Riverton Seniors Celebrate Life Through Scrapbooking
Energy has been bouncing off the walls of the Riverton Seniors Activity Centre as the scrapbookers involved in the “I Love You Memoirs of my Grandchildren” near the end of their projects.
Coming together to create scrapbooks has created the opportunity to socialize with others resulting in a warm sense of camaraderie.
With country music classics playing in the background, the ladies ‘chair dance’ by swaying to the music. Along with the toe tapping and humming, spontaneous sing-a-longs are a common occurrence because they know the words to every song!
Memories of yesteryear have caused both laughter and tears as the ladies trade life stories.
Hearing these stories often triggered memories that had been completely forgotten. Some of these memories created a starting point for creating scrapbook pages.
Sally Heatherington told the group that growing up on the family farm near Tolstoi Manitoba meant a two mile walk to school.
Laughing, she said that “It was ok in good weather but it wasn’t too much fun in the rain or snow.”
In extremely cold weather, her father would drive them to school in a horse-drawn sleigh.
“Mother would put a big rock in the oven and let the wood stove heat it overnight.”
The next morning, her father would put it on the floor of the sleigh.
Sally and her 3 siblings would huddle together under a blanket with their feet kept warm by the hot rock.
“Those were the days.” She reminisced. “Sometimes I really miss that. Life was so simple then.”
Starting with her maternal grandfather’s’ birth in 1849, great-great-grandmother Emily Collins has documented seven generations of her family.
“That’s just the English side!” She joked that she would need another scrapbook or two to include the Icelandic side of her father’s family.
Smiling gently in memory, Bonnie Brynteson shared that “I was supposed to be Douglas Richard Nelson.” Her parents decide on Bonnie after looking through their high school yearbook for girls names.
She has arranged and titled her scrapbook “Seasons of My Life.” beginning with Spring being the time of new beginnings.
This section covers her birth and younger years in Minnesota as well as profiling her parents and grandparents.
Coming to Canada from Minnesota a few year ago to be near to her daughter and family, Bonnie summed up the Winter season of her life as “Looking in a mirror and seeing an old lady. It is a time of recognizing that here are few days ahead of you than behind you.”
Initially the scrapbook project was a bit overwhelming but by breaking it down into manageable tasks like sorting pictures and picking out paper colours, the scrapbooks have come together.
Now that the project is nearing completion, there is a sense of pride and accomplishment in knowing that these grandmothers have created a family legacy for those they love. (Written by AnnaMarie Roberecki)