Monday, December 1, 2008

Precious Memories

This is a long post and just a story - with a scrapbook page at the end - so you may need to get a cuppa Joe and settle in!

There are so many things that my kids don't know about me. Nothing secretive -- just stuff I did when I was a kid that we don't ever talk about. My daughter was astounded to learn the other day that her dad and I used to ride motorcycles in college. And that we drove through a 3 foot deep running river in Canyonlands National Park (Utah) in our car - not knowing what was under the water -- and I can't swim! There was supposed to be a bridge.......
(That wasn't so smart, but we were adventurous in those early married pre-kids days!)
Her response: "Wow! I didn't know my parents were FUN and COOL!" Can you tell she is a teenager?
Lots of stories to tell. Sometimes I think we wait until it's too late to share things with those we care about.
There are a lot of things I would like to know about my parents' early days too. And "who is that in that picture?" Stuff like that.
I have put my scrapbooking aside for literally years. I was caught up when my daughter was a 5th grader. She is a sophomore this year.
So with the beginning of the Advent Season yesterday, I resolved to share a bit more, journal a bit more, and work more on my scrapbooking.

So a bit to share: This newly released set (Worship the Lord) by Our Daily Bread designs is a special one to me. I am a PK - aka Pastor's kid. When I was ten years old, my dad had two churches, one 30 miles away from the town where we lived and one 15 miles past that. We would drive each Sunday out to the first one, and then on to the second for a little bit later service. The second church looked exactly like the one in this set. There were a few more trees, as it was a heavily forested area, but it was this church. They were a very small congregation; most Sundays there were maybe 15 people there. But they were so welcoming and sweet -- and to my ten year old eyes: OLD. They were probably younger than I am now!
They didn't have a piano or organ player, so I was recruited. My mom was a piano teacher and had started me on lessons when I was four, so I was into my sixth year of playing by the time I got to this church. Every Sunday I would play the hymns at this church, and the people were so thankful to not have to sing a capella anymore! They loved my dad. He also had a great tenor voice and would sometimes sing special numbers.

My dad has retired. But I haven't. I have played piano almost every Sunday since then, even sometimes when I am visiting a church! And I still love it. I think there are very few hymns and songs that I don't know. I am not sure how many that would even be, but I know all the hymn numbers in three hymnals by heart. (I don't mean the music; I do not play by ear at all. I mean the #s - like "Joy to the World" is #125.....) Weird.

One of the hymns I used to play out there was an oldie, for sure: "The Church in the Wildwood." I can remember the marching sound of the chorus as it started "Come, come, come, come, come to the church in the wildwood...."

Once on the way to church, it was winter and snowing, and our car - a blue Pontiac Grand Prix (in those days a HUGE car) - broke down. My dad and I needed to get there! So, we hitchhiked. Back then it was "more acceptable," although a little girl and a big man in a black coat hitchhiking caught the attention of a policeman, who stopped and asked for ID. He wanted to know if everything was okay. I was having the adventure of my life - are you kidding!? Hitchhiking with the minister! We made it to the service - I have no idea how we got back home. Not a life-changing story, but one I remember, and it's a fun one to tell my kids.

So, in honor of that snowy day and the little church in Ash Fork, Arizona, I made this simple 6 x 6 scrapbook page. Nothing fancy, but lots of precious memories. The other side will be the journaling of a story about a ten year old piano player and her dad - their grandpa. I tore the music out of an old hymnal (I have a few of those around). The page looked just like that - I didn't have to dye it or change it at all, except to tear the edge and sponge around it to match the little church scene. Notice in the words of the hymn, "little brown church" -- and so it was.


  1. Such great memories Judy! I too wish I had asked more qustions and heard more stories when my parents were still here. I love that hymn you mentioned, The Church in the Wildwood. I love that set and that church! Awesome!

