My Journals and Diaries

header_journalsI have kept many journals during my life. Unfortunately I’ve only kept them for short periods of time, sometimes a day, sometimes several months. I have used all sorts of journals and sometimes just plain notebooks. I think that because the pages are spread out in various journals, I should type all the entries into one file on the computer. I could print it out. Or I could take pages from where they are and put them in acid free sleeves in a binder. Right now I’m sure they are not much use to anyone. Even I find it hard to locate information from a particular time and place.

I do have several journals from family members. I have my grandmother Fannie’s Little Book and a big scrapbook. I have my grandfather Mershell’s work notebook. And I have my Uncle Henry’s Diary  kept in 1936.

Below are more or less random pages from 4 of my journals from 1967, 1972, 1981 and 2001. I’ve transcribed with some correction of grammar or spelling where it makes it easier to understand.

December 4, 1967 - Bronze pour, junior year Wayne State University.
December 4, 1967 – Bronze pour, junior year Wayne State University. I was 21 years old.


The fire’s green, noisy, can’t hear voices hardly. getting ready to cast – pour.  have big cans set up. 2 to do it.  Katze (note: the teacher in charge of pour) has visor on. (room) smells dusty, dusty. hard to breath. dirty. sand all over floor. fire flame big, roars, loud – dust – loud dust.  Can’t be ready yet. glasses just ran downstairs. sculpt must really get involved in it.

Can even hear roar on steps. Like train. Sounds like burning. Smells like hot metal – no wonder. at other end of room someone works with some tool – makes sparks & higher buzzing noise off and on combines with steady roar. Room covered with white dust didn’t answer – the (maybe the um sound was yes) 

They poured and it ran out so had to heat more, spilled it on floor, started fire. Burned 3 folks feet. not badly. Oxygen stored in there. Fireboxes not hooked up! no evacuation of building. Linoleum on floor. Total chaos.(Note: before the spilled hot, liquid metal, everyone thought the floor was cement but it turned out that there was cement looking linoleum.)

man holed up in his house on west side.

1976 - Raising rabbits and tomatoes, Simpson County, MS.
February 3, 1976 – Raising rabbits and tomatoes, Simpson County, MS. I was 29 years old.


Fed goat & rabbits twice. pollinated tomatoes & pruned more for transplanting in greenhouse #1. Those need watering. soaking them overnight to get better start.  Those with roots do better (& small leaves) than large leaves & no roots.  Fill holes with water when transplanting.

Found 2 red tomatoes in #2 when pollinating. found Velma rabbit had ear canker. looked in Rabbit book & called Ruth Shiers about treatment says common & should treat rabbits monthly as precaution. Put Vaseline on it. Need camphophenic to treat it & all others as a …

1981 - Trip to Norway
July 4, 1981 – Trip to Norway. I was 34 years old.

July 3, 1981 friday

Started out a very sunny warm day until after lunch – ended up being cold & RAINY. Went to the theater to see a fairy tale of a princess a would be prince who had to get 3 feathers of a dragon to win her. Very good – even understood a few words. Before it started, a tall man came up & said he should have written a synopsis & did I know the story – then he started telling it to me.  (Note: He was the playwrite.) The people who organized this outing, neglected to call in reservations & we had to wait for cancelations, luckily there were some.  After we went in the cold rain to get varme polster, pomme frit og ice!(?) It was COLD with dress, bare legs & sandals but a good evening & it’s nice to be back & warm. Paul was at Blinern stop.

Class is harder – ie. lessons are, class remains the same. Spent more time in language lab today. Mary Kate reads at 3,000 words a minute. Now to bed.

July 4, 1981 Saturday

Classes in morning. Sunny day went downtown in afternoon with Joan & Kari. Walked all the way over to St. Olaf’s Church.

Campus party was tonight. Jilo (Note: my 11 year old daughter.) went & stayed until midnight, danced a few dances with a nice Howard student. I went for a moment with little Kari & her mother. It looked like everyone was having a good time. Reminded me of those terrible parties & never danced. it also made me miss Jim. 

Went for a long walk with Joan, little Kari, her mother & a lady I can’t remember, who also never liked parties.  Walked all over in a different direction, to the stadium.

2001 - Car trip to San Diego
June 29, 2001 – Train trip  home to Michigan from Seattle. I was 54 years old.

