History, One Line at a Time

When our mom passed, we knew that we would always have apart of her with us. By reading her diaries and there are many of them, we would be able to hear her voice through writing.

Olive Hazel Elliott Evans was a writer. When you are born before cell phones and email, hand writing is your go to and you take pride in it. Our mom was a teacher and I think our family does her proud with our own writing skills.

As she got to the point of not writing as much, mom loved to have her diaries read aloud to reflect on the things that had been happening from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and onward. A great collection of history that included travel, farming, school activities, doctor appointments, births & deaths. The window on the past and maybe some hopes for the future.

Our parents and grandparents journals kept only enough information to remind themselves and the generations ahead of what had been done, a window to the progression that was being made in times that seemed less complicated than they are now. From what we read the time of courtship with our parents, going to dances, planning parties and welcoming babies and family into the home. Moving from one house to another – the life and times of family and farming.

I look at my own diary and realize how unimportant some of my memories are. Realizing that much of what I was writing was frivolous, sad and a sense of pining. These times are gone, and I want to toss some of these memories into a shredder! But it is also a good reminder of those that have come and go from our lives. There are goals that were not completely set in stone and never achieved and other achievements that seemed unattainable yet presented themselves.

Do yourself or your family a favour and write a few memories down as they happen. Jeff Richards mentioned that the diary of the past is what Facebook is now. Well, our mom and yours were well ahead of the curve when it came to journaling! But then again, that was the generation. So don’t throw that stuff out, without reading it. Cherish these memories and pass them along to your family.


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