Sentimentality & Scrapbooks

Sentimentality & Scrapbooks

Back in the ’90s, I was a big scrapbook girl. I took great pleasure in assembling albums like some sort of hokey historian with a photo fetish. I spent hours arranging pictures and memorabilia, only to rearrange them again until my OCD was sufficiently satisfied. Each page outdid the last, so by the time a scrapbook was complete, I could barely close it!

When I wasn’t busy creating a keepsake masterpiece, I attended Creative Memories parties, the scrapbooker equivalent to Tupperware or Mary Kay. Invitations would pour into my mailbox with promises of snacks and adult beverages in exchange for my attendance. So, while tossing back a few hot toddies, my inhibitions would lower to the level of low-hanging fruit. That’s when a Creative Memories Consultant would start her sales spiel. From my perspective, she looked like Vanna White standing in a studio filled with fabulous prizes. Of course, I left these parties lugging loads of scrapbooking essentials. Had Maria Kondo been around in those days, I’m sure she would question how joy could be found among all that stuff!

Enter the digital age and the technology version of scrapbooking. It’s cheaper and a great way to preserve documents, photos, and memorabilia. There are numerous websites and blogs dedicated to digital scrapbooking. Many are beautiful and artistic beyond anything I’ve created, as I don’t have the drive to scrapbook with the passion of years past. But, these websites and blogs (like this, ) are great motivators and are the nudge I needed to tackle the numerous boxes that house my family photos and documents.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the emotional response this project triggered. It took more time than expected to get through the photos and paperwork – teary eyes make things difficult to decipher through the blur. I put the whole project on hold once or twice before gaining the strength to dive back in and revisit the past. I miss my grandparents. I also miss my mom, whose departure left an irreparable hole in my heart.

This project is dedicated to them and will remain where memories and memorabilia collide in an artistic archive that opens a portal to the past. This brings a sense of peace, even contentment, because I know I’m blessed to have these people and places to miss in the first place.

  • Howard & Ruby Berkey

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