“Garden of Memories”

Just recently Carolyn and I finished reading a 100-page memoir that my 85-year-old grandmother wrote several years ago.  She titled it Garden of Memories, and it was one of the most interesting things I’ve ever read!  Some of my favorite parts:

  • My grandmother describing how she met my grandfather–and how she had the hots for him.  It’s kind of a weird thing to read about–I mean, we’re talking about my grandparents–but fascinating all the same.
  • My dad was born on Christmas, and my grandmother writes about how she went into labor during a Christmas Eve program, but waited until after it was over before she told anyone she was about to give birth.
  • The various accounts of the ministries where my grandmother served in her church, and how God answered some of her big prayers.
  • Historical tidbits from a bygone era, things like riding in a wagon, churning butter, buying a first refrigerator/ washing machine/ car, moving into a log house built in the early 1800s, what it was like to live during the Depression and World War II, hurriedly getting married after Pearl Harbor was attacked and my grandfather enlisted, etc.
  • The story of my Uncle Hugh when he was a toddler; he told his mom he was going to work (she didn’t believe him), then he hopped on his tricycle and actually pedaled downtown to where his dad worked.
  • Their chicken named Cleopatra, who came to their doorstep every morning and laid an egg, then made a bunch of noise to let everyone know she’d made her daily delivery.  She died one morning after laying a freak egg–it was an egg inside an egg, and it was so big it killed her.
  • The adventures of my Uncle Randy in church when he was barely old enough to talk.  On one occasion the preacher was getting fired up and looked at my grandfather.  Randy thought he was yelling at his dad, so he pointed at the preacher and yelled, “Shubup!”  Another time there was a guy praying in the worship service and his prayer kept going on and on, so the toddler Randy settled the matter by abruptly shouting, “Amen!”
  • One of my favorites: In the early 1950s, my grandparents placed an ad in the newspaper to sell their house.  A drunk guy saw the ad and went to the wrong address–he was so hammered that he went to the house next door and said he’d pay them whatever they wanted for the house.  The surprised couple actually sold it to him!  My grandmother jokingly told them they owed her for the ad.

I am absolutely convinced that the value of leaving a journal for later generations cannot be overstated!

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Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 5:49 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. I totally agree. A few years ago the kids and I spent a rainy day making a little book on index cards. On each index card we wrote a question like, “What was your first car”, “What is your favorite childrens book”, “what is your favorite childhood memory”. We had about 20 or 30 questions with space to write an answer. We made 2, one with a cover for “Great Grama” and one with a cover for “Grama”. We bound it with yarn. Then, we gave one to my mom and one to my grama for each of them to fill out. It’s a nice little keepsake for the kids and a great way to remember them when they’re gone up to heaven.


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