Saturday, January 20, 2007


Diary Land

I've had a couple of blog or journal sites over the years, and am slowly consolidating them now. The focus has varied, from my urban planning blog to my personal page on diaryland, but reading over the old entries has been fascinating. I never kept a paper diary, mostly out of laziness but also because I thought interesting stuff didn't happen every week or month, let alone everyday. But years later I find even the "nothing happened today, I'm still waiting for this and the other to break" entries interesting, if only because they fix the timeline of major events. Also occurs to me that our grandkids will probably read our blogs the way people used to read their ancestors' old letters.

Anyway, for my three regular readers, you can look for more old posts to appear. I'll also get back to posting excerpts of my Europe journal in the near future.

I also don't think we'll know what little "mudane" detail our descendents will find interesting. With my grandfather's diary, it wasn't his account of the big events I found more fascinating. It was a random battle he had with the squirrels getting into his bird feeder in 1984. Each week he devised another plan and each failed. One time he hammered nails into a board, placed the board upside down (so all the sharp points of the nails were sticking up) and put that on top of the bird feeder so the squirrels would get a nice surprise when they landed. Even that did not work!

And the small details aren't just important in the medium of writing. A number of years ago, we were watching some home videos of my father and his siblings as children. Sure we laughed at Aunt Julie's pigtails and how funny my father looked. But the item that drew the most attention and screaming was a small clock on mantel of the fireplace.

"OH MY GAWD!!!" someone shouted, "THAT'S THE SAME CLOCK!!!!!"

Sure enough, nearly 50 years later, the exact same clock was perched on the mantel and was still working.

The clock on the mantel, isn't a detail someone would traditionally find worthy of mentioning or capturing. But that small detail, that little hint to life back then, was very meaningful in the future.
I'm not good at writing diaries either. But when I do, it's always fun to go back and re-read them.

When my Grandma took me on a trip to Chicago when I was in the fourth grade, she encouraged me to write a journal about each day. I re-read that journal several years later and it served as a great reminder of little details that I otherwise had forgotten. Sure, I remembered the main thing - I went to Chicago, there was a wedding. I remembered things that stood out in my mind from just being an experience - dancing with my cousins and seeing a strobe light in action for the first time in my life. But I never would have remembered our lunch at denny's if it wasn't for re-reading that journal.

So, I try to remember to write in a journal, or blog about certain things, but I still forget to, or never think about it. I need to work on that again. :)

Oh, and I like how your regular users have increased to three. :)
I don't actually know how many regular readers I have, since I don't keep stats on this page. It's probably more like half a dozen (6 of one...) but I do like how many comments I sometimes get on posts!
wordpress has incredible statistics.... referral URLs, google searches that arrive at your page, outgiong clicks.... i get 300 reads a day 100% of the time now.
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