Monday, November 24, 2008


Here it is the week of Thanksgiving. Being grateful is a really good thing, but sometimes it takes something like a holiday to help us stop and take the time to think of what we are grateful for. As you think about your life, what are you grateful for that has happened in your life. Have good things come from the experiences you have had in your life? Have you learned from the experiences whether they were good or bad? What people are you grateful to have had in your life? Are you grateful for your ancestors and the choices they made?
We benefit from the things those before us did. Each generation has a little more than the previous because of what the previous generation did. We don't have to reinvent what previously has been invented, so instead we can improve on it.
This Thanksgiving take time to write down what you are thankful for in your life and what you are thankful for from your family and your ancestors. Let that feeling of gratitude bless your life.

The Power of Attitude

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

As you collect and write down family stories, you may hear some pretty fantastic stories. Perhaps some of the stories sound like they might be made up or embellished. You might want to do some research to see if the stories are true. Still even with research you may not know for sure if the stories are completely factual. We do see the world through our own perspective. In one of my lines a father and a son fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. A diary entry records the following: "In the memorable Battle of Bunker Hill, the 17th of June 1775, there they stood side by side and fought with about 13 Americans against 3,000 of the British for about two hours." When reading historical accounts of the Battle, the number of Americans fighting against the British were probably closer in number although the reported numbers vary in different accounts. Perhaps when writing the diary entry a couple of zeros behind the 13 were forgotten or not legible. But another explanation was given by my daughter after she moved to New York City. She explained to me that there are places in the eastern part of the United States where trees are so numerous that you can not see what is beyond the trees. Having lived in western desert areas all of my life, it is hard to imagine that many trees. She said perhaps it is possible there were trees blocking their view of how many fellow American soldiers were fighting in that Battle. I don't think the ancestor who wrote that statement intended to lie about the Battle. Perhaps from his perspective that was the way it was in the Battle of Bunker Hill.
As you record stories from you life, remember the perspective of future generations who may read your accounts may be very different from your perspective.
When you record stories of your ancestors, write them as they told them. You may learn something that will change your perspective and you may find their accounts are indeed true.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Gratitude Time of Year

November reminds me of all the things I am grateful for. I love the beautiful colors of the leaves. I remember as a child particularly liking the golden color of the cottonwood trees against the clear blue sky in the fall. I still love golden leaves, but I also like the red leaves and brown leaves that have interesting patterns. I love driving through canyons and seeing large areas of gold, then red, then brown, orange or green. I've even found the tumbleweeds change color in the autumn--sometimes red or purple as well as brown.
I love harvesting tomatoes, zuchinni, swiss chard, beets, squash, grapes and other produce. The work of preparing soil and planting seeds in the springtime, watering and fighting weeds in the summer is rewarded with delicious food in the fall. Growing up, I helped my mother can many fruits and vegetables so we could eat them during the winter.
I am so grateful for heat and light as the days grow colder and shorter. I count my blessings to have warmth and light. Today I am grateful to turn a dial and have heater turn on. I do remember wonderful warm fires that my husband would build in the fireplace. I remember the coal-burning stove that my grandmother had that felt so good on a cold fall or winter night. I remember one October when the snow came early before the leaves and fallen from the trees. It was wet and heavy and tree branches came down all across the valley. Power lines came down with the branches. The power company worked hard to restore power. Main lines were back up within hours, but other lines especially ones in backyards took up to three days to be restored. I was so grateful to have a wood-burning stove to keep us warm, and I truly appreciated candles. My daughters, who were quite young then, thought it was a great adventure. I appreciated their enthusiasm for the new experience, as it kept me from getting too discouraged. I was truly grateful when the power line to our house was back in place, and heat and light were available again with the flick of a switch.
As you think back about your memories of this time of year, what things are you grateful for. Write down the memories that may help and encourage your family. Some times we forget how much we are blessed with. It is easy to focus on what we lack instead of on what we have. Our lives have a different perspective when we think of what we appreciate. Share your blessings by recording what you are grateful for.