Welcome to Write! Saturday here at WCS. I hope you're enjoying whatever National Scrapbooking Day festivities you're participating in. I'm going to share some journaling ideas (we don't call it "write" Saturday for nothing!), but first, hasn't Marnie's week been awesome? As a devoted fan of journaling, it made me giddy. I especially loved her little push to write down our goals and ambitions, so I did just that. I haven't made a layout with the list yet, but I put it on my blog because doesn't sharing a dream make it seem a little more achievable?
On to today's journaling topic: Places.
A few days ago I was waiting at a stoplight by a freshly-remodeled building and I had one of those intense rushes of memory: It used to be a video store that also sold pizza and it was, in fact, where we rented all of our VHS movies, back when we were married people without kids. We got pizza and salad there on the night before our first child was born. For awhile the building was empty (who rents movies anymore?) and now it's changed into an auto mechanic's shop.
I wish I had a picture of the restaurant!
This made me think about what restaurants I frequent now, and about how much life has changed in the past two decades. And about how it hasn't. And about all of the places that make my life and my kids' lives richer and happier. Just before the stoplight flipped to green I decided that I don't have enough layouts about places and I need to resolve that soon!
Here are ten places to journal about:
1. A Favorite Restaurant. To stay true to my original inspiration! Next time we go to our favorite Thai restaurant, I'm going to snap some photos and write about it...how we discovered it, what we like to order, that time the waitress spilled water on me. The stories of us interacting with a place we go for food. What are some stories you could tell about your favorite restaurant?
2. A Place from Your Childhood. It's OK if you don't have a picture of this place from back then. Take a picture of it now, if you can. Or just find something that relates somehow. My childhood-places-to-scrapbook list currently includes the ballet studio where I learned plies and battements and how to count to ten in French (I still remember!), the gym where I learned back handsprings, and the little store that was within biking distance of our house, where I learned how to buy my own candy. Here, I wrote about a place I still go to as an adult, but which was my peaceful place when I was a child, my own backyard:
3. Favorite Park. There are a lot of parks in the town where I live, but our favorite has always been the "orange park." (It isn't even orange anymore!) Of course I have some layouts about going to the park, but I haven't ever written about the park itself: why we like it, how we named it, why it's our favorite. In this layout, Laura O'Donnell writes about her kids' favorite park:
4. A School. Your kids go there for 180 days a year—what could you write about it? Or what about the schools you attended?
5. A Small, Specific Place on a Trip. To me, journaling and scrapbooking about vacations can be entirely overwhelming. There are so many different stories to tell! One way I manage this is to think smaller: not "our trip to the beach" but "that one moment at the tide pool." Think about a small, specific place from a trip, then write that story. For example, I blogged once about an intense affection I have for the chairs set outside the Village Haus Restaurant at Disneyland, just by the Pinnochio ride. Laura's "small place" was the pillowy bed in their hotel room:
And here is this layout, with journaling about the little wall where my sister and I ate lunch one day in Italy:
6. Your Public Library. Obviously I'm a little partial to the library where I work, which has also been my library for more than twenty years. My kids love it, too, and there are countless little stories I could tell about it. I've never taken a picture of it, though, or of any of my favorite little nooks and crannies there. I think I need to! (For the record: don't feel silly taking pictures at the library. I see people doing this all the time, especially by their favorite artwork.)
7. A Place in Nature. Maybe it's an entire mountain. Or your favorite half mile on the trail by the river. The river itself, or your little spot on the beach. A rock in the desert, even. The places in nature that we love give us a sense of tranquility, or of our place in the world, or even of identity, knowledge, insight. What natural places do you go to often? Or wish you could?
Aliza shared this layout, with journaling about her wish to experience more places in nature:
And in this layout, I journaled about one of my favorite natural places, Zion National Park:
8. Someone Else's House. Our own homes are important places, of course—but what about other people's houses? I think that sometimes my kids are at their aunt's house more than mine! I made this layout for my son Kaleb, who was so happy to have his grandma live around the corner from us for a (much-too-short) few months:
9. Your Places of Escape. For me, it's my front porch. It's long enough for anxious pacing or for langorous stretching, and since it's covered it's always cool, even in July or August. My kids also each went through a deep affection for playing on the porch with their friends. What places in your yard or house serve as refuge?
Jenny Larson shared this layout about her son's quiet places:
10. A Place that is Gone. My childhood library was recently torn down—I made sure to get some photos of it, though, before it was gone. The apartment where my husband and I lived during our newlywed year, the old church where one of my high school friends was married, the little field in the woods I used to drive to when I was upset as a teenager: these places are also gone, and I don't have a photo of them, but I still plan on journaling about them.
Amy Kingsford's layout about an old (and gone) drug store finishes us off today:
Maybe as you're scrapbooking away today, try making your own layout about an important place in your life. Please share if you do!