Saturday, December 30, 2017

Cards and Letters

Did you send out Christmas cards this year? Did you receive Christmas cards this year? Did you write a Christmas letter or receive a Christmas letter? These cards and letters may remind you of things you want to record in your story. What significant things happened during the past year? Did you travel anywhere? Did you attend a special event? Did a family member or friend get married or graduate or accomplish something else significant? Was there a change in where you live or work? At the end of the year we often reflect on the things that happened throughout the year. This can be a good time to write more of your story. Use your Christmas cards and letters as prompts about what to write. If you have kept cards and letters from the past, use those to fill in more details when you write your story. If you are writing the life story of someone who has passed away, you will be helped a lot if you have cards or letters written by them or to them. A lot of information can be found in letters. I am fortunate to have letters that my late husband sent to me while we were dating and living far apart. Those letters can trigger some memories of that time frame. A friend of mine gave me an idea in keeping letters. She put the letters in sheet protectors in a binder in chronological order. That is a great way to keep the letters so you can look through them without a lot of wear and tear on them. It also allows you to add additional letters if you find them later on and it will allow you to put them in chronological order. You can also scan letters in your computer and save them in a file titled with the name of the person the letter is from. If you have to downsize when moving, this may be the best way to keep those letters. If you have any letters or cards, use them when you write your story or the story of a family member. Save any letters or notes in cards physically or on your computer and add more details to your story.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Use Photos to Help Write Your Story

Look through your photos. Do any of them trigger a memory? Write what you remember about the photo or what you have been told about the photo. Who is in the photo? Where was the photo taken? Why was it taken? Was it a special occasion? Was it on a trip? When was it taken? Any information you have about the photo and the circumstances around it can help as you write your story. Sometimes we see a photo and we know the story behind it, but we are not sure if it is our own memory or if it is what others have told us. Still the photo does give us a window into our past that we might not have if it were not for the photo. We might want to be careful with the photos we take now. We might want to keep the original without editing it too much. After all removing all the freckles may remove part of our story of liking to play out in the sun a lot. You can edit photos, but keeping the original may be important in keeping your story. With the ability to take selfies now the photographer can be in the photo. Most of the photos of my family are missing the photographer. Timers on cameras made it possible to have one person set the timer and hurry back to be in the photo. Now with smartphone cameras and selfie sticks you don't even have to have a timer. Digital photography is much cheaper too. Instead of having to buy a camera, film, flashbulbs and then pay for the film to be developed, you can just use your smartphone to take as many photos as you want without additional cost unless you want to have a print made.
The above photo was taken on the day of my Kindergarten Graduation. I only went to Kindergarten for about 2 months the summer before I went to First Grade. Our teacher made hats for us and gave us special diplomas. From this photo I can see the hat and the diploma and the dress that I wore. The collar on my dress is to the side so it may have been windy that day. The truck behind me was the family's source of transportation. I don't remember everything from this photo like what the date actually was or if it was taken at the school or at my home, but it does trigger my memory of some of the things from Kindergarten. We had to bring a mat so we could take a nap at Kindergarten. I remember liking to look at my diploma. My mother put it in a metal file box with all the other important papers like birth certificates and titles and deeds. One time when I wanted to look at the diploma a few years later, it was not there. We didn't know what happened to it. As an adult my brother finally told me he had taken the diploma out of the box and had buried it because he didn't get a diploma when he graduated from Kindergarten. Try looking at some of your photos and see what you can remember to add to your story.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Solar Eclipse

What was your experience with a current event? Where were you when it happened? Did you see it yourself or did you hear about it from others? How did it affect your life or the lives of others around you?

Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse occurred across the United States. I live south of where the total eclipse would be. I had been sick for a couple of days and I didn't sleep well the night before, so I ended up sleeping in. After I took my shower, I opened the curtains. The sky looked strange. It was light outside, but there was a black mistiness to the blue sky. After turning on the internet and seeing the reports of the eclipse, I realized that was why the sky looked strange. I was grateful for the internet and that I could see photos of the eclipse even though I had forgotten about it. It was also nice to see the full eclipse which didn't happen here.

Some day in the future some of your family members may wonder what your experience with the solar eclipse was. Write about your experience for them and for yourself.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What kind of education do you or your ancestor have?

Education is a big part of our lives.  Recording when you started school, where you went to school, who your teachers were, what you learned in school is an important part of your story.  Some things may not seem significant like what time did you go to school, but it may be interesting to those reading your story.  It also may explain other parts of your life.  My family lived a mile outside of town, so I rode the bus to school from first grade through graduation from high school.  The high school I went to was thirty miles from my home.  I would catch the bus at 7:15 a.m. and wouldn't get home until 4 p.m.  In high school I spent about two hours on the bus.  I did a lot of reading and homework on the bus.  Because of the need to help with the family business when I got home from school, I wouldn't have been able to do as much of my homework without doing it on the bus.  

Did you continue your education beyond high school?  Did you attend college?  Did you get a degree?  Or did you learn through hands on experience like training on the job?  

There are many experiences that you may have in getting your education.  Recording your experiences will add a great deal to your story.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

How have you been involved in politics?

This year, 2016 is a presidential election year.  There is a lot of news about the election.  This year's election is especially controversial.  There is even a third party candidate who just decided to run in August who may win the electoral votes in the state of Utah.  Many people are not wanting the two major candidates to win.  Elections can affect our lives.  Things may change with a new president or new congressmen or even new local officials.  Writing about the political events can be a part of your story.  

Have you ever ran for a political office or has a family member ran for office?  Did any one in your family serve in a political office?  Answering these questions can add a lot to your family's story.  Write about your feelings about the elections and your participation.  You might want to record who you voted for and why for your posterity.  Some time in the future your family may want to know what you thought about a certain election.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

William B Ide: Mormon Video

I came across these videos which confirm what I had grown up believing that my grandmother's great grandfather was a Mormon.  It is so interesting to learn more about my ancestor.  If you search on the internet for information, you may find information about your ancestor.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Holiday Illness

Have you ever been sick on a significant holiday?  Have you had to change your plans in celebrating a holiday because of illness or because of an injury?

Today is Christmas.  I think I caught a head cold, and I was really congested and miserable this morning.  I could hardly speak, and I didn't feel much like eating.  I had been invited to dinner at a friend's house.  I told her I didn't feel like going out in the cold, and I really did not have much of an appetite.  She said she would bring dinner over to me, which she did.  The mashed potatoes were so good, but I'm saving the rest of the dinner for tomorrow when I hope to feel much better.  Another friend upon hearing I was sick brought over a couple of cans of chicken noodle soup and some crackers.  Usually at Christmas I get caught up in doing things for other people, but this year I have had to stop doing and accept the small kindnesses of others.  I also was given a couple of large money gifts which amazes me that people care so much.  My brother told me his bishop had counseled him when he was struggling financially that not everyone can be the giver, someone has to be the receiver.  Although we all want to be the giver which is following the example of Jesus, we must remember it is important that we receive the Savior's gift into our lives.

Because of feeling tired and not having much energy, I watched this Christmas video which teaches this principle.  Maybe it can change you perspective on life too.