Archive for the ‘Journaling’ Category

Day 6 – 365 Days of Memories – My Earliest Childhood Memory

Day 6 – 365 Days of Memories – My Earliest Childhood Memory

Today’s Question is;  What is Your Earliest Childhood Memory?

It was my intent to post a new question to write about every day for 2018.

Now, I’m writing the Memory for Day 6, and today is already January 13th.  I’m 7 days short already! So Sorry!  Maybe I should have tried for 52 weeks of memories!

One of my earliest memories was one between my oldest brother and I.  We were in the pasture, in the back of the old Chevy grain truck that Mom would later nickname “Wobble Knees.” It was cold.  We both had our heavy coats on, and we could see our breath, and the breath of the cattle that we were (well, he) was feeding, as he pitched ensilage over the side of the truck to our dairy cattle.

For some reason, he must have agreed to let me tag along. (Or maybe Mom begged him to take me.)  I had to be somewhere between two and three years old, so it was really nice that he let me go.

Dad usually fed the cattle. But that evening, my brother was the one pitching the silage down to them.  Maybe Dad was ill, but my brother was always good to help Dad, especially after Dad’s heart attack.

The reason that this sticks in my mind is because the question that I kept asking my brother was one that he didn’t answer, and couldn’t answer, to my toddler satisfaction.

I must have just been to Sunday School, and we must have studied how God made the world and everything in it, because the question that I continued to ask him was: “Who made God?”

His reply was that God was, and always had been, and always would be, and that no one made God.

My next question, and the next many questions, was: “But. Who. Made. God?”

I know that I asked him that question many times, and I remember that he was patient, if a little exasperated, by the time the cattle were fed.

I don’t remember how he got me sidetracked, nor if he ever convinced me that God was, and always had been, and always would be, and was the Creator, not the created.

In fact, it’s just that that little scene that has replayed in my memory throughout my life, and I’ve wondered if that exchange has played a part in my faith today.  And I’ve also wondered if my question might have helped trigger my brother’s desire to become a minister.

That last is a question that I can no longer ask him, as he went home to be with the Lord in December of 2012.

Day Five – 365 Days of Memories – Bartlett Arboretum and Best Friends Forever

Bartlett Arboretum and Best Friends Forever

Belle Plaine, Kansas, Bartlett Arboretum

Best Friends Forever Visit the Bartlett Arboretum in Belle Plaine Kansas

Sometimes, when you take a memory out and look at it again, and again, it gets better and better.  This time we four girls had together again after not being together for nearly twenty years, was just such a memory.

The day before we met up at our 50th Wellington High School Class of 66 Reunion. We shared hugs, and memories, photos of our kids and grandkids and got caught up.

We made plans the next day to meet and take in the beautiful Bartlett Arboretum and enjoy the lovely together before BFF Nancy and her hubby headed back home.

The day was one of those lovely Kansas Indian summer days in October that make you glad to live in Kansas. The sunlight was golden, the grasses still green and the leaves just beginning to turn gold.

It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful memory.

 

Day Four – Memory Four – Pollywog Hunting in a Buffalo Wallow

Day Four – Memory Four – Wading in a Buffalo Wallow

The challenge:

What is one of your favorite childhood memories involving water.  Preferably not in a swimming pool?  What was fun about it? What was special about it? Why do you remember it? Where were you?

I’m going to try to write up 365 memories this year.

So far I’ve been 2 hours late and a day behind.

It will probably get worse before January is over!

So lately I’ve been thinking about buffalo wallows.

The backyard I played in while growing up was a cow pasture.

Before it was a cow pasture, it was prairie. There were coyotes, antelope, prairie chickens, pheasant, quail – and buffalo.,

Our pasture had quite a few large depressions on a hillside between two creeks. Water gathered in the wallows and it would stay there for several days after a rain.

We loved to splash and wade in those buffalo wallows, squishing grass and mud between our toes with the water almost up to our knees. (we were pretty short then…)

Every spring, those buffalo wallows were full of little pollywogs or tadpoles.

We’d gather them up in canning jars, and cart them back to the house, where over several days’ time, we’d watch them turn into little baby frogs.

Once they turned into frogs we’d take them outside where they were thoroughly admired, their jumping skills assessed, and turn them loose.

And when the next spring rain came along, we’d start all over again with more pollywogs.

Caution:  I don’t know if any children will read this, or parents who might try to find pollywogs for their kids to watch grow, but when I googled Pollywogs to try to learn exactly how long it would take on average for a pollywog to turn into a frog, I found that frogs and tadpoles can transmit diseases to humans.

