Recently some memories and stories came my way without my searching. My mother-in-law’s birthday is in August and I had another event scheduled for the day so my husband decided to host a small party for her 88th birthday. When I came home a 6-inch thick photo album was setting on the table. His mother had brought an album of the family growing up to share for the day. Since she knew I have been gathering family history she left it for me. What a treasure……this album is filled with my husband’s family pictures from the late 40’s through the 60’s. So what am I doing?…..Scanning, Scanning, Scanning….and asking questions. Who is this? How are they related?
This summer our neighbor, Bill, passed away. He was a special friend and was our neighborhood historian and artist. His parents and grandparents had lived in his house before him. He was able to tell who had lived in which house and when. He always shared about the white picket fence that was along our house through the alley. He is sadly missed. We have been helping his niece with some sorting and preparation for the estate auction. In that process we have been given some special keepsakes…pictures and drawings of our house with the white picket fence. This 1953 sketch is especially meaningful. Not only because it shows the fence but also Bill’s dad using the hand garden tiller. Bill used that tiller in his garden up until a couple years ago when my husband helped him turn the garden soil over. That tiller has leaned up against his garage since that time reminding us of the special times shared with Bill.
We recently celebrated Cheese Days here in Monroe. It has been a tradition for my husband and his mom to have Limburger Cheese Sandwiches together on Cheese Days (a tradition I do not share). This year we purchased the sandwiches and went to her house for lunch. While eating Limburger sandwiches and my pork sandwich his Mom started sharing that she once worked in a cheese factory packaging Limburger cheese. We both realized that this was a story that had never been told before. It needs to be recorded as part of her story. It also made me realize how many stories have I not shared with my children and grandchildren. What don’t they know about me?
Genealogy is more than names, dates and who are my ancestors? But “What are their stories?” and “What are MY stories?” I am far from filling in all my family tree, but I have enough stories that need to be put together so all my family and future family can share in them. My goal is to spend a little less time hunting and giving more time to writing and organizing the stories.
: ) Ginny