Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Old Address Book

This is a picture of the address book I received from my Grandmother (my Mom's mother) back in 1991. It was a gift for my twelfth birthday. What addresses did I have back then? Well, I wrote in ink the addresses of my aunts and uncles and grandparents. I had a few addresses from overseas missionary kids that I corresponded with- my Mom encouraged that since she said the kids were so far from home and besides, who didn't like getting a letter? I also wrote to a daughter of my Mom's close friend in Vancouver. We saw each other once a year and the meeting was awkward at best- if you know what that felt like for two introverted girls.

I learned quickly over the years not to write addresses in ink. The book has a few entries coated in over zealous White-Out: I ceased writing the missionary kids, my great uncle died, vacation pen-pals grew distant over the miles.

By the time 1997 rolled around, e-mail began to thrive. I had an account but not many others did at first so I wrote the few e-mail addresses I had in my '91 address book. Eventually, e-mail addresses were just saved online and I no longer had to consult the address book.

Sometime during my teen years I also began to record in my address book my weight and blood-pressure from doctor's visits or just check-ins on the home scale. Highs? Summers during Texas (too many cinnamon rolls). Lows? Semesters at UVic (University of Victoria) when I swam faithfully and loved the hours at the gym... obviously, prechildren years). Ah- a testimony to life and health.

By now, my address book had been on road trips around Canada and the United States. It had moved with me to California and Texas during my summers away from home. Finally, it moved with me permanently to California after I married and changed my last name. The first phone number of our apartment in San Diego is scrawled in pen on the first page as I spoke with Dan from a pay phone in Washington state when he so excitedly told me he had it listed. He was in California at the time, waiting to drive up to our wedding in a few day's time.

Once we married, I entered numerous address of Dan's family and friends- people I didn't know but people that were important to Dan and would be to me in the coming years. I began to enter wedding anniversary dates next to friends' names and eventually, babies' birth dates and the siblings thereafter.

Over the last few years, Dan started encouraging me to use online files or programs to store names and addresses of friends and family. I declined, saying that I readily like access to the information and not having to rely on technology for such things. I could find a phone-number in a split second instead of searching through computer files.

Sometime during the last year, the spine of the address book (glue) has become unhinged and it is almost separate from its' cover. No worries. It's survived twenty years, why not a few more? Then, the unthinkable happened. I heard a rip from the back room. Camille had found the address book and proceeded to tear a few pages and now the spine was completely detached.

My dilemma is whether to replace the book or not. My grandmother died in 2007 and it has sentimental ties, let alone all the years of living life with it. I've looked for a new address book but I haven't purchased anything yet. I taped over the tears in the book and put it out of reach of Camille. For now, I'll keep using it. So, if you get a call from me and you aren't in the immediate area (I have a local phone list on my fridge) then chances are high that I'm calling from an old address book that is much loved and prized.


C. Beth said...

I have an address book...not quite as old, but maybe 1995-1998ish? I was just using it the other day, wondering how many people really still use paper address books!

E said...

I have a book like that I refuse to part with!! I say put a rubberband around it and keep using it ;)

UnicornMommy said...

great post...

I say keep it and mend it. Camille has just added to the history of this treasure. When she is older, she will love hearing this story herself.

Use apoxy (sp?) for the binder mend. I bet that would work...and the tape will be like scars. Free memories.

Aly sun said...

I have an old address book too. I keep it around, although I use a newer one now. I would tape it up and keep using it if there is still room to write things. Some of my sections were completely filled up with friends who move a lot (ehem). And it took me until like last year to realize pen isn't such a good idea for writing addresses.

PS I destroyed my parent's wedding album (apparently) when I was a toddler. It would be worse!