Don’t you just love a great story?
Seems like our lives are filled with many stories, kind of like all the different categories for movies. We’ve got the comedies, where we double over in belly laughs. Then, there’s the horror type, like those days the sewer backs up when twenty people are about to ring the doorbell! Of course, we all seem to have the drama type of movies, which are just a part of life, I guess.
Then, we have the verbal stories. I come from a long line of story tellers. My grandma Wilma can tell some good ones. I have many memories of her telling us stories and our laughter filling the entire house. Her sons, my dad and his brothers, can cause uncontrollable laughter with some of their tales as well.
There’s nothing like seeing the expressions and hearing the details of something that someone is so excited to tell you about. When people start telling stories, I grab for a pen. Call it the writer in me, I guess, but I try to write all the stories down that I can. Time is so fleeting and it seems like once one conversation ends, another begins. That makes it easy for words to get lost.
My grandparents did something so amazing for Christmas in 1993. They put some of their memories into writing and folders, and gave them to my parents, aunts, and uncles for presents. Talk about a timeless gift. In my opinion, you can’t buy a better gift. They did it for eleven consecutive years.
We are still at my folks house for our Thanksgiving holiday, and yesterday I got all of those stories out and have been reading them. I started with one grandma wrote in 1994 called “4-H”.
She tells about going to the Iowa State fair and having her first birthday there in 1920. While at the fair, her parents saw their first introduction to 4-H. After they returned home, her mother, and two others started the first 4-H in Mills County Iowa. She goes on for several pages, telling about growing up in 4-H, their projects, and adventures.
In some of the other folders they tell about their births, family roots, elementary school days in rural school houses, times with family and friends, barns, fishing, high school days, college days, and even their first home.
What a legacy. As I sit and read through them, I am in awe. If they had bought my parents small appliances for Christmas those eleven years instead of writing stories, I wouldn’t know that snow was sifting in around the window and on the bed where grandpa was born a December day in 1920. Or that when he was a kid, he had a collie dog named Jack. Each summer he took the sheep sheers and trimmed him leaving a mane and a tuft of hair on his tail. He said they had quite a few fooled thinking Jack was a lion!
Grandma lives pretty far from us now and I don’t get to hear her stories very often anymore and we lost grandpa a while back. When I think about them, I can still picture their faces when they told their stories, but it’s hard to translate that to Little Bit. Enter their written words. I am just so thankful they thought ahead and because they did, their memories live on.