Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We met a dear friend at a Starbuck's at the mall yesterday.  It was difficult to get to the shop as the mall traffic was horrendous.  A Christmas sign on the door of Starbuck's said:


I think family stories are so important.  They are a way to introduce family members who have passed over to younger members of the family.  Stories make the departed seem real and not just a name on a tombstone or a family tree.  I wish my Grandparents had told me more family stories than they did. 

My Mom and Dad were good story tellers so what little I know of the family came from them.  The stories have made my genealogy search so much more fun than it would have been if I didn't know for example, my Dad's family had always been tailors and that our family name is not Dutch but is Prussian, my Dad said the Prussians were the noble Germans.

Stories can tell of strengths or weaknesses and be a valuable tool for learning about how others in our own family have reacted.  I have had to face problems that seemed insurmountable. Then I think if my Grandma could leave her whole family and take 2 small children across the ocean, board a train not knowing a word of English, and get to Grand Rapids, Michigan,  I guess I can do what I have to do.  If leaving wasn't bad enough, she was horribly seasick during the entire ocean voyage.

Funny stories help to bind us as a family as they are unique to our.  In my family cookbook, I wrote about all the pranks my quiet Dad played on people for April Fool's Day or just because he had an idea of something that would be funny.  Once he had a bear rug brought into the plant to clean; he propped it up on stools in the men's bathroom with its head turned toward the door.  The end result was hilarious. 

So my advice is don't shop for those last presents.  Take the time to tell your loved ones the family stories you know.  Tell the same stories over and over as I know from my own experience that children don't always listen well.  I wish I had taken notes when I was told stories as I should have listened better when I had the chance.

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