Remembering the Time will be live at beautiful FARMesilla in Mesilla, New Mexico on Thursday, August 1 from 4 – 6 p.m.. Let’s talk story! Come grab a delicious snack and coffee or a cold drink and let’s chat about your memoir or saving your family history. You’ll love the location! I’ll be set up under the courtyard pavilion, ready to coach, brainstorm and give you resources during this “Ask me anything” session. You may even win a door prize.
Got memories? Need answers to nuts and bolts questions about saving your family’s boxes of photos and letters? You’ve been planning on doing something with these “someday”– now is the perfect time! I can get you started in the right direction. Questions about where to start your story or how to focus? Who to write about-yourself or someone else? Stop by and say hello, get inspired, and grab some free resources to get you started. We even have some fun resources for kids. Looking forward to meeting you!
Summer is all about picnics, family gatherings, road trips and reunions. We take these trips and plan events with our families to create memories and enjoy each other. Need creative ideas to make the most of those events for your memory bank? Following are three areas to focus on to make the most of those memories and share them with others. You can even easily turn these travel tales into wonderful gifts to remember the journey, whether it was across the country or to Grandma’s back yard. Keep reading for a few ideas.
All events have 3 parts that contribute to the fun:
Tell the story not just of the trip itself, what you saw, where
you went, who you visited—take a few minutes to talk about the prep, a snap a
few pics. Perhaps you can get a photo of everyone with the maps laid out on the
kitchen table, or the pile of gear/suitcases assembled for the journey.
For example, one of my favorite before and after photos is
of us with our kids and friends, prior to a backpack trip and then a similar
shot after the trip. The contrast speaks volumes about the fun we had, the rain
and mud, the grubby trail, the fish, the food and the bonding.
Think reactions, questions, closeups, what you thought about
what you’ve seen is much more important than the bald fact that you were there.
Think of the 5 Ws as you tell about your journey: Who, What, When, Where, Why. Since
travel nearly always contains some element of the unexpected, bring this into
your photo and story lineup.
Example 1 Camping Trip:
Did you take a family camping trip? Snap pics all along,
start at the beginning when you’re clean, then get some grubby shots, fish stories,
toddlers in mud, the food, the tents, the campfire tales (share a favorite).
Get that drippy s’more or flaming marshmallow on film. One of my best loved
camping pics is my toddler son discovering dirt and the joy of putting things
in his mouth. What makes it precious is his rambunctious smile, tousled hair
and—- the story that followed immediately after when I discovered his chubby
cheeks hid a mouthful of fat green grub he’d found while exploring.
Example 2-Family Reunion:
Be a Roving Reporter—ask a few questions and snap a photo
to go with at your next reunion or family barbeque. Think outside the standard
group shot and get some candids and close-ups too.
Does Aunt Mary make a killer potato salad or dessert? Take a
photo of her with it, or someone else enjoying it with her. Ask her to share
her secret for making it special. Even if she doesn’t it makes a good anecdote
to get her reaction. How long has she been making this recipe? Where did she
Does your Uncle Manny have a way with BBQ? Snap some shots
of him preparing, if it’s that good I can guarantee he takes it pretty
seriously, talk with him about his technique. Get quotes from the family about
their reactions to his steaks, ribs or brisket. Think messy, closeup, smiling
faces. Get some background on Manny, how and when did he discover a love of
grilling? Did anybody teach him? Is he passing it along to the next
generation—get pics of him with his protégé.
We all turn into natural storytellers when reminiscing about
things we’ve experienced. Make this work for you both during and after the
trip. Capture the faces of young and old both as they listen to and tell stories.
The wonder, the laughter, maybe the spooky campfire tale or the old stories of
“remember when….” As a child my preferred pastime at family gatherings was
sitting among the circle of adults at the campfire, listening to the hunting
stories, the explorations, tales told of childhood adventures, births and
accidents, the uproarious laughter.
Instead of leaving those hundreds of digital photographs on
your phone, there are several inexpensive options to make the most of these
memories and encourage storytelling and enjoying the time you spent together.
Photo book/story book—there are several online services to
create wonderful photo books, some even allow you to download directly from
your phone. A quick internet search will usually turn up a variety of coupons
for these books or graphic services, allowing you to scratch that creative itch
for just a few dollars. Or you can even make your own simple document and make
copies at the local office store. Handmade is still treasured, move those
digital memories into something tangible, it’s easy, inexpensive and will
delight those who receive a copy.
Whatever you decide to create, try making it collaborative—even
the youngest kiddos can draw a picture of something they enjoyed about the trip.
Treat it like fine art. Print it up! Have them tell you what they liked or their
version of an event. This amps up the humor and charm factor, trust me. These story
snippets are sure to elicit lots of love and laugher.
No matter our age, we all feel valued when
others listen and give us the gift of time.
What a great way to show you were paying attention by pulling those memories of your reunion, camping trip or stay-cation into a physical book. Ordinary life events are every bit as important in our memory banks as the weddings, vacations, birthdays and anniversaries. Have fun telling the story of your amazing, one of a kind, ordinary life!
So—it’s summer, it’s hot and… it’s the perfect time to take action — do something different and good for your soul! A little bit of life history will reap dividends in mental and emotional health as well as pay what you’ve learned forward to the future.
I found this quote from Peter Drucker a few days ago. He’s a business management consultant but his words are applicable to many things in life.
