Every generation has witnessed some unique and historic events in this world. We should tell those stories to our children and grandchildren.
It happened again. I was talking to a friend and they said something like. . .I wished I'd asked my dad about Vietnam and his time in the army. We all lament not asking our parents, grandparents and other relatives about BIG world events. Don't wait for someone to ask you. Tell your stories and eyewitness accounts now.
In a previous blog, I suggested to my readers to brainstorm a list of world events you have lived through. Write down all the things that pierce your brain as far as historical events you have witnessed--everything from the JFK assassination to the one I'm writing about today, Beatlemania and the British invasion. I think that was truly unique to our culture and one worth sharing. And besides, all the stories you record do not have to be serious. Writing about this one is a fun one! And it will give your children and grandchildren a glimpse into your teen years.
I started by going to the library to do some research. I got this picture from a great book on the subject by Bob Spitz--Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Beatles, Beatlemania, and the Music That Changed the World.
I decided to do my essays on historical events of my day, by patterning them after the old (really old) television show of the 1960's called "You Are There." I think there was also a show called "Eyewitness to History." (These were shows wherein the producers recreated events from history, such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence.) Both of those titles would work, and I've actually used them interchangeably in my accounts. Of course I changed the name to "I Was There."
I'm making mini-books for my essays about my life and times, but you could certainly simply add your eyewitness accounts to your journal. Or you could have some fun with this subject and go buy a gorgeous new journal from your friendly, neighborhood bookstore and record your eyewitness-to-history stories in there. You might design a pretty cover page and just hand-write your stories in that journal.
Meanwhile, back to the Beatles!
I chose to document this bit of history for my kids and grandkids as I found it (and still find it) truly phenomenal. I witnessed their first American performance on the Ed Sullivan Show just as many of my generation did. I was fascinated by the hysteria that accompanied that group all over the world. I wanted to capture that on paper.
I'm recording my "Eyewitness to History" stories in little 4 1/2 by 6 inch mini-books made from a single sheet of 12x18 inch paper. I've written about these little mini-books before, and you can certainly write me if you'd like those instructions. I'm also adding these little mini-books to a big box that I'm filling with my stories.
A peek inside my book on the Beatles~
Please understand. I'm not trying to impress you with my creativity. I've never had an original idea in my life. I copy, copy, copy. I've read so many articles about the importance of sharing our stories for our children. I so want to encourage my other grandparent readers to do this. I got the idea for mini-books from friends--one who is a teacher and one who makes the most beautiful greeting cards and mini-books of inspiration. I decided to combine those two ideas and capture my memories in mini-books. I share simply because it might inspire you, my readers, as well.
Go forth and write your stories! Hey, our winter seems to be hanging on for a bit longer. This is a nice project for those long winter days. And if you are like me, you read where we should be writing our stories for generations to come, but WHERE TO START? Telling our stories is all well and good, but difficult to do. Thinking in terms of historical events seemed to help me. And as I said in my opening paragraph above, we all lament not asking our parents and grandparents about certain events that they witnessed. Let's not let that happen to us.
"The best loved stories are not from books or films, but those from our own families." Jayne McGarvey
Spreading good cheer with kindness rocks and do it with your grandkids. I've written about kindness rocks before. I love the concept: leaving a message on a rock for someone to find on their walk. So the purpose of this blog today is twofold--create some kindness rocks and do it with your grandchildren. You can either paint kindness rocks with them or just paint them yourself and have your grandchildren help you hide them around the neighborhood. And we have an extra day this year--it's LEAP YEAR! So celebrate Leap Day this year by hiding messages of goodwill and encouragement for others to find and be cheered.
The concept of Kindness Rocks~
The Kindness Rock Project was started by Megan Murphy. She was missing her deceased parents and on her walks along the beach, she would often look for signs that they were watching over her from above. She would look for seashells, pretty rocks, and sea glass. She felt comforted by what she found. She considered that others probably do the same on their walks. So one day on a lark, before she left the house on her daily walk, she grabbed a marker and wrote some short messages on some rocks she had collected.
My thoughts on kindness rocks~
I was recently with a family member when he got some bad news. He left the house saying, "I just need to go for a walk." That spurred me to create some kindness rocks once again. Now I realize the odds of someone going for a walk to clear their head and finding one of my kindness rocks might be pretty slim, but you never know. Anytime someone is out in nature and taking a walk might just need that little spark or a word of encouragement. Or they might pass it on to someone who does.
Rocks with a Leap Day/Leap Year theme~
I often paint rocks with a seasonal theme--Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick's Day. This month I painted rocks with a leap year theme--it just might be the time someone needs some extra encouragement, so I painted rocks with the "take a LEAP," idea. Maybe it would encourage someone to try something or change something. Anyway, that's what I did.
We need SPRING!
While I was in my craft room painting kindness rocks, I also began painting rocks to welcome spring. It's been a long, cold winter, so even though it's not spring yet, people might need to find a sign of spring on their walk. Why not on a rock?
Leap Day with the grands~
This kindness rock project all started when my grandson and I were looking for ideas on how to celebrate Leap Day. As always, one only has to google something like, "Leap Day activities with the kids. . . " And you can do the same. I found things like:
One final appeal!
I've written before about all the blessings of painting kindness rocks. It makes you feel good to spread some good cheer and words of inspiration around your town and neighborhood. But it's also fun for the painter when you're involved in the act of painting. As so many of you already know, when you're working on your hobbies and crafts, it makes you forget your troubles and focus on your creation. It's good for us! As our mothers always told us, busy hands are happy hands. So if you're looking for an additional hobby, I recommend painting kindness rocks.
Website about the Kindness Rock Project~
Previous blogs about kindness rocks~
So that your grandkids know their great-grandmother, make a book of remembrance.
You've read articles online and in magazines and newspapers how you should share the stories of your parents, but it seems such a huge ordeal--you don't really know how to tackle that. Where to start?
I thought the same thing, but perhaps we should just break it down into something smaller, something we can tackle. A friend and I came up with these subjects that can make it easier. And what a treasure our children and grandchildren will have when you present it to them.
Here are some areas wherein you could create a book about your mom, and I'm betting you can come up with even more:
I opted for a book of my mother's advice and folksy sayings. And what's fun about doing this one is you can ask your siblings and various family members about the advice or old adages that your mother shared with them. The whole process is fun!
Once you've collected her bits of advice, then just look for photos of her and add that to your book. The thing about about doing such a book is that it's not overwhelming. It's as easy as putting a piece of her advice on a page and perhaps a picture of her to go with it. But what a treasure your family will have, and they will learn much about her just reading her wisdom.
And that's it! How easy is that?
If you do a book of her recipes, you can still intersperse photos or pieces of advice in the book.
Showing off her crocheting in a book would make her so proud. She worked hard on all those creations. The same is true of her paintings; snap a picture with your cell phone and give some background on the paintings. Makes for a lovely coffee table book, but more importantly, a treasure for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
This is a nice project for these cold winter days. Give it a try. And if you've done a book about your mother or grandmother (or father or grandfather), please share with me, and I promise to share on my blog. We're all looking for ideas.
Here's a blog about a recipe book that my sister-in-law did with recipes from her and her children's grandmother. What a gem she presented to her kids one Christmas.
Happy Valentine's Day to all! Spread the love!! And you know, you can do it with a book. . .just saying. (Insert chuckle here.)
Interested in creating a book? Just google online book-making sites. There are numerous ones to choose from, or you can write me for my recommendations. Good luck!
Retired school teacher and now full time grandmother sharing ideas and looking for new ones about grandparenting!