Memories in a Jar

I don’t know about anyone else, but the summer is flying past at a rate that makes me unhappy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of cooler weather, changing leaves and all of that – but I also really enjoy the unencumbered nature of summer (although I am the first to admit that I am not a fan of the heat) Lazy days, reading books in my backyard, sunshine and sand. No schedules to manage, no screaming at someone to “please get up before you are late to school. Again!!” Oh wait, is that just me?

These days, I’m “collecting” little bits of summer – the memories of it, anyway – to keep me going. This month has been about taking little trips, including one to see my sister in Chicago (after a very rough year for her personally), as well as the one I’m currently on – the California Redwoods – while you’re reading this, along with another next week to Vegas.

My trip to see my sister was short, but nice. My oldest daughter met me there, and the three of us had a really nice time walking around the city, spending time watching dogs on the Riverwalk, sipping hard cider and recounting childhood memories, and even watching movies while bundled up with blankets and dinner on her couch. As you are reading this, I am up in Northern California, giving my youngest a taste of the Redwoods. We’ll take a train through the mountains one day, we’ll spend a little time in San Francisco on the way – she is super excited to go to Chinatown for better Chinese food than we can get in Atascadero (!!), and I know driving and exploring along the coast one day as well. Oh, and we’re spending one night around a bonfire, complete with marshmallows and S’mores. The following week, Vegas will mean spending girl time with two of my friends, seeing Jason (yay!!), and even spending the weekend with husband because he’s flying to meet me on Friday evening. A full weekend with my husband? WHAT?!

Times do change things, I guess.

I’m counting on these summer memories to keep me smiling throughout the school year ahead. It will be eighth grade for my youngest, and since she has been fully vaccinated since June, we are anticipating a happier, easier, “in person” year ahead.

So far, this summer has been far more meaningful, if not more memorable. I was on Pinterest not long ago – I used to be an avid “pinner” but I’ve gotten away from it for the most part – and I saw this old collection of pins I had while I was planning a high school graduation party for Heather (my oldest). One of the pins I saved was for a memory mason jar. People were supposed to come in to the party and write down a short memory they had of Heather, and then I was to pack the jar in her things for college, which I had done. The idea being that whenever she got homesick, she could open the jar and read something. Now, I don’t know if she did this or not, but I kind of like the idea of doing the same thing for my summer memories. I could journal them, then put them in the jar to read whenever I wanted. It’s a cute idea, if not a little on the sappy side.

Truth be told, I’m not just a blogger, but in my “former” life, pre-Daily Duranie – I was an avid scrapbooker.

Upstairs, in a small attic closet I have packed to the rafters – there is a rather large “tote” I used to take to various scrapbooking events around the state. It is sort of like a large rolling suitcase, but instead of being filled with clothes, mine is then filled with scrapbooking supplies. I know I’ve got at least one other plastic bin filled with supplies in there beyond the tote but – I won’t get into what all I’ve got in there. It is a lot. I will say that at one point, I spent more on scrapbooking supplies than I did on Duran Duran – VIP tickets and all.

<insert shocked face here>

And you all thought I was merely a fan, blogger, and deranged VIP-ticket buyer. HA!

Anyway, my point is that when I say I collected memories, I’m not kidding. That was my thing. I suppose it still is. Yeah, I’m that crafty, too, although I don’t have as much time these days. In fact, pre-Daily Duranie, I had a small business scrapbooking for other people. True story!! I would meet with my clients, they’d give me their photos, and I would then go home and create full scrapbooks for them based on whatever style they wanted.

I created books from all over the spectrum: classy, black leather-bound fancy books with vellum page titles, poems, and memorable quotes for a law school graduation gift, a whimsical book filled with childhood memories for an 80 year old grandmother who had survived a brain aneurysm, travel scrapbooks, and even one celebrating a fiftieth anniversary, along with similar books for Christmases, birthdays, and Baby’s First Year. I loved doing them!

It has been a long time since I sat down and created even a single scrapbook page, particularly now that camera phones are the thing. There stopped being a need, and for a long while, I was more interested in Duran Duran and being a fan than I was in cutting up paper, and cropping photos. At one point in my life though, I was really into making cards, designing scrapbook pages, and even journaling on those finely-crafted pages. I guess the mason jar thing isn’t really that far off the mark for me.

It’s weird, but lately – I’ve been thinking about my scrapbook supplies again. Thousands of dollars in pens, at least the same in cardstock, adhesive, and different types of scissors. I hadn’t thought about scrapbooking in years, but there’s part of it that I do miss. I haven’t done an album for my youngest yet, and I’ve been thinking about starting one. It would require printing photos though, which is a bit of a pain. I’ve missed doing things like creating handwritten lettering, for instance. Calligraphy, brush lettering – it’s all very therapeutic and meditative. I like creating paper-piece art designs from scratch, using archival chalk to color and define the artwork, and laying out photos on pages. I haven’t done any of it for what feels like forever, and certainly not since I started Daily Duranie. Over the past several weeks, I keep getting itchy about getting up there and making something again. Maybe it is a sign. I’m not sure, but it is something I am thinking about.

So, while I’m out collecting more memories to round out the summer, I hope you’re doing the same.


By Daily Duranie

Once upon a time, there were two Duran Duran fans. One named Amanda, the other named Rhonda. Over many vodka tonics, they would laugh about the idea of one day writing a book about their fan experiences. While that manuscript is still being composed...Rhonda thought they should write a blog. (What was she THINKING?!) Lo and behold: The Daily Duranie was born.

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