Sep 052013

Hopes and Dreams revealed We’ve long let go of the hopes and dreams we had as youngsters. Sometimes the idea of revisiting them seems like a frolic with immaturity. So why should we include such inanities in a legacy of memories?

First, there’s nothing wrong with frolicking. Furthermore, the dreams we had and entertained are part of our stories. The manner in which we sustained them (or not) also reveal our inner workings. Continue reading »

Aug 302013

Sharing photos and memories via smartphone Sharing photos and memories shouldn’t be saved for those times that we can sit down and draft a beautiful story or embellish a stunning scrapbook page. It’s easy to make sharing your memories a nearly effortless part of life.

Creating a legacy sounds hard. It isn’t. Continue reading »

Aug 112013

Open hearts just a cliche? Open hearts:

A #FiveminuteFridayMeditation on “Lonely”

Open hearts.  Is that the key to fighting loneliness? The expression itself, “Open hearts”  seems to put the burden on the lonely. They need only open their hearts and the loneliness will cease.

The lone figure on the beach—missing something, not finding anything:  is he or she guilty of having closed their heart to joy, faith, and friendship? Continue reading »

Jul 292013

write a letter to a nemesis To encapsulate your past and/or process your feelings, try this: Write a letter to past or future self, past nemesis, or anyone with (or about) whom you have unresolved feelings. Such rhetorical letters are a great way to share and process your past. The “recipient” doesn’t have to be able to receive your letter for it to make sense for you to write—and share. Continue reading »

Jul 242013
Joe Crymes tells oral history

It’s always good to spend time with my Uncle Joe. I especially enjoy the opportunity to hear old family stories.

Oral histories are sometimes the only histories we have of our family. Last night I was chatting with my Uncle Joe and for the first time learned  the details of my grandfather’s—his father—near death experience.

My grandfather was always frail. My sister and I had always believed he was a victim of polio, but we could find no records of this. When my aunt and uncle stopped in for a visit, I was able to get the full story. It wasn’t polio at all; it was appendicitis. Continue reading »

Jul 222013

Personal tragedy makes pensivePersonal tragedy is different from the rest of our ups and downs. It’s the moment that life is divided into before and after. Events of personal tragedy—and I hope you don’t have them—are huge mile-markers on life’s journey. Sometimes they’re difficult to write about; other times they like the only thing about which you’re capable of writing. Continue reading »

Jul 182013
Shelf for kids awards

Ribbons range from reading awards to cross-country awards; I draped the graduation honor cords to showcase them more.

Kids’ awards are natural gems for a Treasure Chest. We all want to preserve, highlight, and display all our kids’ awards, but a hectic life and our natural propensity to procrastinate get in the way. Here’s some quick and easy ways to make sure your kids’ awards don’t get lost in the shuffle

Display kids’ awards

If your child is into sports, they probably have all sorts of awards that lend themselves to display. Especially small children receive “participation” ribbons, medals, and trophies. These are great to display in their bedrooms. Hanging shelves with peg are great for these if the top of the dresser is already full. The trophies (or other treasured objects) can go on the horizontal surface, and ribbons can hang from the pegs. Continue reading »

Jun 102013
My Mom THings I want to Remember

My mother posed for her mother. The photograph is torn, but the memory is still intact.

In her “Treasure Chest,” my grandmother wrote an essay entitled “Things I Want to Remember.” In it, she briefly dwelt on her memories of each of her children. What makes this such a gem, however, isn’t simply a mother’s descriptions of her growing children, but rather the way in which she allows her readers access to those scenes in her memory as if she were leaving a snapshot in time. Continue reading »

May 282013
Family heirloom antique clock

Clocks are often family heirlooms

If you watch the Antiques Roadshow on PBS, you see individuals who are keenly aware of the emotional value of objects, trying to ascertain the financial value.

Family heirlooms, however, aren’t just objects with significant monetary value. In fact, the objects we cherish often have less fiscal value than emotional significance. Continue reading »

May 232013
Our ancestors tell family stories

What we know (or don’t know) about our ancestors is part of our family story.

Writing your family history sounds like a daunting task. However, if you start with small, episodic memories and narratives, it doesn’t have to be hard.

Your Family Story is Your Story

Don’t worry about documenting a comprehensive history of all your ancestors and relatives. Instead, tell your own story with your family and its history as a backdrop. Start your family story in small installments—your memories (what else?).

 Here are five super-easy prompts, each of which makes a great place to start writing about your family story.

Continue reading »