Camp Journal, My Mother and Memories

Canada
April 25, 2016 9:49am CST
My sister and I started to camp together with our small children back in 1986. Our mother died in late 1986. She had Parkinson's Disease. When mom was ready to retire from teaching, she was hit by Parkinson's, a terrible disease that took her mobility away from her and put a shake into her hand so writing was difficult. Speech was difficult too. Our Dad, an Optician, had his own business and was hired by the General Electric in Schenectady and Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory to fit safety glasses on their employees. He worked there a half day once a week and because he was an employee too he got the “yearly journals” that hardly ever got written in and were in hidden drawers all around the house. He retired shortly after mom did. Our mother as long as she could write would jot down some things that happened around the house, the weather and bits and pieces of news about family and friends. When we went camping that first time we needed something to write in; so grabbed one of the GE journals. So far we have filled three of them and a year ago needed a new Journal and found another one belonging to our mother, a hard bound one. We have thirty years in our journals. We keep a daily journal while we camp, with stories of the children, the campground, the weather, the neighbors and about us. Its a hoot to read back in some of those old journals. The kids, now grown always ask for the old ones to read now they are adults. Every once in a while as we are writing in the journals, we run into some of mom's notes. Sometimes it brings tears and other times it brings laughter But we are pleased to have her with us on our adventures. In the photo the open book, Mom had written something under January 29. She had put the date 1982. We leave her notes there with a wiggly line under her words. She is always with us. Its time for me to put last years journal on the computer and get it sent to Elaine. We make notes of things we want for the next year and food ideas so she will need to read it before we plan our menus and shopping lists. Our journals are like old friends. Precious!
18 people like this
19 responses
@LadyDuck (131417)
• Switzerland
25 Apr 16
I used to keep a daily diary of all our travels. I love to go back and read the pages, they are so precious.
4 people like this
• Canada
25 Apr 16
We enjoy the trip back too...so much fun and so much we might have lost if we didn't write it down.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (52062)
• United Kingdom
25 Apr 16
That must be a wonderful feeling to see your mother's words written there. As you say, it must make her seem very close to you. I've never kept a journal myself, I wish I had.
3 people like this
• Canada
25 Apr 16
My sister and I didn't either through life until we started to camp. It was a passing thought that grew as we realized we started with 6 children plus two others that belonged to my Canadian woman friend who camped with us that first big scary camp with bears.. So glad we started and love looking back ...and finding moms inserts is delightful!
2 people like this
@allknowing (58163)
• India
25 Apr 16
I reminisce - each time a different topic. I do not have anything in writing but it is all stored in my memory.
2 people like this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
When we read the journals we are awed by the number of silly things that happened that we forgot...
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (26012)
• Canada
26 Apr 16
Journals are precious. My father gave my mother direction to start one one day. He wanted her to document the ups and downs of his health so that they would have them when they went to the various doctors appointments. She added some flare to them, like John was feeling so well today that we accepted an invitation to eat out at Swiss Chalet with Lorraine and Peter. And she'd document what he'd eaten and then a few days later if he was ill, she'd refer back to those pages. She didn't know at the time, but he asked her to start it on July 4, 2008, my Dad passed on July 4, 2009, precisely one year later. We all poured over the pages of that journal as we journeyed thru our grief. It makes his final months more personable, instead of me just remembering that he spent so much time in bed I read that there were good days, or good hours on some days.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
You did it, this is the first comment I read today and I have tears in my eyes already! What a wonderful gift your dad gave to you by asking your mother to keep track. It is never easy to read while grieving but I'm so glad it was there for you and your siblings...
1 person likes this
@Juliaacv (26012)
• Canada
26 Apr 16
@PainsOnSlate I'm sorry. I didn't mean to write something to tear you up. My emotions, my love for my Dad, are so very close to the surface these days. Next Monday would have been his birthday. And I'm at that point where I miss him so much that I cannot seem to focus on the many fun times that we shared on May 2nd. But I remember what they wrote in the journal on his birthday in 2009-does it get any easier, the missing them part?
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
@Juliaacv Don't worry about my tears, they come easy and often especially when it comes to family and loved ones.
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (50202)
• Philippines
25 Apr 16
It is so very touching memories. I hope I could find a treasure like old journals.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
We write in the journal every summer while camping
1 person likes this
@Shavkat (50202)
• Philippines
27 Apr 16
@PainsOnSlate I hope we can have camping site for children here in my country. I was thinking it would be a good business.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
@Shavkat family camping is a huge business in the States and Canada. I am 70 years old and started camping as a baby. My parents loved it and so do I.
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@JudyEv (108414)
• Bunbury, Australia
26 Apr 16
I have probably 20 diaries which my Mum kept of farm life - much as you describe. They weren't personal journals as such but are still interesting. Rainfall, farm work, outings all got written up. I don't know what to do with them now. I thought of typing it all up but it isn't really that interesting to anyone but me. I guess when I go someone will throw them out which is sad but that's the reality of it.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
In your community, or state that you live in is there a farmers organization? What your mother wrote is history and if there is a farming library, they might want them. You might look into it it. I had transcribed letters my uncle found in my grandmothers attic and I took them to the library here in Canada. One of my greats aunts had lived and married in Canada and the letters described her life here in the 1800's. The letters were copied and put into archives for anyone doing research on that era. Food for thought...
