Breadcrumbs Leading Them Home

Breadcrumbs Leading Them Home by Tiffany Greenfield


As anyone who has tried to climb their family tree will tell you, it is a joy to find breadcrumbs of information from the past.  Especially from generations they are connected to but have no recollection of.  For me, it is the glimpse into their world and some small piece of information or insight that connects us, even though we never knew one another.  This leads to the ongoing question of what breadcrumbs I leave for my kids and those who follow.  In 100 years will they even know how to read a flash drive or what a CD with data is?  Will the information stored on CD’s have faded away?  What about the thousands of pictures that are digital but there are no hard copies?  What about the stories I have created, especially the ones that only live on my computer?  I am sure I am not the only person that struggles with this issue.  Especially for my friends that are photographers who have thousands upon thousands of photographs stored on external drives and flash drives.  I am also guilty of not often backing up my work.  Sound familiar to anyone?  I am one “blue screen of death” away from a total disaster.  In trying to come up with a solution for this, I have been thinking about the tangible items I have from past generations that I can hold in my hands.  This last year I was able to read many of my Great Grandmother’s journals in her own handwriting.  It was her words, her hand, her thoughts.  I don’t think reading it off of a flash drive would have had the same emotional response.  In blogging and writing and creating I think it is just as important to spend a bit of time leaving the trail of breadcrumbs.  This fall I am going to spend some time printing out hard copies of my work, backing up my computer and printing pictures.  Maybe 100 years from now there will be a great great granddaughter who is just as curious about me as I am about mine who passed long ago.  Cyber world…meet physical world….you should really spend more time together!


2 thoughts on “Breadcrumbs Leading Them Home

  1. This has given me inspiration to leave some handwritten breadcrumbs, maybe some scrapbooking, journals, and the like. I have enjoyed climbing my family tree and looking at life from a different view; I want to inspire my descendants with such a view of my 20th-21st century world.

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