This week has been a lot of fun. My aunt (the girl in the back row of the above photo - my mom is the girl on the lower right hand side) and uncle arrived for a visit and with them came one of my cousins and his wife. We have laughed and talked and eaten with great gusto, but mostly we have shared stories and photos from the past.
A couple of my cousins, including the one who came for a visit, had put together a dvd of old home movies my grandfather shot. In these I got to see my mother as a child and my aunt as a young woman. With each scene I got to hear stories of what had brought them to this place. Of course each scene brought additional stories and comments.
There was laughter and tears as the memories spilled out around the room. I learned that my grandfather fancied himself a great photographer, but often cut off the heads of his subjects. We got to a place where we were starting to recognize bodies and necks. We watched the aftermath of a horrible flood that hit Kansas in 1951. My mother told us of the shock they had returning home to find everything ruined and a beloved pet gone. One section of the video offered proof for an age old family argument regarding a car they once owned. (Thank goodness for that because the quibble has gone on for several decades.)
We saw new babies - now adults pushing their 60's. We commented on how my mother's younger sister looks just like my great aunt now long gone. It was a precious time to be sure. My cousin took notes throughout the entire dvd as my mother and his share their memories. He loves researching genealogy and knows the importance of keeping the old stories--because those stories are a special part of our past. This is a photo of my great-grandmother and her children (including my grandmother - also shown above as the mother in the photo. Note how much she looks like her mother as an adult).
I hope you too have a legacy of family stories and photos. I hope you'll write the stories down for future generations and please please write names and if possible dates on the back of photos. We have such a great treasure in stories from the past.