Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ancestor Wall

Growing up, we had this wall of old photos right inside the front door of our home.  There were photos of our parents as little children, photos of grandparents, great grandparents and even a couple great-great grandparents.  There was a portrait of my great-grandfather who looked remarkably like my dad.  Everyone said the sister of my great-grandmother looked a lot like me.  We could see a bit of each of us in so many of those faces on the wall.

As a little girl, I remember loving that wall. I liked the old-fashioned clothing and remember my mom marveling at the work the mothers must have done to have all those children dressed in crisp white shirts and dresses with no washing machines or modern irons involved. My parents often told us stories about our ancestors and about themselves in their youth which made the pictures all the more interesting.  And I liked thinking of all those ancestors watching over us as we went in and out the front door every day.

I always planned to have an ancestor wall in my home when I had my own family.  But even though my mom was kind enough to give each of us a whole sheaf of copies of old photos for Christmas a few years ago, my ancestor wall didn't happen.  Until last month.  

The entryway of this beautiful old house was just begging for photos of our ancestors so I did it.  I looked through the photos from my mom, picked out my favorite ones, took a quick trip to the store, found some fairly inexpensive frames that would work, came home, stuck photos in the frames, hung them up on the wall in the entryway and voila!  I've got my ancestor wall.  And it only took a couple hours once I just decided to do it and stopped waiting for the time when I'd get around to making enlargements or better reproductions of certain photos or finding the very perfect frames or getting copies of all the Loosli family pictures so I could put up both sides of the family at once.  It's amazing how easy projects can be when I give up on doing them perfectly and decide to just get them done!

I've loved telling my kids the stories of these ancestors and I like thinking of them watching us in our comings and goings.  I'm excited to get photos of Jared's side of the family so I can really finish this project - I've got a wall saved for the Looslis.  It'll happen.

I also put up this collage of cool letters that Eliza and I found when we visited Boston last fall and that I framed as a Christmas present for Jared.  Liza and I had so much fun making it and I love how it combines architectural elements from some of the places Jared and I loved in Boston - the place where we met and where we began our family - with our family name.  There's a clearer photo of the letters if you scroll on down.


Jonah and Aja said...

i saw that ancestor wall in real life. it is pretty and stylish in the usual Saren sort of way.

Patty Ann said...

totally love that idea! It is a great way to help your children remember their roots.

brittanimae said...

Well that is stylish. I think I need to hit up your mom for some of those old Eyre/Swenson photos too. I suddenly find myself desperate for my own ancestor wall!

emily ballard said...

I noticed your ancestor wall on Tuesday. If I hadn't have had so many other things to talk to you about, I would have commented on it then!

I've been collecting white frames make an ancestor wall of my own since we moved into this house three and a half years ago. Think I'll ever actually do it?

Kasey Skala said...

My apologies for leaving this in a comment, but it appears Power of Mom isn't letting your emails go through. I was curious what the best way to get in contact with you would be, in regards to a few items I'd like to have your opinion on?

Kasey Skala
Great Clips, Inc.

SADACAD said...

My parents have an ancestor wall, too...I never thought of having them make us copies. What a fun wall to have. I am pretty sure I am going to have to copy :).

Vennesa said...

I love the idea of an ancestor wall! I might have to do this.
ps. The Power of Mom's Retreat was great.

Rebecca said...

What a great wall, love it. Even better that you have all the great stories to go along with the photographs. I have had plans to do one too, but I haven't lived under the same roof for long enough to actually get one up. I just need to do it and not worry about it being exactly how I want it. I know just where I can put it.

It was nice to talk to you at Rachel's baptism lunch awhile back. Have you taken your kids to Buse Pond Park yet? It's such a fun park and just down the street from me. We should get together there with Emily and her crew once she feels better.

Hevel said...

We, do have an ancestor wall as well. Alas, a lot of the famiyl photos didn't survive the Shoah--and neither did the people on some of the photos we do have. We also have a wall of those who don't have anyone to remember them: people we aren't related to beyond our common ancestry through Israel, people, whose names and birth dates we know, and we know when they were taken from their homes, or cca. when they died.


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