Sunday, May 7, 2017

Writing . . .

A few days ago as I was looking up some of my saved notes I came across the newspaper article below. If you find the importance of "telling your stories" like I do, I think you'll enjoy reading this article.

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Writing Your Own Story Might Be Most Valuable Thing You Do

During a Thursday reception, or should I say "departion" for the 14 Chronicle newsroom associates who have taken voluntary buyouts, I was struck by a single theme: The love of writing.

Many have said in their brief farewells, that writing was all they wanted to do from childhood on. It is all they still want to do, and many will keep their stories coming as freelancers. I suspect they also all will write for themselves and their loved ones.

I can recall beginning to write stories in seventh grade, impressed by the stories Pam Jameisan Yarwood, a classmate wrote. These days I get wonderful, almost daily stories, of her life, her family, her cooking and her outdoor adventures via email.

And I think when I read those mini-tomes, complete with photos, that taken together they are an enormous mini treasure for generations to come.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Write.

Grammar doesn't matter. Mispelling is just fine. Type it or tell it on tape or write it longhand on pieces of scrap paper. Just do it.

When I think of what my grandparents and parents left me I come up with the word, "nothing."

Oh I have some cut crystal and silver and enough photos to fill a small envelope. And I have the love and encoragement they gave me every day but I have nothing of them other than a few poems my father wrote when he was in his 20's.

What I wish for is pieces of their lives, written on paper, preferably by their own hand.
Where did you meet mother? Did you have a honeymoon? Why didn't you ever talk about that beautiful little blond son who died? Do you think heaven is a place or a state of satisfaction?

If I taught school I'd require every student to interview their parents or guardians and get their stories on paper. I'd make sure they knew the stories of the people who shape them.
Why do we know so much of the history of our nation and so little of our own?

My husband must have hit a bump in the road that sent him careening backward because he has spent the past few evenings going through scrapbooks ~ ~ ~ something he has never done before.

And of course we are looking at old black and white photos and saying to one another. "Who's that?"

He is, however, very lucky his aunt, Alice Kans, who taught for eons at Angell School, wrote the history of his maternal side and gave everyone in the family copies.

It is a wonderful document that tells of a relative who was a bloodletter and a boy who came to America alone at the age of 10 with his name pinned to his coat.

But we have little knowledge of the Treutler side.

We will try to create our own stories as time goes by, and we will search for Treutler information.
But it will take a lot of time and we will have to track down a lot of clues.

We did hit pay dirt with a sepia picture of the Fiess family, his grandmother's side, Thursday night as we watched CSI. There were two young boys in the picture, obviously his grandmothers brothers who we had not heard of.

We wondered who the heck they were until we came across another picture of two young men with the inscription, Wolf and Klaus.

Talk aboyt sterotypes.

What are their stories, I wonder, as I write one of my own.

Article written by:
Susan Treutler
Retired Muskegon Chronicle staff writer.
Not sure when Susan retired, it has been a few years ago
She used to be one of my favorite newspaper reads.
Typing her article into the post took some time.
Easier to read that way instead of my photo copy of the article.

And all of a sudden . . . spring is happening . . .
Aren't those baby pine cones just the cutest . . .
My patch of Trillium is spreading out this year . . .
Not sure why . . . patience . . . what a thrill!
Still very cool but sunshine the past few days after lots of rain, has helped a bunch . . .

Happy Days my friends . . .
love ~

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"Put a ding in the universe."
Steve Jobs
(I loved this quote, found this morning from Eileen of Travels With Eileen.)


Jeanie said...

I tell Rick he should write his story. He has kids and a Baby Grand and someday they will want to know. I suspect no one cares much about me in the end. No kids to pass it down to. But with the family history I am trying to record stories of our moms and dads for the cousins, along with the genealogy.

I heard not long ago about a family who had been writing email letters to their three year old daughter every day of her life and they were (suing?) the provider that the server had dumped all the mail with some virus or glitch. We were in the car, Rick and I and we were flummoxed. First, email is a dumb way to leave a legacy -- unless you print it out. If you aren't going to write in your own handwriting (which I can say, means SO MUCH MORE than a printed out piece of paper), then at least do it on a computer and back it up every day on an external whatever-you-choose! OK -- someday I'll post about this. It sticks with me!

Your family will value those stories. There are so many I wish I could have asked both my parents.

And I adore your trillium!

A Joyful Cottage said...

Thought-provoking post, Lynne. My late husband's family kept letters that his great grandmother had written to her children and others, and now his second cousin has written the family history from those posts. After great grandmother passed the kids started "round robin" letter writing. One family member would write a letter to another, they would add their news to it and then pass it on to the next member, who would do the same, pass it on and so on and so on until it returned to the original writer with all the family news. Quite a pack of prolific writers in his family! And lots of history. Your flowers are lovely. xo

Missy George said...

Send some of that sunshine this way..Love the Pine Cones..Does anybody write these days? It's all about taxts and emails and then it's gone..My blog is the most writing I do, I guess..Up until this year, I have published my blogs..May still..It's getting expensive..Wonderful post..Wise post from a wise woman..

Michelle said...

A wonderful post. I don't think anyone writes anymore. Only a few pieces of writing remain on either side of my family. Sad, really.

Kerin said...

A very heartfelt post, thank you.
It is important to write our own stories, and I for one, am grateful that grammar, and spelling aren't as important as our story is ~~LOL!

I've been journaling since I was 12.
I don't know if anyone in the world will be happy to read what I've written, but at least I've done it :)

Lovely spring time pictures, and yes.. the baby pinecones are adorable!


Sarah Huizenga said...

I emailed her a couple of years ago, she still responds to that aol address. Such a great writer.

MarmePurl said...

Three of my four children had the same 7th grade teacher. One of her favorite assignments was for her students to find out how their parents met and write that story. It was suppose to give them practice at interviewing as well. But my kids already knew the story well as it is a favorite of ours to tell. Funny thing is...each of the three stories my kiddos wrote were quite different. They all got the story right, it's just that each child focused on a different aspect or interpreted it, not surprisingly, according to their own personalities.
I, of course, still have those writings.

Kim said...

My mom lost the power of speech around 4 years ago, when the Parkinson's hit. I thought I knew everything about her, but as time has gone on, there are things I realize that I did not know, or have forgotten. How I wish she had written it all down...told her story. Every now and then we come across letters written to her during WWII from her brother overseas and we get a little more info, but even more mysteries...I agree, write it down!!