Corky weighed 13 lbs when she was born – at home, because a storm made traveling to the hospital over snow-packed rural roads impossible so the doctor was brought to the farmhouse by sleigh and horses; she attended school in a one-room schoolhouse and because only 32 children attended the school, meaning grades had to be combined for the lone teacher’s convenience, she skipped 3rd and 5th grades and did 6th grade twice; her parents thought she would grow up to be a farmer’s wife tending to the household chores and raising children, therefore she only needed to know how to cook, clean and sew, so they didn’t allow her to go to high school…she left school after 8th grade.
These are some of the facts I have learned about my now deceased mother-in-law’s life while typing up the entries she made in The Grandparent Book; a book she received from her granddaughters to record her life story.
The book, which consists of questions about every aspect of a person’s life, provides enough space after each question to allow for responses. It is designed for grandparents’ use to describe their life so descendants can know their story.
Though I knew my mother-in-law for over 40 years, I learned lots of things about her while doing this transcribing of her long-hand notes, that I never knew before.
How very interesting!
It was rather like reading a history book about life on a farm in rural Minnesota during the 1920s and 1930s.
So, why was I typing all this information that Corky had written into this book long-hand?
There are four grandchildren, and in fact, now four great-grandchildren with another on the way; and, there is only one Grandparent Book. Daughter, Amy, and I decided it would be nice for all of the heirs – sons also – to have at least an electronic copy of Grandma’s story. Since the book is bound, photocopying would be cumbersome, so Amy elected me to work on typing a copy in a computer file for sharing with everyone interested in having one. Once I have completed the transcribing, I will be distributing a copy to family members.
Just coincidentally, Amy gave me The Grandparent Book several years ago when her first-born, Jack, was a baby. The assumption, of course, being that I would write down my life story. To date, I haven’t written a thing in the book. Now, after seeing how much enjoyment one can get from reading about the life of one’s elders, I intend to sit down and begin telling my story.
I tell you this today, because I want to encourage you to share your story with your kids, grandkids or if you don’t have children, your nieces and nephews. I feel certain they will enjoy learning about how things were in your life beginning with your childhood. I truly wish I had a similar book or document telling about my own parents’ lives!
If writing isn’t your thing, find a book such as The Grandparent Book to prompt you with questions you can answer. I don’t know if that particular book is still available but I’m guessing if you go online to Amazon or visit a bookstore you can find something similar to assist you with this process.
Yes, it will take you some time to record all the details of your life, but you don’t need to complete it in one sitting. Take it slowly and work on it when you are inspired and have some time to reflect. I’m thinking I have a terrible memory and don’t remember things about my childhood; in reality, when I sit and ponder about it, I really do have some things I could share that might be interesting. I’m sure you do too!