Two scary diseases, such as salmonella and tuberculosis.  (Check out the article here: http://frogsource.com/article/from-frogs-humans-disease-transmission

The article indicates that the salmonella can be a lot riskier for younger children, so I feel pretty lucky that we didn’t end up with any bad side effects from all the fun we had with pollywogs!

 

 

 

Day One – Memory Number 1 – What’s in a Name?

This is Day one – Memory 1 – of what I hope will be 365 Days of Memories!

If you decide to follow along, but you don’t have time to write up the “What’s In a Name?” memory for yourself, then do what I’m going to do with some of the memories that I don’t have time to write up right now.

I can’t take credit for this idea, but I’ve heard of others who do it.  They write up the question on a piece of paper and stick in a jar, Mason or Kerr, any kind with a lid, put the lid back on and pull a memory out when they do have time and write about it.  And frankly, if you’re not in the mood to write about the memory you pull out later, put it back, and pull out one that you are in the mood to write about!

So here goes…

What’s in a Name?

Questions to ask yourself:

Did your mother ever tell you the story of your name?
How they came to choose your name?
Why they named you that?
Were you named for someone else, a friend or a family member?
If so, why did they name you after this person?

What’s in a Name?

My mother must have told me the story of my name when I was pretty young or I heard her telling someone else this story, many, many times.

My parents named me Sherry Lynn.

If my mom every told me why they did, that hasn’t stuck with me, but what I do remember, is that it really annoyed her mother!

My mom’s mother, Carrie, was very opposed to the consumption of alcohol, and I shared my name with an alcoholic drink.

This fact upset my Grandma Carrie.

So much so that I heard my mom telling people, a lot of people, how upset my grandmother was many times before I began 1st grade, so when our teacher stood in front of the classroom, and told us the story of Carrie Nation, and how she carried an axe into saloons to break bottles and chop up bars I actually thought maybe, just maybe, that Carrie was my very own Grandma.

Because at the age of six, I really didn’t know what my grandmother’s last name was, so I thought anyone who hated my name, might be the very same Carrie who hated liquor enough to take an axe to it..

I don’t remember if I asked my parents if my Grandma Carrie was “the” Carrie, or if I just waited and found out later that she wasn’t.

But it’s interesting to know that my grandmother, who I’m sure loved me, actually hated my name.

Make Your Own Handwriting Font – Free Online

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 17, 2009

Have you ever wanted to have your own hand writing (or printing) turned into a font?  Say for scrapbooking, letters to family, etc., but just hadn’t parted with the money, yet?  (I sure have)

When the Legacy News e-mail newsletter came from the Legacy Family Tree Software folks a few days ago there was a link to a website that turns your handwriting into a font for free.

Woo hoo! Now I could type something up and have it look like I’d hand printed it.

Install your new font in under 30 minutes….

If you’ve always wanted your very own font, all you need is a computer, internet access, printer, and scanner, but given all that, you can pretty much have your new font installed in under 30 minutes.

So,  go read the Legacy Blog post here, where you can see more examples of fonts and read reviews.  And when you get to www.fontcapture.com, print out an extra form or two so you can practice lining up the letters within the graph  before uploading your own handwriting.  This is important.

Don’t like what you get?

Don’t like what you get?  Print out another form, and try again!   You can have a lot of fun with different and funky styles of printing!

That’s my everyday hand printing below, and yes, it’s that bad!

Have Fun!

Merry Christmas!

P.S. I had to re-boot my computer after I installed the font for it to work.

J. P.’s Christmas Journal – The Gift that Began a Lifetime of Journaling

by Sherry Stocking Kline
published in the Wichita Eagle – August 2007

For Christmas of 1984, J. P. Buellesfeld ‘s great-great uncle gave him a black, leather-bound journal.

Buellesfeld was so impressed with the gift and the fact that his great-great uncle, head of the history department at Washburn University, had been keeping a journal for 45 years that a few months later he began keeping his own journal.

Every Single Day…

Twenty-four years later, he’s still doing it. Every. Single. Day.

In fact, the journal has become so important to him that he keeps notes throughout the day in a notebook at his investment office, then takes the notebook home, and uses it to write in his journal.

For Buellesfeld, it is a matter of documenting the happenings in his life, his family’s lives, and those of his close friends. As someone who has taught and is fascinated by history, it’s also his way of documenting world happenings.

Writing in a journal can be fun, informative, and according to Buellesfeld, help settle future arguments.

Journaling Can Promote Good Health …

It can also promote good health. According to research conducted at Southern Methodist University writing in a journal for a few minutes each day about what has happened and how we feel about it can help promote emotional well-being, lower blood pressure and boost the immune system.

