Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dear Diary...

Yesterday, several family members descended on my Mom's house for a work day. There was a ton of culling, filtering, sorting, and sibling brotherly love to fight through. It was a day of surprises as it seemed around every corner and in every drawer we found the unexpected. Amazing and hitherto unknown pictures of Mom and Dad popped up repeatedly, some from their early marriage days. If you can believe the pictures, they were crazily in love.

Somehow I ended up in the garage, and I began work on a stack of boxes over there with the leaf rake and rusty shovels. About three boxes into this fun activity, I opened a box, blew decades of dust away, and stared directly into the life of my father's mother. For here lay bunches and bunches of diaries - a mother lode of personal history from the 60's and 70's. Curious guy that I am, I immediately began pulling back the curtain on her innermost thoughts.

So this leads to an important question. Do diary writers write for themselves or for others? Is the diary for their eyes only or for those who find them in dusty boxes years later? Was Granny Fenn hoping that no one would ever read her words but her or was she penning words with an eye towards getting feelings and facts right for someone else's eyes? Hopefully I'll know the answer soon. Pleasure reading rarely gets better than this.

By the way, on a random note, as a teacher I was tormented by the word "diary". Often the word would come up as we looked at civil war resources, and inevitably, the kids would spell it "dairy". This led to hysterical sentences like, "We learned a lot about this Tennessee rebel soldier by examining his dairy." Oh boy, thank goodness for moments like that to give a teacher a break from the torture of endless papers to grade!


Apple said...

"Do diary writers write for themselves or for others?" Great question! I'm sorry that you've had to start the sorting/cleaning process but glad it yielded some treasure. Enjoy the diaries.

Brooke said...

I never knew Granny spelled Fenn that way. Did she write about volleyball?