The recent holidays were a time for traditions and memories for me. When I pulled out ornaments and photos from attic boxes I found mini-time capsules. They immediately transported me to stories from my previous holidays. I found myself flooded with memories and images of “Christmas pasts”.
When my parents traveled from the Midwest to visit, we shared stories from their past Christmases-when I was a child, or when they were. This lead to further stories about their lives and experiences. It was wonderful.
By the ‘miracle’ of social media, my family reconnected with a childhood neighbor who posted pictures and videos of my siblings and I. Believe it or not, I had never seen a video of myself as a child. (My own children will never be able to say that!) These photographs evoked so many memories, so many stories.
I realized that someday these stories will disappear forever if I don’t capture them somehow. I realized there are so many stories my parents have yet to share with me, and we don’t have forever to do that! The importance of story really hit home. The awareness that stories are all around us became abundantly clear.
One way I decided to collect some of these stories was through the national Story Corp Project. Their mission: “to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.” This was perfect! I downloaded the Story Corp App from iTunes and decided to interview my father on the day after he turned 76. I kept the interview short (though interviews can be recorded up to 45 minutes) and only asked him a few questions. It was such an amazing experience as he told me things I never knew about him and would never have known.
Now I want to uncover even more stories. More from my father, my mother, my husband, my children. Stories from the teachers I work with. Stories from friends and family. Stories that might never be told. Now don’t get me wrong…I don’t want to suddenly become an archivist, I just want to become more aware and appreciative of the stories that are all around me. I want to listen more. I want to learn more. And if by chance some of those stories make it to paper, all the better!
Stories are all around us. What stories could you discover or uncover around you?
What’s On My Book Radar?
Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins is a fantastic new picture book. When Bruce the bear tries to fry up some eggs he collected, he gets a lot more than he bargained for-parenthood! The beautiful illustrations and tenderly humorous story make this a picture book I highly recommend!
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard is a YA novel that at first I wasn’t going to read. I mean how many dystopian kingdoms can hold your interest? But I kept seeing it recommended so I thought, “Why not?” Well…it’s terrific! I love a story with twists and turns and a plot that keeps me guessing. Victoria Aveyard can sure weave an intriguing chavalric tale with a modern twist. Toss in a strong heroine and I’m hooked! If you like YA, check this out!