Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Smiling Through The Tears

I recently received ten large boxes of family documents and photographs. I had volunteered to organize and eventually scan them into a digital format, and then share them with family.  I knew it was going to take some time but I had no idea of how many photographs there were! Turns out that there are all my parents pictures, my paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents and two aunts and their marriages. Also my Dad's entire Royal Navy career and tours of duty.  We are the 'end of the line' for so many family members.  Its all rather sobering....

I had some large brown envelopes on hand and simply started sorting pictures into family groups, countries, time periods.  In time I had a large box filled with paper and recyclables and another with plastics and garbage.... and have been down the proverbial "Rabbit Hole" for roughly two weeks working my way through the boxes and many albums. Its quite addictive! Besides getting the organization started, I wanted to reduce the sheer amount and bulk of the collection down to something more manageable size wise for storage.   You see, all those boxes are in my studio and I can't move in there!

Its coming along just fine. I have separated out all scenery and non-people shots and they will be stored and done at a later time. All negatives are securely stored; all documents together by family.  Its been reduced down to something I can at least move around now! You see, it all must stay accessible for some time and in my studio space until its all done and concluded. 

Sometime after Christmas I hope to get a new scanner and work out a real plan.  Right now I think scanning one family group at a time and then release them via the Cloud to family here and overseas as they are done so they have something to  view while I work on the next batch.   It will be a long slow process and I reckon two years? Maybe three years?  The documents will be invaluable when it comes to updating and building parts of the family trees on Ancestry!  Some scanners can take six minutes to do a full resolution scan.   The pictures below were scanned by my father...

Great Grandfather Edwin Barton

Great Aunt (no first name known) Miss Bowers

Great Grandfather Edwin Barton and his bride Elizabeth Bowers, 1906

One of their daughters, my grandmother Louisa Barton and my grandfather Reginald Waterfield.

Great great grandfather Alfred Barton, his son Edwin Barton, my grandmother Louisa and my father as a new born infant on her lap. 1930.

My paternal great grandfather Alfred Waterfield and his first wife Ellen Shaw. They had three young sons and one daughter. Ellen died in 1912.

Alfred remarried. My step great-grandmother Elizabeth Fryer.

Here is Elizabeth (Fryer) Waterfield holding me in 1956

My parents after their wedding ceremony in 1954.

Their first house in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1960. They arrived just as winter was starting. What a welcome to Canada!

The same house today taken from the internet.  My bedroom was the small window below the picture window in the basement. Yes, the house was tiny!

Dad and me in 1957 in the UK.  
Its all so bittersweet and I feel the real need to do this right now, so my looms are waiting for me.  So I have been spending time with my big family every afternoon lately. 

Knee Report:  I have been released from physiotherapy having reached the goals they set for me! I still must do my exercises daily otherwise the knee / leg stiffens up and my bend is reduced. I get swelling daily by mid afternoon.  Its normal and comes from being upright and using it.  Elevation and icing it is how I spend most evenings.   There is far less pain, no nerve pain jolts as nerves heal and fire up again. I take some pain meds still  and will for while yet according to my surgeon. I saw him last week for my 8 week check up and he told me that two months is considered *very* early in the recovery process.  Real improvement will come at six months to one full year.  My next visit with him is next September at one year post op.  

Speaking of one full year.... my new right hip is one year old this coming Friday December 4th!  It hasn't been an issue for me for at least half a year, but they say healing continues for a full year post surgery.  And what a year it has been!

Some fibre news to share:  I have been bombarded with emails from various yarn companies encouraging me to "buy, buy, buy" lately as I'm sure you have too. Today I finally broke down and went and took a look at one, Webs, to see what was truly on sale.  I was browsing and not really finding anything calling to me.  I have lots on hand and was about to close out the page when I spotted something new on their 8/2 tencel page..... new colours!!!



whipple blue


They are on the way to me.... of course......   my Christmas present to myself!   


Cindie said...

What a huge undertaking but how special to have all those photos. We have very little of that in our family.

Love those new colors of tencel from Webs - I had ignored those emails about sales, was trying to be strong, now I can see the next sale I'll have to pick up those new colors.

Great on your knee progress!

Dianne said...

The scanning of old family photos is a job on my to do list. Unfortunately many in my possession have no names recorded.
Great news on the continued knee improvement. I'll be mother and say keep up the exercise program! xx

barbara said...

Hi Susan - First off, congratulations on your 8 weeks of recovery; it just keeps getting better and better!!!! I am so proud of how you have done with the recovery of your knee replacement. I also "stand and tip my hat" to you for taking on the job of becoming the family historian ...... I can't imagine 10 boxes of photographs, documents, etc. waiting to be gone through. You have worked really hard to get where you are in that project!!! I am glad you found some tensel in new colors that caught your eye - you deserve a treat or two; and there is nothing like new yarn to be classified as a treat!!! All the best and Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Weaverly yours ................

Susan Harvey said...

Most of the pictures are blank on the reverse and so I must go with the people I do know and record that. Years and time frame are sketchy too. Its so sad that many are nameless. I have started writing who I do know on the backs and will do this with all of the collection and my own personal photos as well. The last person who who know everyone was my Dad and he's gone.

Oh, I'll be carrying on with the exercises.... it gets so stiff if I don't .....and we can't have that!

Anonymous said...

What an important job you're doing with the photos! This kind of thing has been on my to-do list for ages and I just can't seem to get any momentum. Those Tercel colors are yummy--when they arrive, you'll wan to sit right down and weave!

Lynnette said...

Great photos Susan ~ they are an amazing family treasure!

Sharon said...

Lucky you that your photos were labeled. I took have our family photos, not that many were taken, but I don't know who they are. Sad state of affairs. Those Web colors have me drooling - I off to Christmas shop!! :)

Susan Harvey said...

Thanks Sharon.... but not all pictures were noted with who was who! Its been like a sleuthing game working out people based on a note here or a mention there. Finding them somewhere else and piecing it together.

There are hundreds and hundreds of picture but I seem to have almost finished sorting them and so scanning can start in the new year.

Sadly some pictures were thrown out as I had no idea of who they were and there's no one around anymore who would know. All the older members of the family are dead and gone. Its so sad... but satisfying all at once.