What project is that? The same as every year at this time: the annual LeRoy Family Calendar. Our calendar displays some of what we like to think of as our better photographs, pictures we think would be of interest to our family, usually pictures of things we've seen during the past year.
We've been doing the calendar since 2003, just after Suzy's Mom, known by family and close friends as "MaMary," needed to be placed in a nursing home at age 95. We wanted to be certain that MaMary was recognized as an individual person with her own personality, her own history, and a real family.
As a result, that calendar, and the one for the following year, were chockful of pictures of her, pictures of her family, and descriptions of who she was and how she was. We posted those calendars on the wall of her room, and they became an instant hit with the nurses and other staff, who would drag in other people, even other guests' families to see them. Each month there was a new page to look at, new family members to read about, so the staff would come in and exclaim over the pictures and start discussing the various family members with MaMary.
Some years we try to select and follow a theme, and other years we just select assorted shots. For the year 2006, we used photos from our Alaska tour the previous year. For 2005, we followed ourselves around the country showing pictures from our 2004 "grand tour" of 13 states.
|From 2010 new camera June 24|
We included the big events in our calendar for 2010: the birth in 2009 of our first great grandson, Darren Plain, and our 50th wedding anniversary to be celebrated in August.
As the project stands right now, we're part way through, with some pictures selected for 2011, and a couple of months' calendars completed with holidays and birthdays in place. Some of the pictures are pinned up on a corkboard above my computer desk, and we are scrambling through the many files on our external hard drive to select shots for the other months.
Then we'll design front and back cover pages, print a dozen copies of each of 13 sheets, front and back, on card stock, through our Epson printer. (Over the nine years of this project, we have burned up three injet printers and untold numbers of ink cartridges.) When everything is printed, we collate all the pages, top each group with a clear plastic presentation cover, and bind them with plastic combs. The final stage of production we farm out to a local printer: drilling the little holes used for hanging the calendar. Then the calendars are ready to be gfit wrapped and mailed out to family in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada and Washington State.
And that's one more way we celebrate ... Our Life on Wheels!