Lulu Clementine was my great grandmother. I never met her but she and I share a common love of memory keeping. Over 100 years ago she started this scrapbook for my grandmother, documenting her life from birth through marriage. I have learned so much from the way she preserved her family memories. And here it is over a century later and her stories have stood the test of time.
She presented the scrapbook to my grandmother on her 25th birthday. I love that she included a handwritten letter inside the front cover where she writes:
"I present this book of pictures and I hope it will mean as much to her as it does to her mother - to whom the pictures taken over a period of twenty five years are beyond price."
Even back then she knew the importance of not just documenting the special occasions but also of everyday life. You get a brief look at life on a farm with this photo. On the back it reads: Stove: Copper kettle is the water reservoir. Hot water at all hours.
Perhaps one of the biggest lessons she taught me - every photo is dated and labeled. It helps so much now to be able to go back and put a name with a face.
All of the little notes help. Not just that she and her sister are taking a walk, but that they are headed to Sunday school.
Another everyday shot. In most pictures my grandmother has perfect ringlets, but this picture shows her true hair after a shampoo. Now I see where my curly hair comes from.
Mystery solved in the next photo which reads "mother holds the comb ready to make the famous curls".
She also scrapbooked the hard stuff. The upper left photo shows the littlle girls crying with the note "grandpa has passed on".
My grandma had a lifelong love of camping, and now I see where it came from.
School pictures of my grandmother (left) and her two sisters, showing the age difference between them.
And finally on the back cover, my great grandmother recorded a family tree. A simple yet meaningful way to end the book. I am so glad to be the keeper of this family heirloom. It makes me think of who will end up with the scrapbooks I create someday, and how well did I do at recording our family's memories. I hope I do half as well as Lulu did.