Last year my son, Christopher, and his wife, Brittney, gave me a book, Stories from Grandpa, A fill-in Journal and Family Keepsake. Over the past year, I have answered hundreds of questions about my life, hopes, experiences, and work. I have been amazed at the memories that have filled my mind as I slowly plod through answering the questions. Many of these memories would have been lost if I didn’t take the time to write them down. I have realized that my life story is important to share with my grandchildren. All of our stories are important!
Last week I was asked to write down one story that I have told many times in my life but never gets old. Here is the story I shared.
Growing up, we raised chickens. Sometimes we would get baby chicks that we kept under lights to keep warm. We discovered that these little chicks loved to eat tent caterpillars. My mom caught us and told us to stop because we could kill them. They were too small. So we said, OK. But we didn’t listen, and we kept feeding them to the chicks. Well, my mom caught us and became very angry. She said, go out and collect three tent caterpillars and bring them into the house. When we got them into the house, there was a pot of boiling water on the stove and three bowls on the table with spoons. She said, “Drop them into the water and sit down.” We were terrified! She was going to make us eat caterpillars as our punishment. We started to cry and beg, but she just stood there and stirred the pot with a big wooden spoon, humming! She served each of us three worms and broth. We were terrified. We kept crying and begging. She finally said, “Will you ever do it again.” We all screamed, NO! She said, get out of here. So, we ran for our lives.
I wonder what stories, life lessons, and adventures will be lost if you don’t take the time to capture them and share them. If time is too short, record a story of two on your cell phone. Check out an app called Marco Polo. You can record short videos about your childhood, your dreams, and what it was like to grow up in the 60s, 70s, or 80s and send them. Your children, grandchildren, and family can reply with questions and responses. Your story matters! Be bold and share it.