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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Blast from the Past...

You know what they say about "If you remember the 70s you must not have been there?"  Well, I THOUGHT I remembered pretty well, but recently I came across my old farm journal, from our "back to the land" days...and reread it all over the course of a week or so.

I'd mis-remembered some things, glossed over others I'm pretty sure I remember all too well, and had forgotten how hard I worked at painting and trying to find a good gallery; I had forgotten how many shows I'd entered, and how many ups and downs there were, including having the one painting that sold in a one-woman show, stolen.  (I DO remember I'm still wary of the gallery scene!)

There are people whose faces I can't put with their names, and those whom I will never forget, including my dear friend Alice Monnig, and Paul Unger, one of the finest men I ever met--an old farmer with more natural culture and goodness than many far more educated.

I recorded friends and family, and our disastrous proliferation of cats and dogs--good times and bad.

It was a difficult, exhausting, beautiful, satisfying, frustrating, magical, frightening, wonderful time...I recorded garden triumphs and disasters, the mountains of work, our disastrous finances, the dozens and dozens of paintings, our chickens, geese, goats and rabbits, the droughts and blizzards and floods, tender springs and bountiful harvests.  I wrote out garden plans and expenses.  The birth of two of my godchildren is in the book, and the death of my father.  

The journal goes from 1971 through 1975--I don't know why I didn't keep it up, because we didn't leave till 1977--I wish I had that record, too.

I did very little art in the farm journal...this was still when I kept a separate sketchbook, a ledger, and a lines yellow pad with notes for articles...here you can see sketches on the back pages of designs for doors and shutters for our old log cabin farm house.  There are a few other small marginal sketches, but that's all...

And as you can see, I've been journaling a very long time.  I'm glad I kept this old journal and those that followed--our move to town, gardens here, my time as a church secretary and seeker...though I still am the latter.  I'm glad I re-read it, too.


  1. I have kept a written journal for many many many years and its really interesting to go back and see what you have forgotten or relive something fun or sad. I have also kept lined notebooks of to do lists and drawings of something I saw on tv or where ever. They arent great art or jouurnaling, just doodles, but I cant get rid of them. Thanks for showing us yours. I sometimes wonder why I am doing this, and I do it nightly never going to bed with out writing in my journal, but now I remember why.

  2. Cris, what a wonderful tradition! And what a treasure...

  3. What a great treasure you have!! :)

  4. I was glad I took time to read it; we were very naive, but it was good to remember.

  5. I've been reading thru some journals I kept from 1993-2005. Funny how you find names you can't even put a face with and many things I mentioned briefly I can remember in far greater detail. I misremembered a few things and forgot some. I was originally going to skim over them and then destroy them (because I knew there would be embarrassing parts), but I changed my mind as I have been reading. In fact, I started up a new set of journals. ;) They are priceless, aren't they? Make you laugh and cry and wonder how you survived it all. LOL! :)

  6. I did destroy a few from the 80s, and now I'm sorry! Glad you came to your senses.<:-) And yes, it's amazing to have survived...we imagined being self-supporting back-to-the-land farmers, only we never came from the land in the first place. Didn't know beans! Our grandparents had, but...too far back. LORD that's a lot of work!!


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