Saturday, May 06, 2006

What's Your Story?

Quick! Take a picture! Is this phrase familiar to you?Are you one of those people who have boxes and boxes of picturesfrom life events and now they are stored away to become faded?Are the memories they are supposed to preserve going to fade with them?Have you ever wondered why we take pictures, only to let them fade away?

In today’s world, so many things that we do will not have a lasting effect on our families or us. We are constantly searching for that one trip, that one gift that someone will always remember. You know, the one that when given makes you feel like you have given part of yourself. Yet, as we search and move forward, things of the past become forgotten. How do we preserve those life events and memories that were once so important to us? How do we make sure that what we are doing today doesn’t become the faded pictures of tomorrow?

Intuitively, we understand the importance of sustaining, and where necessary, creating family, community and national heritage. But how can responsible, caring people and parents find, teach and sustain their heritage? Home is where your story is told, but where did it begin? Your story is a composite of the stories and memories of the events and relationships of the past and the present. Only when we are clear about where we have come from are we certain of where we are going.

Storybooking founder, Dr. Sharon Murdoch said, “Photos without stories are memories lost.” How many times have you looked at a photo that was taken years or even months ago and cannot remember the details of the memory – the event, the person, or the place- that you swore you would never forget? We place our photos in a book, but does that add to the detail of the memory? Storybooking was developed so people could easily share photos as well as the stories that go with them. Storybooking is the new and exciting trend that captures and preserves the images and stories of the events, heroes and heritage that are lost when all that is left are pictures.

Have you ever sat down to scrapbook some pictures, and when you were done looked at the beautiful page and said, “Wow, that looks great, but I wish it didn’t take so long?” Now there is a new way to do just that. Going digital is quickly becoming the new trend in scrapbooking. Now, you can take your pictures, put them in your computer, and finish many pages in the time it used to take to finish one. Digital scrapbooking programs offer many of the same embellishments and notions that we love to use on our hand-made pages. And, not only do we have to make just one, but we can easily duplicate our books to share with our loved ones. Toni Terry, a director with Heritage Makers, said “I love digital scrapbooking because they have allowed me to get caught up on my scrapbooking and easily duplicate my work for other family members.”

Now, you can choose which you want to do, and how you want to do it. There are many different digital scrapbooking websites out there. They vary in options, price for printing, printing options, page sizes, photo archiving, and so on. Make sure you don’t allow your photos to just gather dust in a box in the closet. Don’t wait so long before you write down what you wanted to remember that you couldn’t remember what it was. Whether you choose to storybook your memories or scrapbook them and whether you use digital photos or real prints, take the time today to preserve them. Don’t let the memories you are making today fade away tomorrow.

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