Posts Tagged '3 X 5 cards'

On This Day in YOUR History, part 2

April 15 is a familiar day to anyone who has ever paid taxes but a more delightful event took place on that date when our dear friends hosted a 100th birthday party for Tom and me.  We both turned 50 that year.  Also on April 15 in various years… one of our children was baptized, we attended a sunrise service, we had dinner in Maui, and enjoyed the musical, Rent.

If you are just jumping in today, check out the previous post about how to set up a simple filing system for keeping track of what happened in YOUR history each day.

Once you have established the dates of family milestones on the 3 X 5 cards or digital files, start digging through old calendars, date books, journals.  Credit card statements can help too for vacation/special event dates.

Browsing medical records proved helpful for remembering which month and year they all had chicken pox, broke bones, and visited the ER.  Vet reports also reminded me when we began and ended our dog-owning seasons of life.

Looking through photos helped fill in some details of the new swing set, the first salsa making, and first haircuts.  Sometimes when the exact date isn’t known, targeting the season and year is good enough.

At first our Family Almanac seemed so meager but year by year it continues to fill in.  Each month still has a couple of blank days when nothing eventful has yet to happen but so goes the story of anyone’s life.

While the kids were still at home, we read the Almanac most nights after dinner to remember, to laugh, to enjoy our common history.  I spoke about the idea at workshops and wrote about it for Family Fun magazine.

Family dinners rarely take place at our table anymore and for a while I didn’t know what to do with the box full of memories.  When one of my daughters asked, “whatever happened to the Family Almanac?” I was ready to redesign the tradition in a way that fit who we are now.  Email!

Every Monday night I send a round-up of This day in OUR History for the upcoming week along with any family updates. Sometimes it generates a lot of feedback and back and forth comments, other weeks there is no response.

The little box of 3 X 5  cards is kind of fossil record of the moments that have shaped, molded and defined who we are as a family.   Hopefully the ink won’t fade or I will digitize it all someday so it will be ready for the next generation.

So many stories in such a little place.

c. Letitia Suk 2012

How do you keep track of your stories?

On This Day in YOUR History

Everyone’s abuzz about the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic disaster this week but have you ever thought about what happened in your family 100 years ago or 10 years ago or even last year?

We used to amuse and inform our kids most nights after dinner by reading the “Almanac” from that day’s paper: a recording of significant events in history that took place on that date.  I would make a game out of it…Guess what happened on this date in 1913 or 1934 or 1962 based on the information in the almanac.  A few clues were often needed but it was a fun way to learn history and trivia.

About fifteen years ago, it dawned on me that we too were creating an Almanac year by year.  Milestones such as the long-awaited trip to Disneyworld, the Little League championship win, the day we got the dog, may not mean much to the rest of the world but the dates and the events are part of the long tapestry of Family that encircles us all.

I decided to create our own “This Day in History” almanac and have been adding to it ever since.

Here is how to do it:

  1. Purchase at least 366 3 X 5 cards at any office store.
  2. Purchase a set of monthly 3 x 5 dividers at the same store.
  3. Buy or make a box large enough to hold all of the cards standing up like an oversize recipe box.
  4. Date each card for each day of the year and put them in the box chronologically with the monthly dividers.
  5. Start with the easy stuff like birthdays of relatives living and dead, weddings, graduations, deaths and any other well-known dates and fill in the cards for those dates.

Stop back Monday to find out what to do next…..

c. Letitia Suk 2012



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