Scrapbook cover
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The Story of the Scrapbook Cover

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A letter to my grandson, Joshua

Dear Josh,

I started working on your scrapbook right after I gave Emily hers for her bat mitzvah, six years ago. After your sister Emily and I looked at it together and discussed all the different memories, Danielle, said, “Oh Grandma! Will you make one for me?” Well, since you and Danielle are twins, I thought you would like a scrapbook also for your b’nai mitzvah. And that’s how it began. So happy I was correct.

After six years of opening and closing this book and taking it in and out of the bag where I kept it, the plastic cover began to tear. I taped it many, many times but finally had to admit I couldn’t give it to you that way. And so began my quest for a new cover.

The Hunt

First, I went to Michael’s where I originally bought the book and asked if they had replacement covers. Amazingly, they did not. How is that possible? The covers are not particularly sturdy, and people look at them for years to come. This would be a money maker! I was perplexed. I explained my dilemma to the woman helping me. She showed me some possibilities starting with rolls of plastic.

“No, these are not nearly sturdy enough,” I said, shaking my head.

“How about using heavy wrapping paper?”

I shook my head no. Not only would this last even a shorter time than the plastic rolls, but it defeated the purpose of my choice of cover for your book. I had looked at many albums and chose one I thought would suit you, black with vertical white lines that reminded me of the gym where you practice gymnastics.

Next, I went to Staples thinking an office supply store might have a heavier plastic that one might actually use to protect books. No such luck. I decided to ask the girl at the checkout desk if I could buy the type of plastic they use to laminate. She looked quite confused and turned to another older woman to ask her. We had to wait for the more experienced person to finish her personal phone call. When I posed my question, she looked at me with disdain and just shook her head “no.” So much for customer service!

A Stroke of Luck

Feeling defeated, I decided to make a last-ditch effort at the hardware store. Maybe they would have plastic such as the kind used to cover windows to keep out winter draft.

But luck was on the horizon! As I turned to leave, I saw a young man behind a far counter shaking out a large plastic bag, obviously getting ready to put stuff (trash?) in it. I scooted right over and asked (well, sort of demanded), “Where did you get that?”

“What?” he asked, looking at me with surprise.

“That bag.”

He looked at me as if I had spoken a foreign language, held up the bag and asked, “This bag?”

“Yes, that bag. Where did you get it?”

“From our warehouse.” 

“Could I buy one?

“Um, not here. We order them in bulk.”

I felt my face fall and shoulders slump. “Oh,” I said.

I guess he had a flash of astuteness or maybe he saw my disappointment because he said, “Well, if you really want it, you can have this one” and started to hand it to me over the counter.

“Oh, thank you so much! What do I owe you?”

“Nothing, you can have it.” Well, that was the right price!

It was a very large, clear, heavy plastic bag that did have some writing on it. I brought it home, cut it to size and covered your book just like I did as a girl when I covered my textbooks for school. Because I could do nothing about the green advertisement written on the plastic, I cut the bag so the writing was in the least obvious place.

And voila! You have a new cover.

Please leave your comments below. 

Read more by Linda Miller.

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  1. Another touching story of your adventure. Love the vignettes of life that you share through your writings!💕

  2. As always, your stories bring a new perspective to familiar situations. I smile when I read your work, even if it’s a sad story. Thank you .