Preserving Family Memories

While many people today focus their time on genealogy, there are those who find personal family history or memories to be more important to possess.  They find developing a family tree to be time consuming and an arduous task.  Personal family history is of a more intimate nature.

 

Several years before my father died, I developed a process of recording many of his stories, thoughts and other information concerning our personal family history.  After completing this process, I was able to present the written history to him as a gift on Fathers Day.  He loved it; other family members enjoyed it so much, they too requested copies. Now that he is gone, those precious memories and documents are comforting and invaluable.  I am thankful to possess these memoirs in my fathers own words. 

 

One of my goals on my website is to promote the preservation of such memories. To follow through with that goal, I’ve decided to include tips here on this blog.  I plan to post one tip at a time and if you are lucky, I might even include some of my father’s memories as examples.

 

Today’s tip

 

  • Determine who has information or memories of your family’s past and would be willing to share those memories. Who in your family possesses valuable family information? Who would be willing to talk to you and answer endless questions about the past?  Have you heard a particular family member tell the same stories from their past over and over? Don’t miss out on the chance to record those stories.  As you/they grow older, the details will fade. You might think that you will remember every story and every detail, but don’t count on it. When I was a teenager, I grew bored with my father’s endless stories of when he went to school, church or lived and worked on the family farm. He’d tell one tale after another -most of which, I could recite word for word. As I became older and matured, I began to ask him infinite questions and soon I discovered a newfound interest in my family’s past. By the time I decided I wanted to preserve family memories, my grandfather and grandmother were deceased. I determined that my father was the best person for me to interview.

 Try to think of someone in your family that you could interview. As you can tell in what I was able to gain from my father, dialog, correct use of the English language and perfection isn’t required. As you try to decide who to interview, come back and check for the next post, I’ll give you another tip on getting those memories preserved.

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A Real Power Surge

 

 

Sometimes I use the term Power Surge when I am making reference about someone who has temporarily allowed their power to go to their head.  This week though, I experienced a real power surge in my home office.  We had a electrical blackout in our area a few nights ago. I woke in the middle of the night to a much cooler house than I when I went to bed. Eventually the power came back on as did the heat.

 

The following evening I went into my home office to catch up on some writing projects. You’ve probably guessed it by now – my computer was all but dead. I called the computer geeks and after much discussion and many tries at repair, they pronounced my computer as fried.  They say when the electricity comes back on, sometimes the power is so strong that it can destroy any computer not connected to a battery pack, which of course, mine wasn’t.

 

I’ve had to purchase a new one.  I should have waited. I’ve been sick all week with laryngitis and a bad hacking cough. I certainly didn’t feel like setting up a new computer.  I became so flustered and annoyed with the new one that I threatened to return it to the store the very next day.

 

After sharing my annoyance with my computer to my son, he reminded me that I was a writer and needed a computer. He assured me that it all would be ok. He used that sweet calming preacher voice of his, and I soon admitted that he was right. When my pastor learned that I purchased a new computer, he immediately came to my rescue and solved most of my computer issues.  He should be one of those computer geeks.  He actually enjoys doing that kind of stuff.

 

Anyway, I have a brand new smancy fancy computer that can do more things than I can ever figure out.  So far so good though.  Now I’m waiting to hear from the computer repair serviceman in my town to see if he can, hum, what did my son call it, oh ya, see if they “can skim my hard drive” to recover some badly needed contact info, email addresses and other things that I can’t seem to live without.

 

I’ve got a new definition for Power Surge – it’s when you call upon your preacher son or pastor and they come to your rescue.  I’m still hoarse, coughing my head off and generally feeling kind of rough, but my computer woes are much better.  

 

Maybe, I’ll call them and see if they can do something about this cough.

A Friend in the Darkness

 

Most of us have friends. Some of us have as few as one or two people in our lives that we consider true friends.  I’m lucky enough to have many people that I consider true friends.  I still have friends from grade school that I talk to often, have lunch with them and attend church together on a regular basis.

There have been times that were it not for friends; I don’t know how I would’ve made it through my day. There’s been sickness, death, life struggles and work issues that have required a listening ear.  Thankfully, in each instance, friends have been there.

When choosing friends, here is a list of things that we should consider with Bible verses to help guide us. Potential friends should:

 

  • Have good morals. (1 Cor.15:33)
  • Be modest. (1 Tim 2:9)
  • Be law abiding. (Rom. 13:1-7)
  • Be honest. (Luke 8:15)
  • Bridle their tounges. (James 1:26)

We must select as friends those who respect God and things spiritual – those who regard spiritual things as more important than material things. We decieve ourselves if we believe we can choose otherwise and not be affected.

I want to be a friend to others. What are other things to consider when you want to choose friends or be a good friend? Below is my list:

Listen – Sometimes a friend is needed as a sounding board. A true friend will listen to what you have to say without feeling they have to offer a fix to the situation. Listening shows that I care about you and what you are saying.

Discernment – As relationships grow, a friend will be keenly aware of changes in body language, tone in conversations and facial expressions. A true friend notices these subtle changes and will know when something is wrong and will be there to help you through whatever it is.

Solid and Dependable – As a friend I should always be there for others. My friends should know that they can depend on me in times of trouble as well as in times of excitement and good news. I should be the person they can come to anytime for anything.

Lower Your Expectations – That might not be the best way to say it, but sometimes our friends mess up. We have to realize we are not perfect and neither are our friends. Getting beyond differences and unrealistic expectations is a must.

