A Family Tapestry: Start of a Journey, End of a Story

Today—likely long after you read this post, depending on the juxtaposition of your time zone and mine—a package will be hand-delivered to the local branch of the United States Post Office on the first leg of its journey home. It’s a small package, less than eight inches wide and five inches in length. Inside will be the carefully wrapped album, the pursuit of whose secrets have captivated me for the past four months.

I say the first part of its journey home, because it must make a stop in this country before venturing across the ocean to reach its ultimate destination, when it finishes a round trip begun over eighty years ago. The shortstop is located in the American state of Oklahoma, where someone remembers, as a child, having exchanged letters with the Irish originators of the package. Perhaps this package was once the Christmas gift sent from County Cork by her uncle and aunt, Harry and Alice Hawkes Reid, in 1936. Now, many years later, Rita would like to see the actual photograph album, herself, and wonders if it was, indeed, the very item she thinks it was.

Read the rest of this fascinating story at A Family Tapestry . . . Start of a Journey, End of a Story

Lost Memories

The hurricanes that devastated east Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and many of the Caribbean islands along with the massive earthquake in Mexico has left many of us stunned at the horror Mother Nature can inflict. We were lucky to be in a high and protected area so the damage from Hurricane Irma was minimal. Many friends and family members were not so lucky.

While most of the damage can be repaired or replaced in one way or another, there will be many precious treasures that can never be replaced. The family photos and treasured ephemera from generations past are often victims of disaster. Storing them in archival quality containers can protect them from a normal environment, but not disasters such as these.

Photographing treasures, scanning photos and documents won’t save them from destruction but when those digitized items are saved in a secure location (or multiple locations) their memory will live on.

Journaling TreasuresThe wicker chest you see in this screenshot was taken using my iPhone and the Day One journaling app. Day One is more than just a daily journal of events. It is also a delightful way to capture the people, places and things that are part of our lives.

The Day One app is available for both Mac and iOS. The apps are free, but a premium subscription ($3.99/mo or $34.99/year) is needed to take advantage of features including unlimited encrypted cloud storage, unlimited photo storage, multiple journals and cloud synching between devices.

The premium subscription supports multiple journals. You can create a journal just for your treasures. Use the app to photograph those treasures along with a note describing it, where it came from and any history that goes along with it. Don’t stop with furniture. Things like art work, Christmas decorations, wedding gowns, antiques and even toys all have their own memories.

One more thing . . . Day One also has a publishing feature so you can also create custom books to share with others. Premium users get a 25% discount.

My treasured wicker chest and other special items may someday be lost in a disaster, but their memory will live on.