There’s never been a better time to start your own journal. It’s easy to find how-to-do-it books, and when you type “journaling” into Google there are 3 million plus “hits” to help you get started.

Every bookstore has a selection of journals, hard-backed, paper-backed, and beautiful leather-bound versions; some have themes, such as nature or inspirational, and many include questions and inspirational quotes to get you started.

To personalize your journal, Lori Ritchie, www.writersdigest.com, suggests that you add your favorite prayers or verses, the lyrics to your favorite songs, share your family history and family tree information, and record important events. Ritchie also suggested you add a table of contents to your journal and devote a page telling how it was acquired.

What Should You Journal About?

You can journal about everything you do or only one area of your life.

Going on a trip? Take along a traveler’s journal.

Are you a New Grandma? (Or Grandpa?) Fill out a journal about your life and your hopes and dreams for the new grandbaby.

Want to grow in your faith? There are journals with daily Bible verses and questions to stimulate thought and spiritual growth.

Grieving a loss? A grief journal can help you through your journey of recovery.

Just Remember That it’s Your Journal…

It can be anything that you want it to be, a place to document daily happenings, the story of your family’s life, or a secret place to write down your emotions, share your goals and dreams, and unload your daily cares.

Journals don’t have to be leather bound, and they don’t have to be fancy, a simple spiral notebook or a word document on your computer or laptop will do.

Use whatever works for you, and whatever allows you the freedom to express yourself.

What Goes into Buellesfeld’s Journal?

“Everything. I put everything in there,” Buellesfeld said, adding that “Once you do it everyday for 24 years it becomes an obsession.”

Buellesfeld said that his journal is absolutely more about his personal life than his business. While he hasn’t decided what provision he will make for his journals after his death, he said that many make provisions to keep their journals private for a number of years.

“Every night, and I mean every night, no matter how tired I am, I write in that journal.”

Grandpa – Tell Me ‘Bout the Good Old Days…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
First published in the Wichita Eagle’s Active Life Magazine – April 2002

Getting Grandpa to talk about the “good ole’ days” really isn’t as hard as you might think. All you have to do is set the stage, bring along some props, and be prepared with plenty of questions.

Pat Gaddie grew up listening to her Grandpa Sam tell his Irish jingles, share stories about blue racer snakes chasing him through fields, and the wagon trip he made in 1902 when he was eighteen and his family moved from Tennessee to Oklahoma.

“He lived next door to us when I was small,” Gaddie said, “and when I was eight or nine years old, he used to tell stories to entertain me.”

How to Keep Them Story Telling…

Not everyone enjoys reminiscing, but if your Grandpa (or Grandma) does, here are a few tips to keep them story telling.

Decide what you want to know, make a list of questions, then ask the most important ones first.

What’s your priority? Is it facts, figures, dates, and places, the who begat who and where or when, or is it the stories that you want to hear?

Are there family legends that you want to verify or clarify, or do you want to hear how he proposed to Grandma, laugh about the night he and his bride were chivareed, or see D-Day through his eyes?

Set the stage.

Old photographs and family memorabilia are great memory triggers, and can prompt a flood of memories, so bring out the high school play bills and yearbooks, wedding photos, and photographs of the plane Grandpa  flew in the service. When he shows you the photo of his first car, be sure and ask him about the job he took to pay for it.

Take field trips to old schools, cemeteries, and other meaningful places, and travel to Grandpa’s hometown and drive by his old schoolhouse. You may learn who put the snake in the teacher’s desk, the story behind Grandpa’s nickname, and more.

Remember that Grandpa’s dates may be approximate, as he’ll likely remember events as happening “the year of the big blizzard, the summer of the drought, or just before Beverly was born”.

Bev Malone interviews older family members to flesh out stories and verify the information.

“The best way to get the stories flowing about family members is to ask about people and things, not personalities,” Malone said.

Make sure your cameras, and audio or video recorders have fresh batteries, and take along spares. If you need an extra memory card for your cameras (or film) be sure to take that along, too.

“Recorders can make people nervous,” Malone said, so she breaks the ice by asking, “Do you mind if I tape this? My brain can’t keep it all in my head.”

Take notes, just in case technology lets you down, and transcribe your notes as soon as possible.

Need help with your list of questions?

There are books that can help, such Emily Anne Croom’s “Unpuzzling Your Past Workbook” with questions tailored for different decades in history, and Janice T. Dixon’s “Family Focused” with question lists and suggestions to help you conduct interviews and gather information.

What’s Dixon’s advice in “Family Focused” to interviewers?

