Saving family stories feels like a huge project, doesn’t it? Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be.
If you’ve never saved family stories, the easiest way is to write, record or video one of your own stories. It doesn’t have to be about anything major. In fact, I’d encourage you to save stories about your everyday life. Think about your descendants of 200 years from now – don’t you imagine they’d love to know something about you and your life? I’m certain of it.
To get you started thinking about family stories, here’s a brief one I’ve told many times – but this time I actually wrote it down.
My sister, Vicki, and I took a road trip to Billings, Montana where we met up with our friends Jim and Pam. Our goal was to visit many of the sites relating to the Indian wars. We hired a guide to take us along the some trail Custer and the 7th Cavalry took on its way to the Little Bighorn.
If you know anything about the Custer story you may remember a famous spot called the Crow’s Nest. It was from this high vantage point that native guides tried to show Custer the huge pony herd of the Indian village that was miles away. They could see that there were far too many tribesmen gathered for Custer to attack. However, Custer couldn’t see the pony herd, even with his field glasses.
Our guide actually took us to that famous spot – even though, in retrospect – I think we might have been on private property. After ascending a steep hill, we stood at the very vantage point that Custer stood, looking miles out into the Montana back country, trying to see if WE could have seen that herd. Maybe.
Standing on a place that’s so renowned in the history of the Indian Wars, I was gobsmacked. The feeling was very much like when I stood at Pecos Pueblo in New Mexico, knowing that Coronado had walked the same path I did 500 years earlier. It’s one of those memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Can you see how this “small story became part of my larger family story?
What story will you begin with?