After my parents passed away there have been times when I have wondered about the story of a memento or thought I have had.
If only I had asked them, I think. I was at a huge advantage as both my parents lived until they were 92 and were excellent at reminiscing.
Still there are times when I wish I had just a little more information. I bet many of you think the same thing.
Over the past three weeks I have been facilitating a course here at Outdoor Resort Palm Springs called Preserving Memories.
The purpose is so that participants can capture their childhood memories for their families. Most of us our in our 60s, 70s and 80s and have begun to think about what is important to leave for our children and grandchildren.
Perhaps a grandchild asked about what we did for fun when there were no computers or our own kids were surprised when we talked about an important event in our life and they had no knowledge.
My role has been one of encouragement and supplying story prompts so that they begin. I’m a big believer that if we simply begin…interesting pieces of information surface.
What we have all learned is that when a member of our group shares a memory it often ignites our own thoughts and something we had long forgotten comes to light.
It’s also important to remember that our written memories don’t have to be long and detailed. Simple thoughts jotted down will delight our intended audience.
One of the first exercises we did was begin to write our own personal timeline. Don’t be overwhelmed simply divide it into ten year periods. I just label a page 0-10, another page 10-20 etc. You could also further break it down into school, family and work if you wish. Some people choose to use a different colour of pencil for each of those categories.
Write down all memories you can come up with during that time. Significant and insignificant things may come up that remind you of another thing and so on. Just keep it near and as you remember jot something down.
When you look at the hammer, can you smell your grandpas’ garage or your dad’s workshop? What did you do there? Were you allowed to help? Did you learn how to use tools? Did you ever hit your finger? How old were you?
How many of you used a rotary phone? For some of us this was a huge upgrade over the wall phone with no numbers. We used the handle at the side to ring or had to call an operator.
Think about your senses as you write and jot down memories including some of the things you saw, smelt, felt or heard.
Who can smell homemade bread after school? What about the feeling when you won a crystal marble during a game at recess? Who had school clothes and play or work clothes?
We have so many rich memories to capture why not start to today?