Start writing about something that interests you about your life. Challenge yourself to recall your most memorial experience with a parent or grandparent. What made it special? Perhaps it was a simple picnic in the mountains or the first time you went fishing. Events that were special because of the relationships you had with those involved. Writing down these early memories will stir up other remembrances from the past. Old photos or scrapbooks can be good memory joggers or old letters or postcards. Best of all is talking face to face with parents or grandparents if they are still around and asking questions. Soon you will be sharing your family’s past.
Christine Provstgaard of St. George tells us how finding some old family letters led her to discoveries about her grandparents. In my brother's attic, a box was found containing old letters our mother had saved. These were letters from my grandfather to my grandmother written in 1931. When my grandfather was away on business trips he would travel by train and wrote letters home every day. On March 23, 1931 he was on the Portland Rose going to Seattle, Washington for a banking convention. The train was called "a triumph in train comfort." A small pamphlet reveals some of the train's amenities: Observation-Club Car: barber, valet, maid service, writing desks, periodicals, newspapers, radio, market reports, lounges and sun rooms, hair cuts for men, bobs for women 50¢, shave 25¢, hair singe 25¢, and facial massage $1.00. Baths, manicures and hair dressing were arranged by maid service. Valet from 6:30 a.m. to midnight provided a clothes-pressing service.
My mother was from the second family. Grandpa's first wife had died in childbirth, leaving him with four children. He was 50 when he met my grandmother who was 39 and considered a "spinster" in those days. He loved and adored my grandmother and his children. They had my mother, Aunt Junece and they adopted a cousin’s child- June. When I was 10 my grandfather was 90 yrs old. Grandmother had passed away from Parkinson’s disease.Finding these letters is a wonderful gift to me from my mother. I feel joy that I can read them as an adult and feel her close to me. It gives me an opportunity to know who my grandparents were, what they thought about, what was important to them and how they struggled with the challenges they faced. NEXT TIME: Family As Priority.