Self-Portrait Challenge: Introduce Yourself #5

June 1, 2006


I am a scrapbooker.

This in itself, is no big deal. It’s my hobby of choice, and one for which I try to make time each week. It’s the reason why I chose this hobby (other than my long standing addiction to office supplies) that is a significant part of who I am.

In May of 2004, my grandmother passed away. She had suffered for several years with Alzheimer’s Disease. During the course of her illness, I watched her change from the very loving and somewhat ditzy woman I had known all my life (think of Betty White’s character on The Golden Girls) to a sometimes confused and very frustrated person, to a sweet but simple minded woman, to a shell of her former self who was unable to communicate at all.

Naturally, by the time we realized she had Alzheimer’s, the disease had already taken its toll. She couldn’t remember what common, everyday objects were called. Like so many people who lose a loved one to this disease, I wish I had recorded her telling me about her life, written down her memories and experiences so I would have a preserved record of them. But I didn’t.

It wasn’t until I saw her go through this that I realized none of us (especially those of us with a family history of Alzheimer’s) can take their memory for granted. I don’t say things like, “I will never forget the time that….” because frankly, it might not be true. I might forget, whether I want to or not. So right now it is my mission to record the things that my family and I do, the places we go, and the things we love.

My pages tend to be simple and clean… they are memories put to paper, not works of art. I am constantly working with a sort of panicked feeling that I don’t have enough time to get it all down on paper. I just can’t take for granted that my memories are safely tucked away in the deep recesses of my brain.

And you know, memory is a funny thing. You never know what is going to stick out in your mind as significant in 20 or 30 years. I’ve gone through all of my parents’ photos from my childhood, and there are some things I remember that there aren’t any photos of: the pretty sugar eggs that I got for Easter, helping my grandmother decorate her Christmas tree every year, the little goodie bags that my I made for my brother when our parents went away for the weekend and we spent the night at our (separate) grandparents’ houses, visiting my dad’s office, Sunday dinners at my grandmother’s house, etc.

So I photograph everything. When a local restaurant had announced its closing, I took pictures of it (and the food, and the menu) because when Trevor was younger and we lived closer to it, we would sometimes walk over there for dinner. It’s a part of his childhood history, and I wanted it preserved. Next month they will be tearing it down to put a Walgreens there. 😦

I am a scrapbooker.



  1. […] Suprisingly coherent and succinct for first thing in the morning, but just in case I wasn’t explaining enough of how I felt, I also included a link to this blog entry that I wrote about why I am a scrapbooker.  Then I moved on to reading some other blogs, and the next one on the list was Jules (Everyday Mommy), who had also written about scrapbooking in response to what Shannon had written. […]

  2. Hello. I enjoyed your post. I guess you could say I am a scrapbooker, as least I intend to be. I have all the supplies & scrapbook when I can – nothing fancy, believe me, & I love to do it, but I fall more along the lines of you. I feel the same panic as you at recording the memories. There is something I want to write or take a picture of every single day-which leads to disorganization, so I have actually bought some of the photo albums that Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer wrote about. I need to get busy filling them now!

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