I have mentioned my attempts at de-stashing my craft room, difficult, oh so difficult:) but I have not mentioned an even more difficult stash in my possession. Inherited, given to my charge, to do the right thing by it.
No I’m not talking about the thousands of books - I may well write about that one day, no, this stash is the Family
The Family - well part of it. I come, as I have mentioned before, from a long line of pack rats and squirrels. All with a reverence, bordering on insanity, for the written word. Did no-one in the past throw anything away (I’m actually a bad person to say this, I am incapable of throwing anything away - de-clutter and moi will never rest easy together)
I have a four drawer filing cupboard full of
Certificates, including diploma,awards, indentures,school reports etc
Birth, marriage and death certificates, including special licenses
Bible pages with births and deaths recorded
And photos by the bucket load.
My friend from forever has helped fill in the gaps (she is a natural at research)
So I also have missing siblings, their certificates
Census returns and employment
Not so easy as two lines of family were very mobile indeed and hardly stayed in a census area for more than one return (indeed I am guilty of the same, until I retired I never was in the same place twice).
So this is a stash of time consuming magnitude, daunting, scarily easy to put off to another day. But, in the grand scheme of life, important. All those events and memories were recorded and kept because those involved valued them. The least I can do is create sense, order and a structure to them all.
Due to various obstacles in retirement this stash still hasn’t been controlled. It has begun but is still in the foothills of the mountain. Accident and illness have all combined to make this a long arduous journey.
However slowly, too slowly, the minute details are being filed in place and recorded neatly. Creased and crumbling badly stored paper is being gently laid within archival protection. Slowly I shift through the letters, attempt to decipher the tiny cramped writing in tiny flimsy diaries.
Gradually extra information about the life of of these long dead people is garnered and entered with all the rest. Gradually I see them with more clarity, begin to understand and appreciate. Nothing earth shattering but a life that could be mine or yours. Generations of us ordinary folk which goes to contribute to the sum of humanity.
I have set aside a couple of months in the quiet cold days of winter to finally get myself up to date with this stash of life. To endeavor to maybe present it all in a book form rather than files of paper. Something which will survive my demise in these days of smaller houses, and minimalistic lifestyles.
Thats the plan anyway. It’s good to have a plan:)