Prepare to Share – Friendships are not one sided. True best friends are able to share confidences, speak honestly without reproach and are truly comfortable with each other. As a friend I must be willing to share my feelings.

You might come up with other things to add to the list. If you do, let me know in the comment section.  I’d love to here what you believe qualities are desired in a true friend.

About twenty years ago, I wrote a poem about a friend. She was there for me during a difficult period. I wrote what was in my heart and what was on my mind. The poem doesn’t meet the requirements of true poets, but I believe it will fit here nicely.

 

 

 

 FRIEND IN THE DARKNESS

 

There are people out there

Who won’t do what is right.

All they want to do is

Argue, fuss and fight.

 

There are people out there

Who want to do what they can

To bring you down.

It’s enough to make your

Lifelong companion – a frown.

 

There are people out there

Who spend their whole day in sin.

If we are not careful, into

Their web we will be spinned.

 

There are people out there

Who will make you cry.

And cause you to question

Your Lord asking Him, Why?

 

But, then there are people like you

Who light the way,

Smile, speaks softly and

Spreads cheer all day.

 

People like you who

Help me to know,

To others, no matter what,

Its love that we must show.

 

People like you

Who always have a kind word.

Never having to speak

For their Christianity to be heard.

 

The Lord must have known

That I would need people like you around

To take away the bad times

And help to remove the frowns.

 

I can only hope and pray

That our friendship is forever.

After all it was God

Who brought us together.

 

You are my Friend In The Darkness

 

Written by – Darlene G. Snyder

 

 

 

Martha and Carol

I’m back.

I just returned home from the Indianapolis Christian Writer’s Conference.  I really enjoyed the conference, the speakers, the worship service and the new friends that I made. The workshops were informative and I am thankful for the opportunity to meet with a few editors and publishers.  Hopefully, the contacts will lead to more writing and publishing opportunities.

What I really want to take the time to do is to introduce you to my newest friends.  Martha and Carol. Here is a picture of us at the writer’s conference

Darlene, Martha and carol

Darlene, Martha and Carol

 

 

 

 

 

Martha

Martha is 81 years old, walks two miles everyday and has no major health issues. She is an author who has four books to her credit.  She has her own website http://www.martha-evans-parks.com and is very active in her church and community.   Martha is currently writing her fifth book and has plans to write magazine articles when her book is complete.  She is comfortable with the computer and the Internet. 

Martha is well educated, lived and worked in New York until after her husband died, She has a jovial personality and is one of the nicest, courteous, thoughtful women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.  The staff at the Wesleyan Church International Headquarters in Indianapolis where we attended the writer’s conference, speaks highly of Martha and shows great respect to her. 

Carol

Carol isn’t a writer – yet.  She says she is more of an editor.  She is a retired missionary.  served as a missionary in Seoul Korea for over thirty years where she taught voice lessons, and trained seminary students in the many aspects of music. 

Carol has been back in the United States for aproximatly three years.  She returned to Korea during the three years for nine months.  She misses her Korean friends and says she is like a hard boiled egg – white on the outside and yellow on the inside.  She also says that some of the Korean people say they are like the banana – yellow on the outside and white on the inside.  She loves those people and can’t wait for her next opportunity to return for a visit.

Another highly educated woman with a fun personality.  Carol leads her church choir and speaks to womens groups on occasion regarding her time and work in Korea. 

Both of these ladies traveled with me to the writer’s conference.  We enjoyed getting to know one another and enjoyed many laughs together.  I was hard pressed to keep up with them once we arrived in Indianapolis.  Had it not been for Carol’s buddy  Mardacar (the name we gave Carol’s GPS – the first letters of each of our names- pretty ingenious, ey?), we’d surely lost our way.

The sweetest thing was when both Martha and Carol sang Happy Birthday to me when we were traveling home – my birthday was the following day, but the serenaded me early.  This is a precious memory – one that I’ll always cherish.

I must say, it was rather sad when we had to part after arriving home.  I know that I’ve made two new wonderful friends.  I’m looking forward to spending time with them again  soon.

It’s Over – Thankfully

I am so very glad the election is finally over. All of the advertisements and war against words as well as against each other, ran its course weeks ago as far as I’m concerned.

Not only did we have to contend with the battle for president, Senator McConnell had a hotly debated race to run and Bruce Lunsford gave him a great challenge.  Locally, two judges whom I work with and admire were in a race for the Circuit Court Judge position.

The mailings, phone calls and TV advertisements seemed to go on endlessly.  It doesn’t matter which side of the fence you are standing on, after a while you get tired of standing there watching and listening.

On to better subjects…

Off work due to the presidential election, Mike and I kept our grandson for a while yesterday.  He is almost seven months old now and is so much fun.  He is learning to crawl…he army crawls using his forearms to pull  and his knees to push. Mike and I tried to devise a plan to keep the little fellow for a while longer, but his parents would have none of what we suggested.  They are party poppers!

Thankfully, I am off work until next Wednesday.  I’m going to a Christian Writer’s Conference in Indianapolis for a few days.  I’m looking forward to it. When I return, I’ll still have some time off.  With the nice weather, I plan to get in one day of motorcycle riding.  Maybe even today. Who knows, I might even take in some television…now that I won’t be bombarded with all those political commercials.

 

I hope you enjoy the rest of your week.