Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where have I Been? Finding Buried Treasure!

Well, pretty much everywhere. This month I've been to the Denver airport four times and drove across state lines twice. I was living out of a suitcase for three weeks and home long enough to do laundry and then fill it again. It's been a crazy month of travel and time away from my hubby but I really had a good time (other than the away from hubby part but it has been a lot of fun to be with him again, distance does make the heart grow fonder even after 6 years of marriage).

So what's happened since my last post? Goodness... where do I begin?

I FINALLY, after 5 years of talking about it and trying to figure it out, made it to Minnesota to visit my Grandma and my Aunt and her family. It was long overdue and I am so grateful that it worked out that I could go. It was a very worthwhile trip. It was so good to see my grandma and to be her guest and get the royal treatment (which ment being offered hostess cakes and pop every couple of hours). My grandma is a sweet, kind and self-sacrificing woman. She will be 84 on her birthday next month. It was also wonderful to see my aunt and uncle who I haven't seen since my wedding and my cousins who I haven't seen in just about as long or longer. My aunt and I stayed up too late most nights just talking.

I went out there with a goal to take note of and steps to preserve the family heirlooms, photos, and documents in my grandma's hands. It turned out to be a bit more work than I thought it would be. It was literally buried. I went through just about every nook and cranny of her basement apartment, 27 years worth of stuff, looking for family photos and turning up all sorts of interesting things (along with a lot of garbage like bank statements from the 80's). In the end it was very rewarding. I was able to pull together a lot of her original photos some from the mid 1800's, as well as funeral cards, obituaries, my grandpa's honorable discarge, marriage certificates and notices, birth records, and much more. A GOLD MINE! I then set to work to scan it all and then put it in a binder so it will all be in one place. My goal is to share the stuff I found on my family history blog in the months to come. It's going to take me awhile, I came away with about 600 images between scans and photos I took of heirlooms that my aunt and grandma have as well as a stack of old family group sheets to go through. I was also able to take along a digital recorder and record some of our conversations.

In addition to family history items I found a stash of personal history items for myself. My grandma had a lot of my family photos that my mother doesn't have copies of (including ones of my brother Daniel) as well as original art work from when I was 2 years old on up.

If any of you have older relatives I would strongly encourage going through their stuff with them. I came across a few items that only have meaning when you know their history and that history will be lost unless someone takes the steps to preserve it. It was also nice to talk to my aunt who knew her grandparents and was able to tell me stories too. It is a very rewarding thing to do (though I might be a bit biased being a family history buff).

Picture is of my grandma at my grandpa's grave.

I wasn't out their nearly long enough. I could have stayed a few more days. As it was I was working down to the end trying to get this recorded. I hope to make it out there again soon. I hope with my boys in tow.

After my Minnesota trip I had an evening to do laundry and then Josh and I were off to Utah to pick up our boys the next day. We got to see Josh's family for Pioneer Day and then had the long awaited beach party at my parents before driving home again. More posts on that to come!


Jean said...

Sweet Sarah, I am so happy for you that your visit was a goid mine of information and memories. I too hope you will come again soon and bring all 3 of your boys,

Susan said...

Sarah, you are so awesome! I'm so impressed with you and your determination regarding family history. What a special trip to spend with your grandma and learn so much about your family's past. That's just awesome!