Tuesday, July 19, 2011

putting it all on paper!

I've always liked writing things down.  I wish I had kept kept everything I wrote in the first few decades of my life...but at some time I decided that there was no point in keeping all that 'old stuff'.  I have kept all my calendars from throughout the years...which are also a diary of sorts.

And for many years I kept a 'Five Year Diary'...long on events and facts but short on words and thoughts.  How else would I now know that on July 19, 1999 we picked Pierre and Ute up at the airport in Vancouver?  We were home by 7 pm and had dinner together.  Jeremy and Broni came by to say 'hi'.  We packed up the motor home in the evening.   That means that twelve years ago today we were preparing for our road trip to Alaska with our Swiss friends.  If it wasn't written down...I'd have a hard time even remembering the year...never mind the details.

Here's another entry...June 3, 2001 Had the kids over for lunch.  Heidi and I played tennis in the afternoon and she won. OUCH! 

Some four years ago...I put down my pen and took to journaling on-line.  The idea is the same...the format a little different.  The blog is a little longer on words...and big on photos.  But in reality...My Front Porch is simply a journal of my life.  It is a book...being written one short chapter at a time...for my family, my friends and anyone else who cares to read it. But I have found that my blog no longer contains some of the wee details that were recorded in my five-year diaries.  Details such as what I may have served my guests for dinner.  I was inviting friends over...and then trying in vain to remember what I had cooked for dinner the last time they were our guests.  I finally realized that could only be rectified by writing things down.  So I began a 'hospitality journal' this year..in which I record the menu when we have friends over.

So...if you had borscht and buns last time you visited...I'll be sure to switch it up next time!  I'm liking my new system.

As for those old journals and diaries...I quite enjoy reading the things I recorded long ago.  For the most part...it is trivia.  But it's the little things in life that make up the whole!

And I'm also most delighted to have my father-in-law's writings...some poetry and some simply a record of his early years.  There's just one problem...

...that being that I have no idea what is written on the pages.  It is written in a German script that no one in my world can read.  I plan to find someone to translate it...soon.  He put it all on paper...we won't let that go to waste! 

I'm all in favour of writing things down.  Then it's OK to forget! 


  1. A hospitality journal seems like such a great idea. I have such a mind for food, thus far anyway, that I remember all events by what was served. Joann's baby shower in 1968? Shrimp dip served on those little buttery crackers. The ocean trip with Audrey in 1962? Cold fried chicken...yummo. It's an affliction.

    What are you folks about to discover in your father-in-law's beautifully written journal? What a treasure waits.

  2. What exquisite handwriting your father in law had, it reminds me of the Victorian letters that I keep from long ago.

  3. I'm not sure if keeping a diary is a guy thing, but i do admire your patience in writing down your thoughts on paper. Richard from Amish Stories.

  4. Their is nothing that compares to the hand written word :-) I may have to write of it myself???? :-)
    I love the idea of the hospitality journal, great idea...
    I have a small journal in my Father's pen and I treasure it so much.
    I'm so glad I stopped by your front porch today !!


  5. Isn't it fun to look back and see what you were doing, what was important way back when? I also kept journals and they are full of the sorts of things I'd never remember - the minutia. The Hospitality journal is a great idea - and I spied a menu that I recognized!

  6. That German handwriting is beautiful! My notes save my forgetful brain so much. I'm considering doing a wee bit more journaling these days. Have a good day!

  7. Aw.. Judy, you can tell us what you served for dinner too! I'm kidding.. I know what you mean. It drives me crazy when I invite someone over and can't remember what we had the time before. Your hospitality journal is a good idea .. also for ideas on what to make when our mind is blank.
    You have beautiful writing.. as does your father in law. I can read German, but his writing looks like its done in a "Goetisch" ... so it's a chalenge. You'll have to find another older (than us)person. =)

  8. Your handwriting is beautiful, Judy! I kept a diary when I was young for a few years but as life became busier I gave it up and regret it. Now I look at my blog now as a way to remember more about my travels and things that interest me.
    I have to admit I've become more careful these past few years about writing many personal facts about my family just for safety sake.

  9. Great post....I particularly like that last bit 'I'm all in favour of writing things down. Then it's OK to forget! I never thought of that before, you can just forget because its all there in the journal! I keep a prayer journal which is especially helpful when looking back through and seeing all the answered prayers. Our God is an awesome God!

  10. Love the beautiful German handwriting...I tried to read it but it's impossible; the letters are formed so differently from what we do today (I know a word or two of German...)

    It is always interesting to go back and read something from our earlier years...I've got a couple of journals I kept at various times 25-30 years ago. Always liked the idea of keeping a journal but never got around to doing it much until I retired four years ago. Now I keep a personal/prayer journal each year and have found it very encouraging to review them once in a while.

  11. My blog was part journal at first too. Like you though the details are not so much there. Lately not much of anything is there =) I do keep gardening journals, and art/creative journals, travel journal...hmm seems I like to write too. Hospitality journals...great idea =)

  12. My blog was part journal at first too. Like you though the details are not so much there. Lately not much of anything is there =) I do keep gardening journals, and art/creative journals, travel journal...hmm seems I like to write too. Hospitality journals...great idea =)

  13. Hello Judy - I love the idea of your hospitality journal! I have kept my calendars and have started journals at various times. Letters kept and returned by my sister are also a journal of sorts. You've inspired me today - thanks for the great idea!

  14. You are so organized! When you get the translation done, I hope you will share some of it with us! What a beautiful gift that will be to your family!

  15. I can so relate to this post. I didn't do very well at keeping proper journals but I have rather detailed calendars all put in my calendar file.
    I also have many old German scribblers full of things I can't read.
    What I don't have is a hospitality journal..and I like that idea.

  16. Well, I think this is rather amusing...all those notes..I have to admit...there are not too many notes to be found in my collection.
    I'm sure many people get the same treatment repeatedly..but they still keep coming back...and so I'm thinking that they probably have forgotten.


'The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.'
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson