Story and Why
"Your Life is Your Story" Blog Archives
quality family history and life story news, views, methods, products,
...and whatever else catches our fancy of personal
July 30, 2021
For many years I have worked
with people on their life stories. I’ve interviewed,
conversed, written, edited, encouraged and supported them as they
recounted their life journeys. Life story recollections are fascinating
and important and I like doing it.
Some people call the work ghost writing or being a personal historian.
Truth on both accounts. I guess I view this more as being a teacher of
the various ways you can preserve a life story, particularly the
writing process. That probably is a result of being a school teacher in
my “other” occupation, something I began doing over
a decade ago and as a later calling in my life.
Summer is almost over, that delightful and sacred time between school
years when teachers relax, rest and refresh themselves before once
again beginning with a new group of students. It has been a
particularly enjoyable summer break for me this year. But now I must
re-engage what I call Teacher
Brain. At the end of a school year, after intense months
of lesson planning and implementing and helping young minds learn and
grow, I have to give Teacher
Brain a break. So I turn it off. But now July is
over and August is starting and so is another school year.
I’ve sent my brain the message: Teacher Brain on!
Our Core Values
July 28, 2021
One of the valuable benefits of life story reflection, reminiscence and
writing is the often helpful perspective of where we have been in life
as well as where we are now. I know this to be quite true for me. And I
know it to be true of many others whom I have assisted in preserving
their life stories.
It is wonderful to look back at times in our lives and appreciate all
the goodness. Harder to view the troubled times. Yet these times often
are the most valuable, at least in teaching us lessons and helping us
to grow as people who learn to love and care about others.
At age 93 Jerry Witkovsky - author, social work professional and
grandparenting activist - reflects on his core values in an article in the summer issue of GRAND Magazine.
One of the things he states is "You know more than you give yourself
credit for." But the knowledge is often hard won. Such is life. It's
not all easy peasy. I
know for myself that the struggle is where I have the opportunity to
become something better.
Mr. Witkovsky's article delves into the issues of compassion and
empathy, but he does it by relating experiences from his life and
interactions with others. It was a good read and helped me to again
reflect on just what I consider my core values. It really is about
being a part of life, hopefully in a positive way. We are not here just
for ourselves. We need each other and we all can use some help and
encouragement along the way.
Mary Guathier Saved by a Song
July 16, 2021
Mary Gauthier is one of those singer-songwriters who speaks about her
life and life experiences through her songs. A true balladeer. She gets
rigorously honest about her life journey. I admit I am attracted to
such artists. It is never easy to face our demons, but when we hear
about how others do and make it through to the other side we often can
gain inspiration and motivation to do the same.
Gauthier has just released a memoir that started as an intended
songwriting manual to share insight into the craft of songwriting. In
the end she achieved that and more.
The resulting book is Saved
by a Song. Nashville
Scene published an article by Brittney McKenna
that provides some insight into the book, and life, of Mary Gauthier.
Influences and support from others like Bob Dylan and the late John
Prine have helped her on her journey. Now her memoir may do the same
and Rosalynn Carter Diamond Anniversary
July 7, 2021
do you measure a successful marriage? Longevity is certainly a factor.
Today is the 75th wedding anniversary for Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter. 75
years! Their marriage is a great love story.
It is more than the
years. It is the quality of that time and the legacy of this couple.
Jimmy Carter was a one term president, but his presidency was during a
difficult period of United States history. In the late 1970s the
country was dealing with the Iran hostage situation and a gas shortage,
among other things.
The years following have maybe better
defined former President Jimmy Carter. He is a recipient of a Nobel
Peace Prize. He and Rosalynn have helped a great number of people with
their social and charitable efforts, among them building
homes with Habitat for Humanity.
is 96 and Rosalynn 93. Good, long and well-lived lives. They met when
he was three and she was a day old. They both grew up in Plains, a
small Georgia town and lived just three miles apart. Growing up
Rosalynn became best friends with Jimmy's younger sister. Jimmy was
later smitten with Rosalynn while a Naval Academy cadet. Their first
date was in 1945. She was 17 and he was 20. He soon told his mother,
"She's the girl I want to marry."
Happy anniversary to the
longest presidential marriage in U.S. history! If you don't know much
about this wonderful couple I recommend you read up on them. A short
piece on NPR Radio this morning is a good