Today's topic on Romance Writers Weekly comes from – me!
Telling stories is as old as the first time a caveman came back from a hunt and told about the big one that got away. Every family and relationship has a story or two that gets told at every get-together. What’s that story in your family? What’s that tale that everyone loves to hear told over and over again?
Oral histories are precious and easily lost. Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, I encourage you to jot down some of your family favourites in a computer document or journal. I believe it is so important for the next generation to be connected to those that came before.
Every family has those special stories, some going back generations. For example, my father's ancestor settled in Nova Scotia in the 1700's. Legend has it that he married an Indian woman, and those of us with dark hair and dark eyes are throwbacks to her. This doesn't take into the account the multitude of other genes that have contributed to us from other members of the family, of course, which is what makes it a legend, I guess!
Most of our family's favourite stories make us laugh so hard tears come to our eyes at every telling. On my mother's side, her family emigrated to Canada from Belgium after World War 2. My grandmother's family was from quite well off, and hadn't been too happy about her moving across the globe to be the wife of a farmer. Their first house was small and primitive – but across the street was a large, lovely, well-kept home. So my grandmother took a photo of that and sent it to her mother, with the implication that was their house. I love that story!
My own mother is a creative, talented woman with a daring, adventurous side. She is often the subject of our family stories. Like the time she glued pearl beads to my young brothers' ears to play a trick on our conservative grandmother. Or, in the 1950's, how she smuggled a chipmunk to Belgium on an airplane. The story my own children love best is the one where she was snowshoeing along a road and a snowplow approached. She thought it would be fun to stand under that nice, soft spray of snow arcing off the blade of the blow. Yeah – it's not soft. It's hard, packed tight by momentum. It knocked her flat on her back and all my dad could see of her was the tips of her snowshoes and a mound of snow. My kids wrote lyrics to the tune of Gramma Got Run Over by a Reindeer to memorialize their favourite Gramma story.
Be sure to visit A.S. Fenichel next for a peek at her family stories. And I'd love to hear from you, too! You're invited to tell your own funny, poignant, well-loved family story in the comments. I'll be sure to read and respond to them all.