Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Families and Stories

I am lying in bed listening to the noises that start the day in any home, lazy to start my own day and leave this perfect sanctuary. I have been thinking of family and the importance of sharing stories and keeping family memories alive. As I wrote my knitting blog on Sunday, I was surrounded by the familiar presence of my mother as she flooded into my memories.

Since then she has brought much joy to our family as my children saw the photographs that I posted and commented on their own memories with regard to her. It made me think about all the stories that are lost in the living of every day life. She was the family record keeper and historian. All the news filtered though her from family scattered around the world.

When we are young we are very busy and seldom see the value of all these stories but as we get older, we become more curious about these things. I bet that these are all the stories that kept the tribe entertained as they gathered around the fire in the evenings. There was not much else to amuse them. When I look at my grandmother's life, it seems one step away from that fire.

She rode to school on a donkey. She was the last of 13 children who was spoilt rotten in quite a poor household which was rather usual. They all lived on a farm where there was no running water or electricity. She was apprenticed to a tailor after 6 years of schooling.

She married a man 20 years older than her and had my mother. They also lived on a farm. She educated herself by being an avid reader and travelling at every opportunity so got. She outlived two husbands and worked as a matron at a boy's school for 20 years, playing golf at every opportunity she got.

The changes that she saw in her lifetime must have been astounding, from motor cars to airplanes, vaccinations to MRI machines, radios to television and the advent of computers. She took it all in her stride. Imagine all the stories that she lived. Every change she saw was one of them.

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