The Sticky Things Worth Keeping

He’s cute, don’t you think? He belongs to my sister. Our mother gave him to her a long time ago, when my niece was small. A few years ago my sister ventured into home-brewed sucker making to create a little fun for her grandkids. She said she probably won’t make a habit of sucker production, but they had the fun of doing it together and creating a memory. I bet her grandkids–and her daughter–will remember it though.

There is a fine opportunity coming up where families will have their feet underneath a dining table all at the same time to partake of the whole turkey meal thing making memories–without even realizing that they are. From my way of thinking, this sounds like the perfect opportunity for family to spill the beans on family stories, tales—or explanations.

“Let me tell you why I won’t go near a can of Spam . . .”

“Is it true, Grandma, that all you had to eat during WWII was mutton?”

“How come you only raise pink roses?”

“We named you after your great-great grandfather because . . .”

You get my drift?

If we don’t take the opportunity to pass some of these little stories and tales along during the infrequent times we come together as family, how will they ever be made known?

Maybe you don’t think it’s such a big deal, but just wait until some random family question comes to mind one day and you know exactly who would be able to supply the answer–only they’re long gone from this earthly presence. It can be quite a reality check.

The writing and note taking doesn’t have to be award-winning stuff. Just write it however it comes to you. Use a tape recorder or video camera if you don’t want to have to write.

Family history can’t become history, unless it gets shared with someone, or recorded somewhere.

Create a little fun and keepsake for someone else down the line. Your stories do not belong only to you.

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6 thoughts on “The Sticky Things Worth Keeping

  1. Yes, so true! I was in 7th grade in 1967 and got my first reel to reel tape recorder. I don’t know why I wanted one except to have some fun.
    But now I have recordings of my brother and friends being kids and of my grandparents and aunt who are now long gone. I just close my eyes and when I hear the recordings they bring me right back to the time they were made. I can “see” in my mind’s eye the playback of the past. So cool! (I was a smart kid to have asked for a tape recorder.)

    • You certainly were clever to do so. We have a few videos that have been transferred to CDs now, and they allow us to see our kids once more when they were so much younger–hear their voices and revisit several holidays–and people now gone.

      My brother-in-law taped my mother’s house in entirety the year he bought his new video camera, and every once in a while I put that in and just “retour” the house where I grew up. It provides a magical trip back for a short while, and it is not sad at all.

  2. Recently, along with seven other typists, we compiled a book of letters written by my parents. My mother was neither a waster nor a saver. If anything was missing, a family joke was, “Look in the Good Will bag.” Often we rescued something, but some things got away. There were more positives than negatives to her habit. She was passing usable items along, and we had a the easiest task any family ever had of disposing of things after my parents were gone.
    What she did save has great meaning–and some thirty plus years of round robin and other letters are part of that treasure. The contents are now found in a book entitled, “Dear Folks” compiled by Betty Hembd Taylor. The round robin letters began in 1939 and continued until 1968. Out of curiosity you might check it out on Amazon. It is and 8 X 10 book with 250 pages. What a treasure. What wonderful memories they presevered for us. Recently I sent the originals off to be archived at the Center for Western Studies in Sioux Falls. It was hard to part with them after all these years, but I am so pleased that they will continue to be preserved after I am gone.
    This has been a busy year. My own memories are also compiled in a much shorter book entitled “The Earth Abides”. Whether you publish your work or not–I urge you to get things down for generations to come. They will love it, and you will find healing both comfort and healing in the process.

  3. I spent twenty years collecting notes, pictures and such before having the time to organize the “oral family history” into a book of 66 Legacy stories known now as “Lady’s Slightly Exaggerated and Fractured Family Tales”. I love when the grandkids read excerpts or tell others about the family and stories. They’ll never be forgotten now. LOL

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