Thursday, January 28, 2010

What was your first job like?

Here's another question to help you write your story.
What was your first job like?
People vary  in when they started working their first job.  Some may not get a job until they graduate from high school or even from college.  Some get part time work during high school.  Some start a newspaper route as a child.  Some set up a lemonade stand and sell lemonade.
I felt that I always had a job as my help was needed on our farm.  From as far back as I can remember I had chores to do like help gather eggs, feed the chickens, pull weeds in the garden, harvest the vegetables and the fruit from the orchard, herd the cow back to the corral, even try to milk the cow (which I wasn't successful at).  
I didn't get a "job" until the summer after I finished my Associate's degree at our local community college.  Since my mother's death when I was in high school I tried to take her place in the family business.  I couldn't do all that she did, but I tried while I went to school.  I decided to get a job the summer before I would be going away to a university to finish my education.  
I took the Civil Service exam for summer hires and I got hired for summer work.  Those typing and office practice classes came in handy just as my mother had said they would.
Write down what your first job was like.  It will probably lead you into writing about all the other jobs you've had in your life.  You'll have a great start on your story. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

What were your family traditions for birthdays?

Here is another question to help you write your family story.
What were your family traditions for birthdays?
When I was growing up we always had cake and ice cream for birthdays.  It was usually just a family time.  My parents would gave us a little money on our birthday and take us to a store.  We were allowed to pick out whatever we wanted to buy with the money.  My mother would bake a cake and frost it and put candles on it.  After blowing out the candles and making a wish we would have cake and ice cream.  I had one birthday party where I invited friends to come when I turned eight years old.
With my children I allowed more frequent birthday parties.  Most birthdays were still just family occasions with cake and ice cream, blowing out candles, and opening presents.  It was fun to create cakes that looked like castles or teddy bears or other fun things.  
As everyone in our family has gotten older birthdays aren't looked forward too as much.  Sometimes we would just rather forget another year has come around.  For my 50th birthday one daughter wrote 50 characteristics she liked about me.  She wasn't able to be there on my birthday, so she got her younger sister to blow up 50 balloons with little pieces of paper with the characteristics written on them in each balloon.  That was a memorable birthday popping all the balloons and reading the slips of paper.  
Some people do a lot for birthdays and some just have cake and ice cream.  One family I knew had a birthday week.  Every day of the week they would do something special for the person with the birthday.  They had decorations outside of the house that let everyone know someone had a birthday.  
Writing down how you celebrated birthdays and what you remember the most can add a lot to your family story.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Describe a Perfect Spring Day--Another Question for Your Story

Here's another question for writing your story.
Describe a perfect spring day and what you did.
This prompt could probably stir up many memories.  You will probably remember springtime as a child, as a teenager and as an adult.  There will probably be very happy days and there will probably be very sad days.  There are holidays such as Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and all the things you did.  Once you start writing you may find it hard to stop as more and more ideas come to you.  
Most of my memories of springtime are of beautiful warm days with fruit trees in blossom and flowers starting to bloom and planting a garden.   
Some of my memories are sad such as when my mother died and twenty four years later when my dad died.
Write down your memories and keep on adding.  As spring approaches you will probably think of more, so keep on writing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a very recent holiday first observed in 1986.  I don't have any family traditions in observing this holiday as I have for other holidays.  This year I read about the day being called a Day of Service which was signed into law in 1994.  I now have a way to celebrate by doing some kind of service. One suggestion I read was to make a donation for relief to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Other suggestions are to volunteer for some kind of community service, to visit shut-ins or extended care facilities, or to help the less fortunate.  It is great to have a Day of Service, but think how great it would be if we gave service on a regular basis throughout the year.
To add to your family story write down what kinds of service you have done in your life and how you felt about it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Online Search Can Reveal Family History

I came across a couple of links about one of my great great grandfathers that I want to remember so I decided to share those links here.  Putting in a name from your family history can turn up some very interesting stories.  It's worth trying to see what you can learn about your family.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What were Sundays Like for You?

Here's another prompt for writing your life story.
Describe your Sundays as a child.
Sundays were always a day to go to church.  As a child I don't remember missing church except when I was sick.  The first Sunday I remember missing that wasn't because I was sick was the Sunday my mother died and we went to the hospital instead of to church that day.  My dad would get up and go to Priesthood Meeting at 9 o'clock Sunday morning.  When my brother turned twelve he went with my dad to Priesthood Meeting.  My dad would come back and pick up my mother, my sister and myself to go to Sunday School at 10:30 a.m.  Sunday School was divided for adults and for children.  There were opening exercises which included an opening hymn, prayer, a couple of two and a half minute talks and a Sacrament Gem which was usually a scripture.  I remember getting regular turns to say the prayer or give one of the talks or to memorize and recite the sacrament gem.  We partook of the Sacrament and then we separated into classes according to our ages.  A lesson was taught on gospel principles and scriptures.  We would be home from Sunday School by noon.  Growing up on the farm we had to take care of the animals even though it was Sunday, so we changed out of our Sunday best clothes and did the chores.  Cows were milked, eggs were gathered and the animals were fed.  Other work on the farm was saved for other days of the week. After chores were done and lunch was eaten we would talk about the speakers and what our lessons had been about.  My parents continued to teach what we had learned and they clarified anything that we didn't understand.  Sunday evenings at 7 o'clock after chores had been done and Sunday best clothes put back on, we went back to the church for Sacrament Meeting.  After an opening hymn and prayer we partook of the Sacrament.  Then there were speakers and musical numbers or a special program for holidays.  Once a month on the first Sunday we attended Fast and Testimony Meeting.  We fasted for two meals and paid the money that would have gone for the food for those two meals to the Fast Offering where the money could be used for those who didn't have sufficient to eat or meet their other needs.  Then we attended the Testimony Meeting where anyone who felt inspired to do so could bear their testimonies.  I always remember Sunday as being a special day and one that was different from the other days of the week.  Stores and gas stations weren't open on Sunday.  Other people treated Sunday as a special day too.  I miss that when I see so many people shopping, working in their yards, going to sporting events and treating Sunday as just another day.  To me it is still a special day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Your Grandparents Home

Here's another question to write about.
Describe your grandparents home.

