Tag Archives: traditions

To Our Children’s Children

23 Dec

Many, many years ago, my older brother video taped our grandfather telling his stories over cake and coffee in their apartment. It was fantastic, but I really wish there had been more footage and, I really wished we had interviewed my grandmother, too.

When my parents decided to sell our childhood home after 37 years, I interviewed my siblings about their memories of the house. Because I’m so much younger than them, I had no idea of the shenanigans that went on before my time! It’s a fantastic record of the history that went on in our house.

A few years before our father passed away, I went to visit him and my mom and decided that I would take some time to interview him. I was able to spend several days, covering six hours, interviewing him about his life. It was very informal and I used the book To Our Children’s Children* as a guide for questions. At this point, I haven’t done anything with the video but, hope someday to self publish a children’s book for my grandchildren. The arrival of my grandchildren is very far off but the time will allow me to go through the videos and record my family’s history for future generations. Although this interview may seem irrelevant to my kids now I know they will appreciate it in years to come.

This holiday, when your family gets together, set up an interview station in a quiet area of the house complete with a list of questions and directions on how to turn on the video camera. Ask everyone to take some time answering the questions. Not only will you have a family history, you will have a live recording of your relatives voice and personality. What a great way to capture your family’s roots.

*To Our Children’s Children is a book to assist you in interviewing friends and family about their personal history. The book is broken down into chapters by theme such as childhood, marriage, etc. It ask questions such as ‘Who were you named for?’ or ‘When did you get your first gray hair?’ It’s a serious yet clever way to get your family to open up about their lives.

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A Sunday Drive on a Tuesday

22 Nov

Do you remember Sunday drives? Those were the days when there were only three channels on the television, stores were closed, and families spent their time together at home, not on soccer fields. Now days, if we get behind someone on a Sunday drive frustration sets in and tempers flair.

I remember Sunday drives with my grandparents. We would pile into his spacious, Pepto-Bismol pink, Lincoln Continental and set off of an unknown destination. The seats were so low that my brother and I used to stand up to look out the windows as we meandered through neighborhoods or past the beach, just watching time go by. After an hour or so, my grandpa would head back to our house where my mom had cooked up delicious dinner that we would share as an extended family around the dining room table.

It’s not what we saw on our trips that I really remember, it’s the way that our time was spent. Our Sunday drives weren’t meant to be hurried or for a purpose. They were a way for us to spend time together, learn about the world around us and listen to stories my grandparents passed on to us.

So the next time you get behind a Sunday driver, instead of bolting around them, toot your horn, give them a wave and wish them well on their memorable journey.

Happy Halloween

31 Oct

Have a safe and Happy Halloween! From all of us at Smart Mom University

Circa 1971

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