  2. Judy, I really enjoyed reading that so much. And you are so right to write it down and capture your childhood and early days. DH always wanted to take a notebook and get some stories from my mother - but he left it too late. She was always coming out with things we'd never heard of, never mind the things we only knew very sketchily. So go for it.
    Didn't get time to leave a comment on your advent post. I must look up that Stuart Townend hymn, I don't know it. Love Joy to the World, but I think my all-time favourite Advent hymn is Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel, and it was on the BBC Morning Service on the radio yesterday.

  3. Judy, this is amazing!! So cool that you could use the page from the hymnal as-is! I loved reading your post, and you've given me some needed motivation to get some memories recorded. I haven't scrapped since card-making took over - that was a year ago! My 18-month-old is getting robbed! (Also, I had to LOL about your daughter realizing you were once "cool"!)

  4. Oh Judy...such a beautiful page. I loved reading your story. Such a beautiful memory - thank you for sharing it with us all!!
    hugs, Jami

  5. This is beautiful! LOVE the glitter accents and your wonderful story!!!

  6. Judy--what an awesome story!!! You have touched my heart! Of my 4 children, I have scrapbooked the baby thru 4 yrs of high school! I promised myself I would and I would do a page every so often--I finished in time for grad party!! Then we took all his t-shirts and made a quilt! Wish I had done this for my others! Glad u are doing it now!! TFS

  7. Judy, Such Beautiful memories. Thanks for sharing with us.Love your page! I need to get going on my girls page too.

  8. oh Judy, this is a wonderful story. I was a PK also but not until I was in high school, my Dad was ordained the year I graduated and was a part time pastor for rural churches like your stamp until he retired and served full time ministry. Your church was brown, his were white for several years until he moved to a bigger church. Your church looks like the one here in MD. where my husband and I were married.
    Glad you are journaling more, it is so important. If I don't write the memories down, there will be no one else to ask so I am doing that when I can. Keep up the good work!

  9. Oh Judy I love that you shared. And you a motorcycle, whohoo... DH will be happy to hear about that. He loves you already. hee hee I love the page with the sheet music in the back. You are FUN and COOL!

  10. Beautiful Card!!!
    I love how you worked in the music!!
    Your story about playing the piano reminds me of one of the churches in a SIX pt charge that dh served one summer. Like in your story--they had no piano player. So I practiced for two weeks the hymns that dh wanted to use--and Communion music. The Sunday rolls around--I am nervous, but ready. Turns out one of the member's nephew was home for a week from MUSIC SCHOOL. There was no way I was getting within 10 feet of that piano. (He played beautifully--very easy to tell--because that congregation didn't sing loud). We plan God laughs.

  11. Wow..that is so awesome!! So you are cool after all!! lol!

    Really, how precious to have those memories! Not everybody, like myself, can say they have many great memeries like that!!

    You are so fortunate!

  12. Ahhh...Ash Fork, AZ...what wonderful memories, Judy! Absolutely priceless!! This is such a beautiful church image! I love it!!

  13. What a wonderful memory! I, too, grew up playing piano in churches, however, I've not kept up the skill. What a wonderful page and memory to pass on to your children.

  14. What a great story. I just love that you scrapbooked the hymn. Beautiful!!

  15. Thanks for sharing the memories!!! That's so awesome to be able to use that music on here! Beautiful creation girl! :) Love the layout!

  16. I so much enjoyed reading your story today. TFS. I love your scrapbook page and the image. I live in a rural area, and there are many churches around here that look just like this image.

  17. Thank you for sharing your story! It was so nice to read. Your creations are perfect for the story. Love them.

  18. Wow...not a simple page at all! Gorgeous and so full of wonderful/fun memories!

    Thank you for telling us the story behind it! I love that image!

  19. Hi Judy!
    Thank you for sharing some childhood memories with us! I especially enjoyed hearing about your days as a PK and playing the piano in church, as well as hitchhiking with your dad...and that Little Church in the a precious song to me, too...because my father would sing that to us as children on the way to church. He wasn't a very good singer, but the memory will always be a precious one. So, I so love your scrapbook says so much!


  20. Oh Judy, I absolutely loved your story!! Those were the good ole days, hunh!!


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