'Tim!' My second eldest aunt cries out in the eating area at church, 'I need you!' She giggles, 'I mean I need your help!'
She walks over and shares details of her latest project with me. 'There is not very much history on Highbridge Village in New Ipswich where Ma and Pa's farm used to be. I'm writing a history and I need your help with writing.'
Every time that I see Mildred now, she's smiling and energized with the daunting task of documenting the history of Highbridge Village in New Ipswich, NH.
Her work is a personal history of four Finnish families that moved from Worcester, MA and bought farms in Highbridge Village. Two farms, the Grandfors and Kangas's farm are not technically in Highbridge, but she's including their farms in the story.
A couple of weeks ago, she handed me her latest draft and I finally edited them today. We worked out the type of editing she wanted and she needs a contextual edit that digs deeply into the content, not simply a copy edit for grammar and style.
I marked up the six pages with small corrections and conceptual questions for her to consider. She impressively met each comment with previously thought-out responses. She's fully engaged and I, as editors often are, am along for the ride.
Some of her writing leads to larger topics such as the history of the school system in New Ipswich, but we would laugh a little and giggle as we stayed focused on the task. She would charm me with sayings like, 'This book isn't going to be finished until 2037!'
My grandmother who we called Aiti and I would travel back down memory lane when we talked. Working with my aunt brings back fond memories of my grandmother and it's an honor to help her write.