May 062014
Road Trip Memories

Do your road trip memories include going over the hills etc. to grandma’s house?

Hours in a car doesn’t sound like the stuff of great stories. Admittedly, the mind-numbing monotony of the passing miles might not make for interesting reading. Nevertheless, many good stories—if not pleasant memories—grow out of road trips. No doubt when good friends or family members get together, someone is going to bring up a story related to long trips.

Road Trip Memories with Children

Trips with kids are certainly memorable! “Are we there yet?” “Daddy, I have to pee.” “Mom, she’s touching me!” Sound familiar? Continue reading »

Jan 302014
Getting caught with hand in cookie jar

Get caught with your hand in the cookie jar? Write about it!

Getting caught and getting in trouble are childhood memories we all share. Whether our crimes were big or small, numerous or far and few between, we’ve been busted. Don’t just share the times you  come off smelling like a rose. Write about those times you got in trouble (or even got away with something).

It’s interesting to look back on our “crimes” and the penalties with both a child’s and an adult’s eye. Continue reading »

Dec 202013

Christmas Eve traditions wrapping gifts I’ve tried to continue many of my childhood family’s Christmas Eve traditions with my own family. Some work, others have needed some adjustments. One Christmas Eve tradition in particular has required some adjustments. Continue reading »

Dec 172013
Story behind the name

What’s your story?

What’s the story behind your name? Sharing the story of your name often entails sharing stories of family heritage and relationships.

Who you were named after?

Often you’ll hear that a person was named after someone who meant a lot to their parents. It isn’t always a relative. Who was that person? What role did they play in your parents’ lives? What role did they play in your life?

Continue reading »

Dec 122013
Christmas Traditions writing prompts

What are your Christmas traditions?

When we talk about family traditions, Christmas traditions are often at the top of the list. As the holiday approaches, take a few minutes to preserve your family’s Christmas traditions.

As you write, reminisce about your Christmas traditions growing up. How do they compare to the ones you now have? Things to include: Continue reading »

Dec 102013
Write about your home and include the yard

The critters that pass through my yard are part of what makes my house a home.

Write about your home as you share your memories. Your stories of events that happened in your house will make more sense against the backdrop of your descriptions of the place you live. In addition, your readers will be able to understand you better when they understand what home is like.

When a house becomes a home

There is a point that a house becomes a home. Not a building or structure, but the place we belong. It’s the place that our identity resides. Continue reading »

Dec 032013
Voices from the past on the phone

Wouldn’t it be great if my sister could still hear our grandparents’ voices?

Voices from the past can tug at our heartstrings like nothing else, especially if the voice belongs to a loved one. When we hear voices from the past, our recall is vivid and emotional. The voices take us back.

However, recording our voices can do more than spark recall. Hearing a voice from a relative you never knew can also forge a strong—even spiritual—connection.

In an article for Inside Magazine, Gail Snyder wrote about the priceless gift she received: a short 78 RPM recording of her uncle.

“… Uncle Yosh had inadvertently given me — a niece who did not even exist when he was killed by a Japanese sniper on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines in the waning months of World War II — a priceless gift: the chance to hear the timbre of his voice, glimpse the youthful exuberance it held and experience firsthand his impish sense of humor.” Continue reading »

Nov 252013

A Thanksgiving Checklist that Matters As the holiday approaches, many of us are making Thanksgiving checklists. We’re ticking off what to buy, what to thaw when, what to cook, what to pack, or things to clean.

This year, while you’re making all of your lists, don’t forget to add memory saving or memory sharing items to your Thanksgiving checklist. Continue reading »

Nov 112013
Write about gratitude at Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time to write about gratitude.

November is a great time to write about gratitude. Although our neighbors to the north (Canadians) celebrate Thanksgiving in October, USA-Americans associate November with gratitude and thankfulness. It’s a great time to stop and think about what we have. Show and share your gratitude by recording your blessings for loved ones and future generations— write about gratitude. Write about the things for which you’re thankful and what they mean to you. Continue reading »

Nov 072013
Oral History Traditions start with Gramps

Grandpa’s got stories. Have you heard them all?

I’m excited to present a guest post by Tami Koenig, aka Your Story Coach. Today she gives us tips on starting an oral history tradition during your next family gathering. 

Start an Oral History Tradition during Holidays

Traditions have to start somewhere. Maybe it’s time to start your own family tradition of “listening.” Why not set aside an hour or two every Thanksgiving, Christmas or Memorial Day—whenever your whole family gathers together—to record the stories of your senior family members?

I remember my own grandparents sitting in my parents’ living room as we all relaxed after a huge celebratory dinner. It was a warm scene with family in high spirits—with my grandparents at the center of it all—and the stories would naturally start to flow. Continue reading »