My grandmother's house was a bungalow type of house made out of blocks.  It had a full basement with a separate entrance that she rented out. 
I think it was originally a two bedroom house.  I believe one of the bedrooms was divided into a bathroom and a walk-in closet.  My grandmother heated her house with a coal-burning stove in her living room.  In the winter when we visited her it felt so good to sit in front of her stove and get warmed up.  She cooked for many years on a coal-burning cookstove in her kitchen.  She had an old wringer washer in her bathroom.  She had steps between the kitchen and bathroom that led down to a cellar where she stored her bottled fruits and vegetables.  The back of her house was at a higher level than the front.  The back porch had several steps down from it.  The porch was made from wood and was big enough to store lumps of coal under it.  I remember plum trees and a vegetable garden growing in her back yard.  The pictures I have of her house trigger warm memories of times spent with her.

What do you remember about your grandparents' home?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Lessons Did You Take as a Child

Here is another question to help you write your story.
What lessons did you take as a child?  Do you still do any of the things you had lessons for?
I took lessons on the flute the summer before I started junior high school.  The music teacher from the junior high offered lessons so the students would know the basics when school started.  I continued with band through my years in junior high and high school.  As an adult occasionally I would pull out the flute especially if I wanted to know what the melody was like in a song.  When my oldest daughter got old enough to take band in school, I gave her my flute.  Each of my daughters chose to play the flute.

The summer I turned ten years old I learned to embroider from a teacher at church.  The summer I turned eleven years old I learned how to crochet from a teacher at church.  The summer I turned twelve years old I learned how to knit from a teacher at church. I have embroidered a few things as an adult.  I have crocheted several things.  I never really enjoyed knitting and always seem to drop stitches or add stitches so I haven't done much knitting.  I participated in cooking and sewing and wood working 4-H classes.  Of course cooking is a life long activity.  Sometimes I sew although usually it is now just to mend something.  Once in a while I will use some of what I learned in wood working.  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is Your Favorite Color

Here are two more questions to answer in writing your story.
What is your favorite color?  When did you realize it was your favorite color? 
I first remember deciding what my favorite color was when my sister and I had to choose the color our bedroom walls would be painted.  I've always loved the blue color of the sky on a clear summer or autumn day.  I also love the golden color of autumn leaves against the blue sky.  My late husband also felt blue was his favorite color.  I don't know what colors my parents liked.  My dad was color blind, so color wasn't as important in his life.  I have daughters who like amber, orange, green and red.  If you don't know the favorite colors of family members perhaps you can write down what colors of clothing you remember them wearing, what colors the walls of the house inside were and what color the outside of the house was.  Recording the colors may trigger other memories that you will want to write down.  

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fun Things

Here's another question to help write your family story.
What is the most fun thing you remember doing as a family?

I think the most fun things I remember doing were our family trips to Salt Lake City.  My parents didn't travel much as the responsibilities of the farm kept them close to home.  At times there were things they needed that weren't available in the area we lived in.  We would make trips to Salt Lake City, the largest city in our state.  It was about two hours away.  My parents always planned fun things to do on these trips.  We would go to temple square and go through the museum and visitor's center.  We would go to Hogle Zoo or the amusement park, Lagoon, or to visit Pioneer Village or This is the Place Monument.  One of my favorite things to do still is to go to museums or historical sites.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mother's Role

Here's another question to help you write your story.
What was your mother's role in the home?
My mother's role in our home was to be a help and support to my father.  She was an equal partner with my dad in the family business.  She had different responsibilities than my dad, but they were just as important as my dad's responsibilities.  My mother prepared our meals, cleaned our home, sewed, washed, and ironed our clothes.  She cleaned the house, washed the dishes, kept the paperwork organized, did the bookkeeping and paid the bills.  At times she helped my father like with feeding the chickens, gathering the eggs or other tasks.  She canned and preserved fruits from the orchard and vegetables from the garden.  My mother also set an example.  She took us to church with her.  She taught classes at church and set the example of giving service.  She also felt family history was very important.  She collected names, dates, places and filled out many charts with family history.  My parents both set the example of caring for each other and supporting and helping each other.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year 2010

A new year to me means a chance to set new goals and try to improve my life.  This year I was looking at a jar of ideas for writing your story that I made several years ago.  I never followed through on taking out a slip and writing something about my story or my family's story.  So this year I have decided to pull out a slip every so often and write something to include in my story.  If you'd like to do the same then here is the first idea.

"What was your father's role in the home?"
My father was the main provider in the home, but my mother worked side by side with him on the farm.  My father made the final decisions but he always counseled with my mother.  Often the decisions he made were because of what she said and felt.  My father set an example of working hard.  He set an example of continuing to learn by reading and studying himself.  My father set an example by taking us to church with him, not sending us to church.  He set an example of serving by being the president of the Young Men's organization at our church for a few years.  My father set an example of being cheerful and friendly.  He was known as Smiley because he was always smiling.  My father taught us how to live by living that way himself.