Thursday, July 28, 2016

Just Curious...How Do Your Preserve Your Memories?

Good morning! Are you surviving the heat? I would like not to be a whiny complainer but I'm hot and tired of being hot tired and sticky. Ok, enough of that and on to better things. Later this month I will be attending my family reunion on my mother's side and it has had me thinking and reminiscing with my siblings about out relatives. 

For those of you that don't know my mother has 9 brothers and sisters and my grandmother had 13 brothers and sisters. It goes without saying that I have a lot of relatives. There are doctors, nurses, musicians, artists, veterans, soldiers, designers, a Notre Dame nun, a vet that specializes in pigs, a geologist, writers, advocates for the elderly, politicians, inventors, investors, philanthropists,water-park designers, bureaucrats, small business-owners, adventurers and more. These are just the ones still here, the ones that are gone led very colorful lives, there was a boxer and a race car driver to just name a few. 

Our stories and our histories are vast and I think interesting.  I have been pondering how best to preserve our family history. In the old days people made photo albums but I am actually looking for something a little different. Perhaps something like Story Corps where we record and preserve our stories? I was thinking it might be for each of us to record our favorite memories and stories and then share them with the rest. Maybe for those who don't want to record perhaps they write them down and we bind them in a book.

My dad wrote a book for my sister one year and its funny because some of the stories felt like we are reading about a stranger. There were so many things that I did not remember or even know. I love his stories about playing baseball on the sandlots of Chicago and his adventures in the Coast Guard.  

My father in law wrote a 10 page piece this past year about what it was like growing up during the depression and the dust bowl and what he learned from his grandfather who was a baker who came over from Germany and then became a farmer. He told how their life revolved around the farms and there was no running water or electricity. How hard it was to get into college and pay his own way and then when he graduated to make $3000.00 a year! 

As I write this there are a thousand stories swimming in my mind, traveling with my parents, baking with my grandmother, and the small everyday moments that make me, ME. 

So I ask you, how have you preserved your memories and those of your family? What are your stories, how did you get here, was your family in the war, did they climb Mt. Everest, what is yours or your family's favorite tradition? Are you interested in learning more about your family or yourself and how would you go about doing it?

I welcome any and all suggestions!

Have a great day!


  1. These are wonderful stories. A family Web site, so all can access and add to it? That would accommodate a variety of media--words, photos, videos.
    My mother loved genealogy. Not just a straight line, either. She sought out all the siblings and their families at each generation, gathering photos and stories. She wanted to know the details of their lives. She had several dozen binders of notes for each branch of the family. We're at loose ends with what to do with it now.
    When my dad died a few months ago, followed shortly by my mother, we got together to look through the family photos for a slide show that we ran during the visitation. Oh the stories we told. As close as I am to my siblings, it brought us even closer.

  2. Our families didn't/don't have family reunions... that I know of anyway. My dad's family were all in England and Canada and mom's were right there with us in Louisiana. But since I never knew my grandparents, I now have this thirst to know more about them and the rest of the their family. Genealogy helps. And of course the Internet helps. But yes, even though I know a few stories, I would love to know the untold ones. So I agree it would be wonderful to have some sort of story generator... whether it's an album, web site, or whatever - so future generations would be familiar with the past. With your family reunion coming up, you have the perfect opportunity to discuss and work on this.

  3. Mostly stories have been passed down orally for us. One side of the family does have reunions, though it's been awhile since I've been to one.

  4. Elizabeth you have a fascinating family, my goodness it's so big and filled with such an interesting array of people and occupations. And wow. I loved hearing about your father and father-in-law actually taking the time to write their stories-- that great! And so wise too, because most people don't slow down long enough to record their lives on paper; it's a gift for their family for sure. And probably so many others. I was also intrigued by Francetaste's comment about a shared family website as a central place to connect and record stories something I've never considered. I'm going to click on the link for StoryCorp I'm unfamiliar with it. Thanks for sharing. I just did a post on owning our stories because I'm a real believer in getting our stories--written even if it's only for us. If only to gain a deeper feeling of self compassion. Personally I would love a chance to sit with you and share stories over a glass of wine. How fun would that be? Maybe some day :)

  5. GOod morning Elizabeth! I seemed to have missed your post from yesterday!

    I preserve my memories in my writing. I have many photos, but I don't display them. Maybe I should....I do however, prefer to write about the people in my life that strangely enough, are emerging through ME. I think for me, these people, i.e., my parents and even a few aunts, are resurfacing in my ideas, what I truly believe in and how I react to my truths, my humor even (thank goodness that what my mother always said about me being like my aunt IS true!) and so on. But to share this with others in my opinion, is a task of taking pen to paper.

    Enjoy however you choose to keep the love alive.

  6. What a wonderful, marvelous wish/desire! To preserve your Family's personal History.

    I haven't. -sigh- Except for things we have told our children/grand children. And that is not a good way. Obviously.

    Interesting... My father was in the Coast Guard in WWII. He was a State Trooper, and they were exempt from the draft. He was also too old, for the draft, anyway. And his name was German. No way, was he going to "sit out the war." So he finally got into the Coast Guard. Obviously, no other arm of the Services wanted him. :-)

    Yes, this is a story, which should be written down....

    And yes, it is still hot and sticky here. And I won't keep on about it, following your wise way.

    But the heat has brought our local sweet corn and melons! And these gifts are golden, and worth some heat. :-))))

    In fact, my post today, concerns melons! :-)


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