Friday, August 28, 2009

Family Stories

A few days ago, I was on a message board I frequent and in one of the sections someone had asked "What stories about your family did you just learn are really true?" I didn't respond, but it got me thinking about all those family stories that are out there and how we just don't sit down and tell them like people used to. Radio, TV, movies and the Internet have taken the evening time that probably used to be used telling stories of when grandmas and grandpas are little girls. One of my favorite book series, the "Little House" series, is essentially just Laura Wilder taking the stories her father told her as a little girl and the stories of when she was a little girl and writing them down.

When Maggie was born, my mom bought a Grandma Remembrance book (kind of like this one) and completed it for Maggie. A few years later, after spending the weekend with my own grandmother, I purchased a couple of these and gave one to my own grandmother and my mother-in-law (I have one for my Dad too, but keep forgetting to send it to him). My Mother-in-Law completed hers a while ago and put pictures in it. I really like having both of these books so these stories aren't lost. I know a few of my grandmother's stories: like going to the movies for 2 cents in Hitchcock, SD; how her brother Bud ran away to the Army during WWII and her mother never forgave her father for letting him go; going to college. My other grandmother told us about going to school in town and having to stay in town during the winter; how she didn't like her roommates; on her 75th birthday, we went to see the old school house and we drove by the farmstead she grew up on.

And all of this got me to thinking: what stories will I tell Maggie about my own childhood and how do I help myself remember all the stories we will have of her childhood. And then it hit me: the Blog, the personal websites are the new stories by the hearth. I started the website, and now the blog, to share pictures of Maggie, our dogs, to keep in touch with our families. And now I realize how much more this can mean. It is a way to keep our stories alive and we will be able to share them down the generations. After all, we aren't so many generations removed from that hearth.

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