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One project occupied most of my time last week, one that has been on my mind for years, even from before Lauren was born. At six months pregnant, I read a baby magazine idea that suggested starting a daily journal for your unborn child. I had thought to do this once she was born, so figured, why not?

So, in August, 1993, I started and continued -- more or less, off and on -- through January 2000 by which time Lauren was in 1st grade and I was about to start work at Barnes&Noble, neither of which is an excuse for stopping. I just did. Still, I captured a lot of our time together as a mostly stay-at-home-mom with my only child...our daily activities...our two epic journeys, Seattle one year, the Grand Canyon another...my mom dying. There are parties and museums, arguments and learning, and two life-changing moves, one from Fremont CA to San Jose location #1, and another from there to here, San Jose location #2.

Sunday February 19, 2012_Lauren's Journal beginning_It has always been in my mind to complete her journal, even having gone so far as to buy the faux-leather binder eight to ten years ago, I even had it on my current mission101 list as #50 under LAUREN, and now I have, but only because we moved David's office. In doing so, he had to clean up his stuff and in doing so, he found floppy discs that contained the journal pages.

During the making of this  project, we had desk-top computers, several over the years,  that were David's. I used them around him, since he used them for making money while I mostly used them to played. He backed them up and when they died, he bought the next new one. I did lose several months of entries on a couple of occasions due to two of them crashing, so I learned, sort of, to hard copy. Still, as each new computer came and went, especially after 1999, I lost my journal in its computer form, so worse-case-scenario, I was going to have to re-input everything, not ever really knowing if I had it all.

One month ago, David handed me a little disc box he'd found while organizing his new office, saying that he thought they were mine, a backed up version of my journal ON FLOPPY??!!?? that i hadn't even known existed. Holding them, realizing what they could contain I was both elated and dismayed. Even if I could open them, there was no guarantee I could still open the actual files. Still, David persevered, sending out an email at work the next day asking if anyone had an external drive that would open floppy discs and within an hour, a woman a couple of floors away said that she still had one IBM had given to employees ages ago, never used. David brought it home that night and yes, it did open the discs, but no program on my laptop would open the files.

And so began my day of detective work trying to figure out how to get two different kind of files to open -- Word 1997 -2003 and PageMaker...ohmyf-ing god...PageMaker!!! Still, when all was said and done, I was able to get both to open in the same way by changing their extensions to NotePad which opens them weird but they open and that's all that really matters. Trust me, I tried every other extension change available to me, NotePad was the only one that worked. The problem with NotePad is that it also gives you all the freaking code...ALL of it. I would open a PageMaker file with NotePad, copy and paste that into a Word file and I would have 500 pages with 490 pages of code I had to weed through to get to the 10 pages of text.

It was worth it though because as I went along checking file after file against my hard copy, I did find entries that I had never hard copied, that otherwise would have been lost, so...YAY!!!


Wednesday February 22, 2012_Lauren's Journal complete_I formatted each year just the same, had all the 141 pages printed on a soft gray linen paper at OfficeMax, put them into the 8 to 10 year binder in time for Lauren to read when she came home this past weekend. She confided that she'd started to read it, but had gotten too misty-eyed right from the get-go to continue.

She asked if we could read it together over the summer so we'll do that :))

the flickr of our lives


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What a touching project! I know you'll enjoy reading it together. ♥

It kind of amazes me how the pieces fell together all at once and I am so relieved its done so now, during the summer Lauren and I will have a sweet time reading it, I'm sure too.

I love this story and am so glad you got all the journal entries back!

I'm glad you do and only 18 years in the making!!! And so am I, otherwise I would have lost the entire month of June 1996 plus other bits and pieces here and there. I look forward to this summer when Lauren and I can read it together :D

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thank you!! and I hope so, I certain know I cherish it and am fairly confident Lauren will too, if she can just get past her misty-eyes long enough to read it :D

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