“There is the risk you cannot afford to take,
and there is the risk you cannot afford not to take”
What about finally saving the stories of someone you love? Or your own? I’ve made it easy for you by creating a Quick Start a Memoir class. And—you can even take it for free using this link that will take you to the class on Skillshare and a free 2 month membership:
Do you have a parent, grandparent or other relative who has
been telling great family stories for decades, but is overwhelmed by the
thought of writing them down? Maybe you have been longing to tell your own
story. It’s time! Creating a life legacy memoir is a meaningful way to
celebrate life. You don’t have to be a “writer” to share your story in a
meaningful way. This class will give you a quick start to clarify the 5
W’s of your story, the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHY. You’ll create a fun,
actionable mind map project that will inspire you to start, give you the
framework you need and keep you on track. Start today– let’s begin saving
those important family memories and connecting the generations with your story.
Five fabulous reasons why it’s important to share your story:
* Celebrate your life and share your experiences with
* Preserve important family stories and memories
* Put names and stories with family photos
* Share your wisdom and the life lessons you’ve learned
* Bear witness to the history you’ve lived
The wise Dr. Seuss has this to say:
“Sometimes you will never know the value
of a moment until it becomes a memory”
Have lots of ideas and memories but don’t know how to start? Try the class for an instant boost. Or give me a call/fire off an email for a free consult. I’d be delighted to point you in the right direction and give you a couple resources.
Well, I’m 54 (we don’t count the halves anymore :)) and this is the illuminating response I received:
“At the age of 54, Leonardo had been working for two years on his most famous painting, the “Mona Lisa,” although he would not complete it for another decade. It depicts Italian noblewoman Lisa del Giocondo, which is why the work is also known as “La Gioconda” in Italian and “La Joconde” in French.”
At first I thought ‘Hmm, that’s discouraging and disconcerting!’ Now after those two sobering Debbie Downer thoughts, comparing myself to this remarkable genius, I realized,
Wait a minute, it doesn’t matter that I can’t
paint myself out of a box…I’m not called to be a Genius Artist/Inventor.
And that, my friends, is encouraging!
In my own corner of the world, with those I interact with on a regular basis, I am, I hope, bringing love, inspiration, truth, encouragement and grace into their lives.
Whether you’re teaching five year olds, digging ditches, inventing amazing things or engineering the best way to get your toddler into a car seat, you’ve been given the opportunity to have a profound impact in your little corner of the universe.
I want to look into your face and say ‘Don’t take your life and times for granted! You matter and you make a difference right where you’re at.’ Now, go live this incredible gift of a life you’ve been given, do it well and share it with others.
Life is full of celebrations–they serve to set the rhythm
of our years. We love to share the details of special ways we mark the days. Are
you getting together with your family and friends this Easter? Talk with each
other about some of your cherished traditions and customs. Did your parents and
grandparents observe the holiday and how did they celebrate? You might get some
unusual answers if they grew up in another country!
In one French town they make a giant omelet with thousands
of eggs. In Florence, Italy they sing Gloria
in church then blow up a cart filled with fireworks. In Bermuda they fly kites
to illustrate Christ’s ascension. Read more interesting customs at:
Ask about everyone’s most memorable Easter. Perhaps it was a sunrise church service, hunting Easter eggs, a moving prayer or even receiving a pet bunny. I remember one brilliant, glorious New Mexico sunrise service as a child when I was just beginning to understand the gift of Easter.
Another memory lands squarely in the goofy department when I dressed both myself and my horse as the Easter bunny and delivered candy to my little brother.
Here are a few more questions to spark your conversations
and draw you closer to those around your dinner table this year:
Who has inspired you the most during the last year?
What is your favorite childhood memory?
What do you think are the 3 most important things in life?
So—what do you really think? Can you identify your three main life values or beliefs? If you had one page to pass on your most important thoughts about your life and how you think about the world what would you say?
This is called a life legacy letter and very well could become your children’s and grandchildren’s most precious possession. It doesn’t have to be long, it doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to come from your heart.
Love this life quote:
One life on this earth is all we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and bravely and beautifully as we can.
Want to explore this thought further? Take a look at his essay Only One Life
Looking for some resources to start your letter or even a full length life story? I can help you with a boost in the right direction.
Or, here are 3 books to inspire you in this most important communication:
The Book of Myself, Carl and David Marshall–this is a great, fill-in-the-blank style with excellent prompts to get you thinking about your life story.
Living Legacies, Duane Elgin and Coleen Drew
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Memoir, Victoria Costello–don’t take offense, it’s really an easy to follow guide that covers the nuts and bolts.
Whichever option you choose be encouraged that you can do this. You need to and your family will love you for it!
New Mexico is many beautiful things. One thing it is never
is boring! The past few days—mind you, just before spring officially began–brought
an incredible variety of weather. San Augustin Pass, our route over the scenic
Organ Mountains, was closed due to wind and hit a 104 mph gust. That is
comparable to a Category 2 hurricane people! Then it closed again due to a
snowstorm. The plows were dusted off, literally, and sent up the mountain to
scoop away the white stuff.
Spring winds here are normal and remind me of the fun my
brother and I used to have building kites out of newspaper and bamboo. My dad
used to egg us on with stories of the six foot kite he built that really did
tug him off the ground. Fired up by the lure of flight, we’d trek to the
drainage ditch to cut down long dry bamboo poles. After dragging them home
across plowed fields, we’d collect newspaper, glue, rags and string from Mom,
then turn the living room floor into a kite factory.
A couple of hours later we’d ease our creations out the door
and head to the pasture or the dirt lot behind the house to see if we could
achieve flight. Oh, sweet anticipation! We’d yell with the thrill of feeling
the wind pull and snap those ragged homemade kites up like sails. Feeling the
string yank the tethers on our scrawny wrists, we were sure that with the next
gust we would fly.