Tuesday, January 13, 2009


My maternal grandmother was a master scrapbook maker. As a history buff, she filled page after page with clippings of news items and family happenings and photos. But Grandma's creative streak inspired another kind of scrapbook that she industriously churned out for each of her thirty-some grandchildren (and as many of her great-grand-children as her health allowed).

The child's scrapbook, let's call it, is a smorgasbord of pictures--flowers, birds, animals, scenes from Bible stories, houses, children, trains and tractors, autumn landscapes--ranging from full-page to nickel-sized, cut from magazines, greeting cards, and newspapers. My mom (a picture-lover herself) was tickled to inherit what's left of Grandma's collection of pictures, probably hundreds of them, organized in categories.

Interspersed with the pictures in the scrapbook are poems about animals, the seasons, and virtues such as kindness, Bible verses, and nature articles (the busy lives of ants, how animals change in the springtime, a family's maple sugar farm). Most of the poems and verses were typed by Grandma herself--on an old-fashioned typewriter, Mom tells me--and cut to size with pinking shears.

NS is the privileged recipient of one of my grandma's last child scrapbooks. Its pages (laminated, fortunately) can hold her attention for an amazingly long time and probably will for years.

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