Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Preserving Stories

I am suppose to be working on a writing class assignment that is due tomorrow. But instead I am caught up on something I read in Monday's lesson --- things that touch me are worth writing about.

Something touched me this week...I read that another one of my dear friends is throwing in the towel on her blog. This saddens me; another creative, inspiring voice is exiting the scene. 

I completely understand the need to take a break from blogging now and then. I do it myself at least once or twice a year. I find it refreshing to step back for a short time and experience life without the need to write about it or share it with the world. But eventually I miss this space, miss my readers who are my friends, and most of all I miss the growth that comes from pushing myself within this creative space. 

In early January, I was contacted by Artful Blogging magazine to write an article for them about my blog. They wanted more than the "What Does Blogging Mean to Me" response. They preferred for me to write about a specific event or experience that was significant to my blogging life. Needing some kind of starting point I scrolled through the archives of my posts. What a trip down Memory Lane that was --- seeing past adventures, vacations, creative series like Walk and Click Wednesdays, Backroad Adventures, The Coffee Shop Chronicles. Those posts brought back delightful memories and confirmed the joy of the journey that blogging has taken me on in the past four years. 

I know without my blog, I would not have done most of those things (who am I kidding, I wouldn't have done any of those things). It was the accountability of my blog, sharing my adventures with my readers, pushing myself to learn and get better at photography and writing that kept me going. There is no question that these things have shaped me into who I am today.

Looking back at those old posts, I realized though that the main reason I blog is to document my life, to preserve my stories for my daughter and my future grandchildren. My great-aunt Viola was the family historian on my dad's side of the family. She did a wonderful job keeping all the old photo albums, still, at best I have old disintegrating, black paper photo albums filled with black and white photographs, spidery handwriting labeling a few details under most photographs. But I want to know more; what is my great-aunt's relationship to the guy in the photograph? Were they dating? If so, why didn't they get married? Is that why she remained single her entire life? These are the things I would love to know, but yet will never learn because she passed away over a decade ago. She died before I reached the curious age. 

I want something different for my daughter and her family. I want them to know the stories. Even if something were to happen to my blog someday within the inter web workings, there are still boxes of notebooks in our storage room filled with first drafts and sometimes second drafts of these blog posts and various memoir style essays about my life. I would never have written any of that down if I didn't blog.

I realize that blogging isn't for everyone, and it doesn't need to be, but I sincerely hope that you are doing something to preserve the stories of your life. 


  1. Oh, so important. My great grand father kept a meticulous journal and I wish I could get my hands on it. A distant cousin has it, but I'm going to make an attempt to at least get some photos of some of the pages. So sad about your friend giving up her blog. I realize it a time commitment but so is journalling in journal.

  2. And I absolutely love that last photo!

  3. That's interesting! And that is why I do genealogy too.

  4. There are people in my life who scoff at blogging or the thought of regularly sharing snippets of our lives in a blog or online photo journal..These same people are repelled by the idea of getting feedback or advice from others online..I am of the opinion that the internet is here to stay..So why not make it a refuge of creativity and beauty..I am grateful to those who share their stories of notable things that happen in their lives..Reading blogs is a source of inspiration for me..

  5. Ohhh, I love that last photo too :-)))

  6. Great nostalgic photos. I guess that's what my blog means to me - a bit of nostalgia, some remembrances about my life that I care enough to share with others.

  7. Sarah, this is just fabulous! Your blogging always has a nice story in each post, like a journal or travel diary. Blogging for me has only been my means of documenting photography growth, and sharing still life. However, I am now getting the hang of digital scrapbooking which will keep me busy this year. I have many paper albums I began creating in 2000 but digital is much easier for me now, and can be printed so nicely in book form. Those old black paper albums are great...one of my mom's is filled with photos and no words at all (so sad). You always inspire me and get me thinking.

  8. Wonderful post, Sarah, and I sure am glad that you are here.
    In the 6 or so years that I've been "around," I've not seen so much change as I have over the past year or so. Lots of people saying goodbye to their sites, and so many I miss.
    I think that part of it, is that it is a certain amount of work, no matter how you look at it.
    Anyway, again, I am glad that you are here!

  9. I have even gone so far as to include blog posts in my annual photo book so that my children and their children can not only appreciate the story behind the picture but hear my voice through my words. Love these images as well.

  10. Sarah, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on blogging. Several of my friends have ended their blogs and that makes me sad. I know so many have gone to Instagram for social connections, but the stories are missing. I'm glad your dedicated to telling your stories and that you share them with us. Congrats on the invite from Artful Blogging, it's one of my favorite magazines. I read it slowly and repeatedly. Keep on telling those stories!!

