Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Virtue of Perseverance

Scan the front page.  Flip it.  Scan the back page.  Put it back in the binder and take the next page out.  Repeat.  I am up to Scan #245, about 2/3 of the way through the first of two binders of papers.  When I have them all scanned, I’ll start reading and transcribing.  I can hardly wait.

You see, these are the writings of my great grandmother, Virta, who had the beautiful lace curtains in the old farmhouse.  These journal entries span from 1956 to 1967, and as I scan each page, I catch snippets of her life – all of our lives – surfacing for just a moment, to tease me about what comes after the scanning.

From a trip to town to Montgomery Ward’s, to a vacation in Oregon to see one of her sons, it’s all here.  Illnesses… the destruction of my grandparents’ house by lightning… company stopping over… their retirement from the farm… it’s all come past my scanner this evening.  And I know what’s coming – the birth of their first great grandchild (me) – grandsons going off to war – and the death of her husband - and so much more interspersed between the major events of her life.

I’m tempted to stop the scanning and just dive right into devouring it, but I saw what happened to my mother when she did just that – we didn’t see her for a week!  And as much as I want a scanned copy of this journal as a backup, I know if I read it before I scan it, the scanning won’t happen.  So I will not read it until I’m done, which will roughly be another 500 scans.  Quite frankly, I’m not very enthusiastic about this part at all.

In the meantime, I’ll keep scanning, checking to see who’s signed on to chat, scan more, read some blogs, scan another page, check email, etc., and try to remember that each scan puts me one scan closer to reading.


  1. I would cave! LOL By, scan 100 I would have been reading while scan 101 was going on. I also have journal envy! I have NO journals, just a letter or two. Total journal envy! LOL

  2. I';s a good motivation for yourself. Your lucky that she kept a journal for so long of a time. And I am glad it is being shared by you with the others.

  3. I'm jealous too. What a treasure you have.

  4. Journals are so special. I am in line with everyone else. I have a rare letter or two, but no journal in my ancestry...Looking forward to the transcribing.

  5. Hang in there your rewards will be great.