Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Personal Work In Progress, Deadline Extended

Sometimes I am good at keeping my own deadlines. Sometimes I am really, really bad at it. With my current project, it's not so much that I'm having trouble getting the work done. The project just keeps growing. The more I work on it, the more ideas I have.

My Mother's Journals ~ early 1950s.
When my oldest niece, Ashley, graduated from high school, I put together a book of my mother's stories and excerpts from her letters. It was a wonderful (and emotionally exhausting -- my mom passed away in 1997) project. Several years ago I got the idea that I would do another version of the book when my second niece, Kayleen, and my daughter, Evie, graduated. They are my mother's grandkids #2 and #3. Several months ago, I talked with my nieces, siblings and sisters-in-law about adding to Mom's book. They were all for it, and so began the collection of new stories to add to what my mother had written herself, and the bits and pieces I had compiled from letters and journals she had kept.

My father even brought me journals I had not seen before, Mom's very own stories from 1950, 1951 and 1953. I've been immersed in transcribing them, and have enjoyed getting to know my mother in her teen years. (I had no idea she was so boy crazy, and I never imagined how quickly she fell head over heels in love with my father.)

Now I'm going through her photo albums again, as having the stories that line up with the images makes the album all that much more meaningful. I'm trying to decide how much to include and how many photos to print. Will everyone in the family be as delighted by this peek into my mother's teenaged mind as I am?

Since my deadline for having a hard copy in the hands of the next two girls to graduate in our family has passed, I've decided that they will get a "proof in progress" copy of my mother's book. There is more story collecting to be done here.

If I'm going to print a book, it might as well be a big one.

My Mom, Evelyn Reaujean Skaggs.


  1. What a beautiful project!
    When my oldest child was born, I came up with the idea of compiling a book about our family--my grandparents whom she'd never get to meet, my parents, siblings, etc. I told my family (kind of hoping they'd send an anecdote, story or something). They were all very supportive and said they couldn't wait to read it! Haha! That IS the story of my life--I'm always working on the next story! That book never has been completed. But my oldest graduates in two years....hmmmmm.....

  2. I believe that family stories are the most important stories to save, but it can be a huge project. I've had pretty good luck collecting stories from others. Sometimes you just have to sit with a notebook when the story tellers start talking. I did a lot of that this past weekend.


Blog Archive