  11. I think you do such a fabulous job telling your stories and your family is lucky to have these archived. It always saddens me to no end to see bloggers sites that I love to escape to close up shop. These photos are timeless and I just adore them. That typewriter is a beautiful find.

  12. Hello, greeting and good wishes.

    I completely agree with the following statement of yours.

    I know without my blog, I would not have done most of those things (who am I kidding, I wouldn't have done any of those things). It was the accountability of my blog, sharing my adventures with my readers, pushing myself to learn and get better at photography and writing that kept me going. There is no question that these things have shaped me into who I am today.

    When i started blogging my deep desire was to get friends to visit my blog and write comments. So I did many things which I would not have done normally.

    I still remember standing for hours in a Church compound looking at the sky as the sun was setting. I stood there gazing and gazing waiting for an opportunity to click a photo as the sky was changing colors from dark blue to bright orange and many colors in between. People passing by must have thought that I was mad. I did all this just to put up these photos in my blog.

    Another time when I was clicking a photo of a fast moving elephant with a heavy load, the mahout deliberated moved the elephant in my direction and when it came close to me he changed direction but the elephant was so close to me that I thought I will be crushed to death. I saw the mahout laughing loudly sitting atop the elephant at my distress and I hurled abuses at him

    There many more stories like this to tell all because I wanted to impress my blog friends.

    Now I have stopped photo blogging and write what I feel should be written. In other words I have slowed down a little. But who knows? I might start photo blogging again.

    It is a great idea to preserve the stories of our lives.

    Excellent post. I enjoyed reading it.

    Best wishes

  13. Love this entire post, Sarah. There have been times lately when I have thought of not blogging anymore, but I know now that I need to keep with it, even if it means fewer posts. Life sometimes gets in the way of the creative process...so I have to fight to stay in touch with my heart's desire.

    The sharing of the stories. Yes. This is what it is all about.

    Thank you for sharing yours, and for inspiring me along the way.

  14. I scrapbook, though not as much as I once did and I have a grand collection of hand written journals all for the same purpose.
    Preserving the past.

  15. I agree with the others that you do a great job of telling stories of who you are and what you love through writing and photography. I think if a person is going to blog, they have to know why they are doing it…If the purpose is not clear or is not motivating, then why not move on to something else that is? There are so many wonderful ways to be creative in this world...The rest of us may miss that particular connection, but it is really not about us…we need to support each other...

  16. Sarah as usual, beautifully written...I was in town, and saw only the preview at first, and what I read resonated within my heart..."Oh I understand why that blogger is thinking of quitting" ran through my mind.

    When I got home to proper wifi and could read the entire post my outlook changed completely.

    Yes it's a lot of work, yes it seems sometimes as if we are writing and sharing to a empty auditorium ...yes it's a lot of work...but as you said, it's recording our world. And doing so in ways that we never thought it would. Thank you for inspiration, for a reason to keep going, to pursue, to plan, to dream even more.

    And I am so thrilled that you are able to live on of your blogging dreams and have been contacted by Artful Blogging...well deserved!


  17. I think I told you I am the family genealogist. So yes I have carefully preserved the history and stories of my family with lots of photos. I even gave copies to all my family members. But I agree very important. It is so nice that you are enjoying your blog again.

  18. Oh yes Sarah . . .
    The Stories . . .
    One, if not the BEST part . . . the stories . . .
    I can leave a note wth the Irish Garden House link and my family will know
    many, many stories of what I am about . . .
    Your post brought me a huge smile . . .
    Wonderful post . . .
    I would want to know . . . "who is that standing beside you Aunt Viola . . ."

  19. Awesome news, Sarah! I LOVE Artful Blogging! I've even got a submission for them that I have been sitting on for a year out of nervousness. You go!

  20. Blogging is a journey of discovery, we share parts of our lives with other people both in images and with words. We connect with kindred spirits all over the world and we create memories for our loved ones. I like your retro style images in this blog entry.

  21. Oh the stories are so important...and you have notebooks full?! Wonderful! I don't write that much but we have a lot of verbal stories. Maybe some day I'll write some down.

  22. Congratulations on Artful Bogging contacting you! How exciting!
    LOVE all your images today!
    I felt like you were giving me a pep talk in this post. I have been dragging my feet in my blog, kind of wondering the point of it all. You are so right, the stories matter and taking adventures to write about is such a great idea. I always enjoy reading about your adventures. :)

  23. I too believe that my blog is a great way of preserving my life stories, and love how you are doing this too. How great to be contacted by Artful Blogging! Will look forward to seeing you there!


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)