The Story, as Told by the Address Book

When a dear friend gave me a Hallmark address book, many years ago, little did I know at that time of the stories it would hold in each chapter, titled by a letter of the alphabet.

When we moved from our home state, family and friends were inscribed on the pages so we could keep in touch. In the beginning came the  names, addresses, phone numbers, wedding and birth dates. Then children’s names and birth dates were added as the stories unfolded.

At our new home, new friends were made and new stories were entwined within. The plot thickened. 

Many of those characters stayed the same over the years, but there were a few that changed, and changed, and changed again. Sometimes only their address was affected; other times, a character may have moved to a completely different chapter.

A couple years ago, I noticed the book was showing its age, its appearance shabby and timeworn. When I pulled it out to make a Christmas card list, I noticed some of the characters were missing. That trend continued, and it was getting harder to find those who remained.

This year, I started a sequel. A new cast of characters is being developed to enliven its pages. I hope this one has a happy ending. 

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24 responses to “The Story, as Told by the Address Book

  1. I love my address book too. Some of the characters have moved homes so many times the pages are thin from erasing. Others have changed names more than once (at least last names). Occassionaly I have to erase a name completely which makes me very sad. Address books do have many stories, thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Beautiful new book Patti. I love how you made a story of it. Truly all our address books do tell a story. For years I’ve written in pencil in mine so I could make the changes, but there is something to be said for crossed out changes that you can still read. It’s all a bit of history in our lives that so quickly “wither like the grass.” Blessings, Coleen in Ukraine

  3. I’ve often thought of just how “much” is included in the pages of an address book — more than just “information”. It saddens me to look at mine and see all my late aunts’ and uncles’ names and addresses and those of a few friends. I’ve never covered their information with White-out nor erased them.

  4. what a nice analogy…

  5. I love your book. It helps to have children’s names, birthdays, anniversaries etc. marked to help remember.
    I use 3×5 cards to record everything. I haven’t thrown away the old entries. Some entries have up to three cards stapled to the one with all the info and/or changes. In the very back I keep cards for Thanksgiving so I can ask family members who come to bring x dish again or something different.

  6. You have creating the best euphonious phrase for death I have ever heard:
    “…have moved on to a completely different chapter.” Ha, now that’s funny.

    • I didn’t even realize that meaning, Carl. I was thinking in terms of name changes and moving to a chapter under another letter. You make me sound so smart! ;)

  7. Good post, Patti. I’ve felt the same way about my address books and calendars too. I have replaced my address books several times over the years. My kids move around too much and I get annoyed at pages containing crossed-out information. It always makes me sad, though to realize people who once held an important place in my life are no longer in my address book.

  8. I like your idea of thinking of an address book like a story book. I’ve gone through several address books and am often erasing and penciling in changes.

    I hope your new address book is a beautiful story!

    • Thanks, Janna. I know what you mean. I’d get everyone written in the book in the correct order, and someone would get married, or I’d add a new friend, and then it was no longer “in order.” Everyone needs their own page! lol

  9. You know, I’d never thought about that, but my address book also has a lot of stories to tell…great post, Patti!

  10. I keep an address book, too. When someone moves, I cross out their address and write in the new information. Now it’s like a little journal of every place that my friends and family have lived. It’s interesting to see who has stayed in the same place…forever…and who moves around from place to place.

  11. I really love this post-my address book so old and tattered, I keep a rubberband around it. It’s time for me to start a sequel, too!

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