If you've been following as I have the story about a mysterious 100-year-old package dated to be opened now by the staff of the Gudbrandsdal museum in Norway, here's what they found:
Although a complete list hasn't yet been made available, evidently the package-within-a-package was filled with letters, documents, notebooks and fabric banners, all of which delighted the historians.
Any time one of these time capsule-type stories pops up in the news I have mixed feelings. I love seeing the discovery of artifacts from the past, but it also makes me wonder if all the electronic gadgets we use plus the slow evaporation of meaningful personal writing (like real letters that you write with a pen and mail in an envelope with a stamp to someone else) will deprive future generations of any legacy we might want to cache away for them. Even if we could somehow save the e-mails and texts and other e-communications for a hundred years, given the usual dubious quality of the content, would anyone really want to read them?
I'm pretty realistic about what might survive me for a hundred years. Probably not my books, unless Project Gutenberg or something like it is still around and takes an interest in preserving my stories once they pass into the public domain. One really positive aspect of not being a literary author is that it's almost guaranteed no kid in 2150 will be forced to read and write a book report about one of my stories. Is there any worse fate for an author than the prospect of becoming Boring English Lit Assignment #999?
Oddly enough I think what I do that has the best chance of making it a century or more are my quilts. I've quite a few that I put together using traditional techniques and fabrics that (if properly stored and cared for) might go the distance. I like the idea of my quilts still being around for future generations to enjoy, even if it's just some far-off branch of the family. Besides, how can you hate something colorful and soft and warm and cuddly?
Now it's your turn: what would you like to leave behind to be discovered in a hundred years? Can be anything at all; your choice -- just remember, it should be able to last at least a century. Let us know in comments.