52 Questions in 52 Weeks

My first exposure to the 52 Questions in 52 weeks came via the Innovative Journaling Facebook group. (If you journal and like pens of any type I recomend this group. They are a hoot.) One of the members was starting the challenge and asked if anyone else was doing it. Several folks likewise asked what it was. 

There are 52 queations relating to your life, family history and other interesting tidbits. It provides a really good starting place for folks that are interested in writing down their family history. Questions range from earliest memories, things you enjoyed from your childhood, advice for future generations, how you met your spouse and other stuff. Anyway you pick a question you want to answer and take a week to write the answer. As little or as much as you like. This isn’t all inclusive just a starting point. 

I have later found several blog posts about and each one has a similar backstory. The person wanted to record the family history before it was lost through death or disease. One IJ-er took a journal and the sole purpose of that journal is for the challenge. I am in this same boat. Three of my grandparents have passed and my remaining grandmother is lost in Alzheimer’s fog. As I have watched her and my nieces and nephews, I realized they don’t know her pre-Alzheimer. By recording my memories it may give them a glimpse of her when she was healthy. 

I admit I keep reading over the questions and yet I haven’t put pen to paper. I get all twisted and tongue tied when I start to write down even the simplest question; Where does your name come from? 

Well I know Mom told me that my great grandfather didn’t like my name and said he would have named me Pamela, if he had known my parents didn’t have a proper name for me. According to Dad my first name came from the daughter of a man whose horse farm he worked on while in the military. I have never really asked my Mom where my first name come from. My middle name was supposed to be a mix of Linda and Jeanette ie Lynnette. But as the story goes when the nurse asked Mom she was half asleep and gave Lynn. So those are the stories I have heard related to my name. I was almost a Pamela Lynnette and I mean no disrepect to the Pamela Lynnettes of the world, but that isn’t me. In my mind’s eye, a Pamela Lynnette is a strong, willowy blonde or red headed lady, graceful and at home in her own skin. Me, I’m a short round lil brunette that lives in her head more than she should. Exrovert vs introvert. 

Well look a there I guess I just answered the first question. One down 51 to go. Cheers on this post Harvest Moon Friday, james

Family History

I read a poem the other day by Pamela A. Harazim called Strangers in the Box. The poem references the old photos that get passed down that nobody knows anything about. She ends the poem with our photos one day could be the strangers if we don’t leave our stories behind. Letters, scrapbooks, photo albums, journals are all ways of leaving our stories for those that come after we have shucked our mortal coil. 

Another facebook post was from the IJ page about the 52 Questions in 52 Weeks Challenge.This challenge is a starting point for writing your story. You take one question per week and write as much or as little as you want. The questions cover topics about your childhood, family, work and what makes you unique.

Both poem and challenge are timely, I have been struggling trying to put together a family history that I could gift to my mom, my uncle and sister. These books are going to be part memior, part photo album, part scrapbook and I want it to be in a binder so pages can be added as time goes by. A big task to be sure however I feel it is a worthwhile endeavor. I have two nieces and two nephews that never had the chance to know our grandparents. Grandma is lost in a Aletimerz daze. And Grandaddy pasted away three years ago. They don’t know the vibrant people that Grandma and Grandaddy were back in their prime. That said me and my sister don’t know what they were like as a young couple or parents. And I don’t want them to become lost in the mists of time and strangers in an old dusty photo album. At least with these books there will be stories to connect them no matter how much time passes. And if they are added to then the story continues with them. High hopes for a family history treasury becauae that is what I want it to become. A treasure trove of family memories. Priceless.

Since I found the 52 questions I am going to given them to family and ask them to fill them out and give them back so I can incorporate those memories with mine. I mourn the loss of my grandparents’ memories and wisdom, but I know they live on through the ones left behind that knew and loved them. 

Cheers on this chilly Sunday evening, james