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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Dear Dairy

By Marcy Belson

Marcy Belson

I believe I was seven years old the Christmas that I received the diary as a gift. It had a faux leather cover and a tiny gold key and lock.

I immediately put the gold key on a string and wore it around my neck.

I wish I knew what happened to that journal. I remember laughing and reading it when I was a teenager.

Each entry began with "Dear Dairy.” As you probably know, those books had very limited space for each day of the year - perhaps four lines and I was using part of the first line with my salutation of "Dear Dairy.”

As I grew older, my love of the English language helped my spelling abilities but at age seven, dairy and diary were just too close and I wasn't choosy.

I also had several pen pals, other little girls - I guess boys weren't too much into spending their time writing letters about pets and school work.

At any rate, I have to surmise that I was using the "Dear Dairy" because I knew every letter had to include the salutation. And I believed I was writing a short letter to the journal.

That was my first writing assignment. I wrote on those tiny lines just like I was writing my English pen pal. "How are you? I'm fine. My dog's name is Honey and the cat is Puff."

Finally this became so boring, even at an early age, I quit writing and the book landed in a dresser drawer. I think my mother kept it with the autograph book I also started about that time. That book did survive, filled with my family members' autographs and sweet sayings. "Roses are red, Violets are blue, honey is sweet and so are you."

I will end by saying "Dear Dairy, it's been a great ride for 77 years. I'm fine and delighted to be writing, smiling and laughing with my friends!"

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


My five year diary covers junior high and early high school. The entries are spotty and necessarily short, but occasionally I'll find something to post on my HS graduating class's FB page - a prom, a class trip to the World's Fair, Kennedy's run for President, local parades. Each post seems to jog memories from other classmates.

Your story brought back such wonderful memories! I had a diary just like yours until I was about 12. Wish I knew what became of it.

I have often wished I had kept a diary my whole life--there is so much I'd like to remember, and nobody left to remember with me since my only sibling died. At least I have volumes and volumes of journal entries from the last 40 years.

I too had a diary, an autograph book, scrapbooks filled with dance cards, etc. but nothing from then until my divorce at age 55. Then I started writing in journals, and like Lyn have volumes of them. Now at 84 I am enjoying just reading them and remembering all the good and bad times I had.

Planning for grandparenthood: Go with the diary idea -- write impressions down, of yourself in your role, of your grandkid(s); listen, listen, listen; see them regularly if possible; have the same things in your house each time they come because consistency is valuable; be wary about giving advice to their parents. My grandmother was a very special role model for me, so when I became a grandparent I wanted to be important to my grandkids. Loving it and now expecting fourth!

Marcy, I loved seeing the picture of you. Cute story with a cute picture! I wish more storytellers would use pictures! I didn't catch the Dairy, Diary thing until the 13th line! Reminded me when my younger brother one day some 60 years ago asked why the pedestrian crossing signs along the highway running through our small town read "Presbyterian crossing". At the time our family attended the Presbyterian Church and the words across our hymnal read "Presbyterian Hymnal". He wasn't familiar with the word pedestrian and didn't catch the difference. We teased him about it for a long time!

Thank you, everyone, for your comments. I laughed aloud about
the Presbyterian Crossing!

I also had a diary at a very young age and wore the key around my neck. I don't know what happened to that diary. I wish I had it to read now. Later in life in began writing in a journal and used it as a tool. I wrote on good days and bad days. My penmanship changed with my mood. I did not realize this until years later as I went back and read those entries. I could also see how I changed and grew as the years passed by. My hope is that one day when I am gone my children will read what I wrote and it will give them a clearer picture of me.

Diaries and penpals who lived far away - what great girlish fun! I'd forgotten about them and now will have to look for them.
I did find my mother's, which had only a few entries, but they were delicious to read: for several weeks after they married and moved, she gushed about how happy she and my dad were and described their lives and dwelling. Well, the marriage lasted, but the feelings didn't. Then she wrote of the day I began menstruating and how she'd lost her 'baby.' This and some other entries gave me understanding of her evolving depression and why she was often remote during my life. I think she left this purposely for me to read.
Thanks for this, Marcy - and for the comments by others - loved your idea, Amy, for my upcoming grandchild.

What a beautiful post, Marcy! I also had some attempts with writing diaries. All at different times of growing up. Some of them survived and bring up wonderful and often hilarious memories with them. :)

Loved it! Now 13 published books later the so-called diary turned poetry, I'm still at it.
For the children, as you say.

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