Friday, February 3, 2012

Keeping a Journal - Writing your life story

           So many times when I have heard it said that a lot of people find writing their life story a little intimidating.  If you are one of this group, here is a hint that you might find useful. 

           How many times during a day, a week, or a  month do you recall things that happened in your past...a memory created? I do.  So as I write in my journal, the day to day happenings are sometimes interrupted by a page (or pages) that I simply title "A Memory".  The following are examples of some of mine.

A Memory

           I was six years old when we first moved to Provo.  That would have made it 1952.  We moved into a pretty small house down on about 600 South and 1200 West.  I loved playing with my sisters Franny and Lola, but the problem was.....they didn't enjoy playing with me.  Since I was six, that made Lola eleven and Franny pretty close to fourteen.  They were much to worldly and mature to be interested in what their six year old sister might be interested in, so one day they devised a plan to keep from playing with me.  They brought out an old Indian print blanket mom had and wrapped it around me.  They then told me to stand real still and as cars drove by our house, the people would look at me and think I was an Indian statue.  I thought that sounded like a good idea.  Never mind that it was in July and hotter than heck as I stood wrapped up in wool.  But I stood still as could be....believing I was impressing all of the tourists that I was certain drove from miles around to see me.  And as I stood there, Franny and Lola went off to play.  Needless to say, I might have looked cute, but I wasn't very bright.

A Memory

           I don't know why this memory has been embedded in my mind, but when I think about it, the same feelings and scents come back.  A memory that I had of when I was about four years old.

           In Green River Wyoming, we did not have running water in the house where we lived.  We carried water to do laundry and to bathe in from the Green River in buckets.  I recall Franny and Lola each carrying two silver buckets (one in each hand) and I carried a small red lard bucket.

           But the memory I am recalling is when Mom would take the five gallon milk buckets to the pump house in Green River to get the water we would use for drinking and for cooking.  If I close my eyes, I can hear the sound of the water running in the pump house, I can feel the dampness, and I can smell the damp mossy smell. 

           I don't know why those trips to the pump house was so important to a four year old girl that some 61 years later the memory of it would find its way to the surface of my mind. 

           One doesn't necessarily need to follow their life's story along in chronological order. If we just fill a book with a bunch of memories, then our children and great grandchildren will be able to capture those things that for whatever reason were important enough for us to record and begin to understand what we and our lives were like.  One doesn't need to keep a journal to do this.  A notebook of memories or a computer file with memories would serve as well.  It's not important how it is done, just that it is done.

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