cleaning out my mom's files, and I found many wonderful treasures -- diaries from her and my grandma that I didn't know existed, as well as letters, pictures, etc., so I guess I'm feeling nostalgic. Did you know that Father Escalante wasn't the leader of the group of explorers to discover parts of America? He was, however, the record keeper, so if you want to be the one who's remembered, make sure to leave your record behind!


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