“Be relaxed, don’t interrupt, don’t contradict, and don’t ask questions that can be answered with a yes or no.”

“Keep the flow of conversation going,” Dixon said, “you can go back and ask questions later.”

Gaddie cherishes and shares her Grandpa Sam’s stories with her family, a process that can add valuable information to your research as well as give you new questions to ask.

With a little planning, the next time you visit Grandpa, you may learn more about your grandfather, your parents – perhaps even yourself.

Journal Your Summer Photos Now!

by Sherry Stocking Kline
first published in Wichita Eagle’s Active Life Magazine – September 2000

Now that summer’s over, and you’ve got a shoebox full of vacation, grandchildren, wedding, and graduation photographs, it’s time for you to preserve those memories between the pages of a book, like a pressed flower, to be enjoyed again and again.

So where do you start first?

“Get some history attached to those photos,” said Bob McCreary, “that’s the first and probably the most important step.”

McCreary and his wife Kathy co-own Scrapbook Garden, Wichita, Kansas. McCreary said that Kathy carries photographs with her in her purse and whenever she has a few minutes while watching television, waiting for the doctor, or waiting to get a driver’s license she sorts photos and makes quick notes on the back with a photo safe pencil.

Once you have them sorted, McCreary said it’s really a quick step after that to put the photos in an acid-free, lignin-free photo album, and then “journal” or tell about the photos.

Each year, Gerry Reimer does a summer vacation album, and adds more pages to her all-Christmas album.

Journals Don’t Have to Be Elaborate…

Reimer said not to let your friends’ elaborate journals scare you off. “Streamline,” Reimer said, “get the photos on the page, and get the people identified.”

“First of all,” Reimer said, “Tell yourself it’s o.k. not to use all the photos you have.” Reimer said to choose pictures that tell who you are and where you were at that time, and be sure and include names and dates in your albums.

“I don’t keep a travel diary,” Reimer said, but Reimer said she jots down a few notes, picks up ticket stubs, colored brochures, saves travel itineraries and whatever else they might want to use in their vacation albums.

Reimer said you’ll know what you want to do, and what you don’t, after you finish your first book. Reimer’s first photo album was her wedding album.

“We’d been married 49 years,” Reimer said, and I didn’t like our wedding photos, so I had a wonderful time cropping off what I didn’t like and journaling about the pictures.” Reimer said she does “bullet journaling”, or writes short statements under most photos, saving long stories for special photographs or events.

Start With Recent Photo’s…

Bonnie Loewen, Creative Memories consultant, said the easiest way to get started is with your last roll of film while your memory of the event is fresh, and work your way backwards.

Tell A Story…

Loewen said to tell a story with words as well as with pictures. How were you feeling? What was going on in the family, and the world? Loewen said even the current price of bread and gasoline will be interesting to future generations.

Loewen said to write as you would talk, don’t worry about punctuation, and write a sloppy first draft. You can re-write it later, Loewen said.

Answer the Five W’s – Engage the Five Senses…

Think about the five senses and the five W’s, advised both McCreary and Loewen, adding that it will make ideas for captioning your photos come easier. Just remember to answer the questions who, what, when, where, and why questions, and engage the emotions by writing about how something looked, sounded, tasted, felt, and smelled.

Preserve Your Handwriting, too…

McCreary said and its faster to use a computer to journal, but it’s not as personal, so he said not to be afraid to write in pencil and go over it later with a permanent marker, or even cover up mistakes with cardstock.

“Some people don’t like their handwriting,” McCreary said, “but people years from now will cherish seeing the handwriting of the person who made the journal.”

Scrapbooks can help bridge the generation gap, so along with vacation, wedding and family photos, include stories and pictures of military service and other events to help future generations understand the times you lived through, and what makes your family special.

Ordinary Days are Important…

Loewen said it’s also good to make pages of what an ordinary day was like in your family, too, not just the special events. “And make a signature page,” Loewen said, with your name, date, who the album is for, and why you did it, “it’s kind of like signing a quilt.”

If you have a lifetime of photographs ask for help from your family. Reimer said that kids and grandchildren are great to help photo captions.

McCreary agreed, “it’s good to get family members involved.”

“Make it a fun activity,” McCreary said, “have everyone sit down and talk about the photos, and try to communicate some of the emotion.” You get different perspectives of an event by talking to different people.

“It’s really exciting that people are making a legacy and trying to pass on their roots and their values,” Loewen said, “values can be lost in one generation if they are not preserved.”

“People will forget you in one generation if you don’t tell your story,” Loewen said, “you can make such a difference in people’s lives with a scrapbook.”

“In a sense,” Reimer said, “your whole book is the story of your family.”

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