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May 15, 2012
Turning the pages of time
Coralyn Comnick gives a special gift to her family graduates through a labor of love
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- westbrook — Scrapbooking has become a very popular past time for many women in recent years. But for Coralyn Comnick it has become a passion that she has done for many years.
Since the mid seventies Comnick has kept volumes of scrapbooks starting with her two sons Steve and Randall. Since her sons have both married and have children she has kept the tradition of keeping detailed scrapbooks for each one of the grandchildren and presenting them at their graduation.
Comnick’s love for making scrapbooks started when she was a little girl growing up on a farm near Walnut Grove. Having two older sisters, she did not have anyone to play with, so she would pass time, when the weather was bad, clipping items from various magazines and catalogs.
She would then paste them into scrapbooks with water and flower paste. “Of course they didn’t always hold up so good using that paste,” she chuckled.
“I would clip all kinds of pictures of people, families, furniture or whatever I thought was interesting,” she said. She also liked being outside spending time with her father.
As she became more involved with school she spent less time with her scrapbook hobby.
After she married her late husband Ronald, in the early sixties, she started keeping a notebook of the things they did along with notes, pictures, school programs, and programs and articles of concerts, and sporting events.
The scrapbooks are a complete history of each child from birth to graduation. When they get older she puts in programs of their games with stories, pictures for each sport they are in. She keeps separate books for each sport they are in.
Comnick also puts in articles and pictures of new things to the community and even things like the Metro Dome collapsing, or when the ExpressWay C-store was built, or the dedication of the new veterans memorial.
Comnick said, “I hope it will be something they will remember and look back at it.”
“When we get together at family gatherings we enjoy going through the ones I still have here. It’s fun to look at them — we get a lot of laughs,” she said.
“We did a lot of crafts with the grandkids, some of which I included, along with our Christmas letter,” said Comnick.
Going through the books brings back a lot of memories for her. She remembers when the grandkids were younger they built a tree fort in three trees with planks connecting them — that is documented in their scrapbooks also. “It’s a miracle no one fell or got hurt doing it,” she mused.
She also wrote short stories about some of the funny things that the kids said, did or happened to them, to go along with the photos.
She has five grandchildren, Mitchell, Stephanie, Mason, Jacob, and Dayna.
Jacob, and Dayna’s books are still in progress, but Jacob will graduate this year. She is up to nine scrapbooks for him. Altogether this marathon scrapbooker has done over 50 scrapbooks.
“It really shows how fast time really goes when you look back through the pages,” she said. “People should really value the time they spend with their children and grandchildren.”
Comnick is grateful that her children and grandchildren are close by, seeing them on an almost daily basis.
Comnick rarely ever misses any events her grandchildren are involved in. “When they drop in to visit, and leave, they often say we’ll be back tomorrow,” she said.
She fondly recalls the kids growing up on the farm, it was a great thing for them. Whether it was hunting the grove with BB guns, building forts or playing basketball on the well worn basketball hoop that is still used today.
Comnick never really stopped to think how many of the scrapbooks she had done, but speculates somewhere between 50 or 60. She said, “I never knit, crocheted, or spent a lot of time in town, so it keeps me busy.” It is truly a labor of love.
She noted her kids and grandkids are really good to her, when she needs something done around the house or yard, they will say “grandma what can we do for you today.”
Almost every day the boys come over for coffee before they go off to work.
Comnick is very active in her church, Grace Lutheran, participating in WELCA, choir and doing home communion, that is something she really enjoys.
She has taken scrapbooking to another level. She says she can’t put just one picture on a page like a lot of them do today. But she does use a lot of the new scrapbooking materials to dress up her pages, like pre-printed backgrounds.
She won’t speculate about great grandchildren. “We have to get the grandkids married first,” she chuckled. She is hopeful her kids will keep up the tradition, but she realizes mothers today are much busier outside the home. So she doesn’t think they will be able to do it the way she does.
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