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (108414)
• Bunbury, Australia
26 Apr 16
@PainsOnSlate I wondered about that but much of it is very ordinary day-to-day stuff. I know that is interesting too to many people - and to researchers. I'll think about that. There is a museum in her home town. Maybe that's the place to start. I certainly won't throw them out - at least not at the moment.
1 person likes this
@Platespinner (19374)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
25 Apr 16
I've kept journals sporadically over the years, but have made a point of keeping one on family trips beginning almost 10 years ago. Too many of the details get forgotten otherwise! I'm in the process of compiling all of my Bubblews ramblings into monthly files--it's almost as good a journal for jogging my memory!
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
I keep all of what I write for the internet too, it is history!
1 person likes this
@miniam (9272)
• Bern, Switzerland
25 Apr 16
I find it so lovely you keep the jounals and not destroying your mum`s, some careless people will tear off the pages she wrote which will be such a shame. I hope your children will keep it going forward or your sister`s kids
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
Knowing how much fun it is to have this treasure I'm pretty sure they will be passed down to my sister's kids. They live closer to the campground than my kids and will continue the tradition...st least that is what I think.
1 person likes this
@miniam (9272)
• Bern, Switzerland
27 Apr 16
@PainsOnSlate Glad they picked up the fun and pleasures of camping from you guys.
1 person likes this
@fishtiger58 (30572)
• Momence, Illinois
27 Apr 16
I know you have tons of camping memories, but having you mom's journals with her words is so wonderful, laughing and crying with her words. Priceless.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
We think so too...
1 person likes this
@Dragonairy1 (1472)
• Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
26 Apr 16
I keep a journal on holiday, and intermittently through the year, they're always interesting to look back on.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
I agree, and while camping with children there is so much to write, I love it when they find the old journals and sit and read for hours now that they are adults. (they also wrote in the journals when they were small).
1 person likes this
@Fleura (6805)
• United Kingdom
26 Apr 16
It is fun to go back and revisit those experiences, so many happy times to remember!
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
I agree and we are still making more every summer.
1 person likes this
@fawkes62 (1354)
• United States
26 Apr 16
It's great that you've been doing this every year. I had never thought about writing about any of our adventures, either camping or on vacation, so I only have pictures and my memory about them. Some times it would be nice to have it written down as my memory isn't always the most reliable.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
we are always surprised to see what we forgot while reading them. I love my photos, they trigger memories too.
1 person likes this
@BettyB (4263)
• Summerville, South Carolina
26 Apr 16
What a beautiful way to remember your mother and document your camping trips. I've always enjoyed reading about your camping adventures.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
Thank you, I love writing about our adventures. We make new memories every summer.
@rebelann (35809)
• El Paso, Texas
25 Apr 16
It's so kool when we find notes our parents wrote, I've had the fortune of finding an exchange between mom and dad before they were married written in a tiny notebook. I haven't a clue why they did that.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
I would love to find old notes written back and forth from my parents but never did...
• United States
25 Apr 16
how wonderful that y'all keep yer folks with ya, takin 'em 'long yer campin' adventures. heck, i wish now i'd kept a journal from when my young'uns were growin' - what a priceless treasure to look back 'pon!
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
I was never good at journeying but when it comes to camp we usually hit every day...
1 person likes this
@amadeo (54108)
• United States
25 Apr 16
I have ton of journal on all my trips over the years.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 16
I just started taking a journal when we travel. I'm enjoying it.
@blitzfrick (2912)
• United States
25 Apr 16
Whoa, camping journals! I'd totally forgotten about those. I recently wrote a blurb here at MyLot about travel journals. But in the past, I have kept camping journals. I haven't camped in a long time but am preparing to go again, I'm aiming for this summer. I sometimes draw little pictures in my camping journals, too. Do you do that?
1 person likes this
@maxen07 (890)
• Philippines
25 Apr 16
I've kept diaries since I was 12 years old. I can still remember when my parents got annoyed that I write in a diary instead of talking about my problems but they eventually left me alone. I have about five of them in my possession. I don't write everyday that's why there are too few.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
It will help you remember your youth, I think its a great idea.
• United States
25 Apr 16
What a wonderful and sentimental gift your mom left behind. I love what you said about "we are pleased to have her with us on our adventures." I've been meaning to start a camping journal and that is what I'll be doing this year. Thanks for reminding me with this lovely story.
1 person likes this
• Canada
26 Apr 16
We would be lost without it. We started it that very first year, so fun to read the older years. It helps us remember things that we want for the next trip too. So happy to meet another camper and I hope you have a wonderful experience this summer and keep your journal handy.
1 person likes this