 June 29, Friday

“This land is your land, this land is my land…” 

Woke up in Montana. isolated cabins on the sides of wooded mountains. mountain (rushing streams) line of parked cars in the middle of no where.  a deer on the side of the tracks, pine trees, poplar or is it aspen? “Big sky” low clouds.

James, the Chinese steward, had a laugh this morning with the Irish woman across the aisle.  He’d thought she’d be Chinese (note: because her name was “Lee”.)… “Robert E. Lee wasn’t Chinese”, she pointed out, a bit peevishly. 

I awoke around 7:30 (6:30) Seattle time) yawn. Could have slept longer. Mountains of feathery pines. So close together. The highway right below, a stream leads up, up, up the mountains to a meadow. “I knew the mountains would make you well.” Breakfast of yogurt parfait.

On closer view, what appears to be meadow may be bushes. Least that’s what the one we passed was.  Going through open covered tunnels? bridges? Better than the dark holes.

Rock is gray, slate like layers, dirt was mauve this morning.  Began taking photos. Why didn’t I do that all along??? What a waste. Oh well. Jilo & ife have bot expressed an interest in cross country travel.

Down the corridor a couple are discussing their vacations & train trips.  The rocks do look like the earths bones. I need to use the bathroom…

Are we lower or higher? trees are smaller, fewer. More grass. God’s golf course out there?

Montana high plains. rutted dirt road comes out of fields to the truck. Several piles of dumped household stuff.  Irrigation. Houses, small, alone. A man with orange flags. Clouds I could reach out the window and touch.  Sage brush again every where. Wonder if it’s like my sage.

April 5, 2004 Shared Journal with my daughter ife.
April 5, 2004 Shared Journal with my daughter ife.  I was 57 years old.

My daughter and I were going to fill this journal up, mailing it back and forth from Idlewild, MI to Seattle, WA. We started it when her twins were 6 months old. We never completed the book.

Monday morning April 5 – full moon 11:04 AM

Waiting until time to leave for Ludington for my first mamogram. Another sunny, cold day. Yesterday I saw a robin on my walk and there was a crocus in the garden. Spring is really here.  (my entry from Michigan)

Tuesday 8…….A quick sketch of the Deifenbaccia that is in front of the west window of the living room.  it is doing much bettwer since it was repotted inot a larger pot and now that it gets nice strong light. I spend a lot of time watching it grow.

Both Sean and Sydney are finally napping.. they don’t want to be moved from my lap though… cuts down on being able to use this time… (ife’s entry from Seattle)

13 thoughts on “My Journals and Diaries

  1. I love the design of your banner with the journal covers and your writing is lovely to read. The bronze pour sounds exciting to say the least!

    1. It was exciting. In those days I just continued to sit on whatever I was sitting on with my feet up, reporting. Now I’d probably be panic stricken.

  2. These are such prizes. I rescued my mother’s journals when we cleared out her house. Also my father’s letters to her when they were courting.

    1. I saw a journal my mother kept from the time she was a teen until after she and my father were married. She later destroyed it though. There is nothing like letters and journals.

  3. Snapshots of life. I admire you for keeping these up!
    Both my parents kept (keep) journals but I start writing in one and then lose it. Lots of half-empty notebooks lying around somewhere, with the missing pens and socks and sunglasses. Sometimes I find one, but can’t remember when it was…

  4. I too have many journals that were only kept for a short time, most for just a day or so. Those were notable days, clearly, which is why I keep them. And oh, I can so relate to letting sleeping twins lie, where ever that is.

    1. That’s true. It’s possible to lay down one pretty big baby by yourself, but laying down sleeping twins without waking them up, not so much.

  5. The journal entries so beautifully capture where you were at (both physically and what you were thinking) at various stages of your life.

  6. this is really neat. it goes along well with my 31 days series! I used to have journals that I wrote but I got rid of them. they were too embarrassing!

  7. Kristin:

    Maybe it’s just me… but, my suggestion to anyone who has the wherewithal or presence of mind to write or create a journal of any kind – never ever destroy them – ever!

    They are invaluable. Even if you think the cover art is a bit lame – who cares. Keep them. Acid free paper and into plastic ziploc bags and sealed if you can manage it. They are truly amazing documents and a piece of your heart and mind. Cherish them and even if they embarrass you a bit, keep them close. They are a part of you and therefore fabulous! That’s just my thought about the subject. Take care and happy autumn!

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