Preserving The Past

When you look at the items a woman has chosen to decorate her house with, you can immediately tell if she appreciates the past. You'll notice antiques, framed black-and-white portraits and souvenirs from great trips. Or you'll find mass-marketed knick-knacks that anyone can go buy. The difference is how much she allows the past to influence her life.

So how can you pull out the treasure trove of memorabilia from your past and put it in its proper place in your home?

* Pull out your pictures. Remember that I'm a scrapbooker! Photos weren't meant to be stuffed in a box and thrown in the back of the closet. Fish them out, sort them and then frame them or scrapbook them. Turn them into conversation pieces, not box-fillers!

* Create a memory wall. In our spare room Danny has gathered his Army pictures, helicopter models and his family's military history all in one place. Choose some pieces and pictures that you love and group them on one wall or in one corner. You can find inexpensive, single shelves to put just what you want exactly where you want it.

* Actually use your treasures. Put that family quilt out on the bed. Place a mother's hope chest in a prominent spot of honor. Use your handed-down china for more than special occasions. Restore an old piece of furniture to it's original condition. Don't be resigned to hiding special family memories in a closet.

* Choose a classic style. When updating your home's interior, consider restoring it to the styles appropriate for the age of the house. Instead of a modern remodel, think about patterns and colors that you loved growing up, or ones that were popular when the house was built.

* Do some family history. If you don't already have a genealogist in the family, do some background work on your ancestors. This is information that is so interesting and so important to our sense of family. In a time when the devil is working so hard to destroy families, it's a comfort to know where we've come from.

* Record your stories. There may come a time when you can't tell the story of your life, or you won't be able to just talk to your parents and ask them questions about their lives. Take the time and effort to record the important, the simple, the everyday and the special events that make you, you.


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