Sunday, July 24, 2011

Writing a New Book and a Vacation from Quilting

If you live in the US you've lived through this heat wave!

It's too hot to work outside in the garden so I decided to stay inside and finish up a book that I've been working on for the last year or so.  This isn't a quilting book, it's another in my series on my family history.

Last summer I found the letters that my grandfather wrote his sweetheart while he was in the army in 1916-1918. After reading through most of the 65 letters, I decided to transcribe them and put them in book form for my family.  At the end of each letter he continually asked her to come and visit him at the base; which she eventually did on August 3, 1918.  They married on August 15 several weeks later.
Book cover with some of the letters

When I was typing up the letters, I was totally absorbed into their story. Imagine my grandparents as young and in love!  It was hard to stop working on them.  The bonus is that grandpa sent her postcards, comics, newspaper articles, bulletins etc., and most of these things were still in the envelopes!  Grandma kept these letters and many others in a cedar chest.  When she died in the 70's her son kept them; then last summer they found their way to the cottage in Winona Lake.  I just couldn't leave them alone. That's when this book got it's start.

I titled the book, "Dear Grace"  I put as many letters into the text that would fit in 60 pages.  I inserted as many pictures of the things that grandpa sent her. I'm very proud of the book, and hope my cousins enjoy it as much as I did. This is a precious treasure which I will share with all of Grace and Harry's grandchildren.
Here is Grace and Harry in 1916, early in their relationship

I took the completed file to Office Depot where Angie and David worked a whole day laminating the covers, printed the body of the book, and binding them with a small black spiral.  The book looks great and with care should last a generation or two. Only 15 relatives will own one.

This morning I took all the books to the post office and mailed them off.  You know, I am really sad that this project has come to an end.  For me it was a chance to step back in time and get to know my grandparents as young adults.  I learned a lot.  I'm not sure what I will tackle next.  Nothing will be quite as personal and magical as this project.

Even quilters need a hobby!



Rachel said...

What a treasure, Ann. It reminded me of when I put together a PowerPoint presentation for my parents' 50th annivesary celebration. Photos and excerpts from mom's diary all set to music. I learned to appreciate my parents as "real people" not just my parents.

annieQ said...

Wow, set to music. That's something I haven't done.

SewCalGal said...

Very special. I'm so happy to hear you turned this into a book. What a treasure to share with current and future generations. Heartwarming.


Janice said...

How blessed your family members will be to receive this wonderful book. Perhaps one day you will share one or two of these letters on your blog.

annieQ said...

I just got a phone call from an 80 plus year old cousin. He loved the book and reminisced for quite some time about all the things he remembered while reading "Dear Grace." This makes me feel really good, he was equally fascinated by the letters included.