Grandmother’s Stories Are the Best!

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Listening to your grandparents’ stories is like opening a window to a world that you can only read about in books or see in old photographs. Their tales are living pieces of history, rich with personal experiences and emotions that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s a chance to connect with your roots, understand the past, and learn valuable lessons.

Take my grandmothers, for instance. They vividly recalled the days when my grandparents were either courted or did the courting, in the most romantic way imaginable: in a horse and buggy for a ride to church or a jaunt into the fields looking for shade by the river to park and talk while the horse drank the refreshing water. A scene straight out of a vintage movie, yet real, and they happened in our family. Hearing about those quaint, old-fashioned dates gives you a sense of the values and customs of a bygone era.

Mother encouraged me to write down stories shared by Mama Swink and Mama Granger and with me sitting at their feet by their rocking chairs or the rollicking stories shared by Granddaddy Gillispie on the front porch of his café, The Busy Bee, in Sylacauga, Alabama. Maybe those words were the sparkle for my lifetime of note-taking and writing.

One grandmother shared her childhood memories of working in a cotton mill. She was barely tall enough to reach the machinery, yet she toiled alongside adults, contributing to her family’s income. Her stories painted a picture of resilience and determination, qualities that have been passed down through generations. It’s a stark contrast to the conveniences we enjoy today, and it instills a deep appreciation for the hard work that built the foundation we stand on.

And then there are the little details, like what “step-ins” were. These were garments worn by women before the days of more modern underwear. It’s fascinating to learn about the everyday items and practices that have long since faded from common use. These snippets of history make you realize how much has changed and how rapidly the world evolves.

Major events such as life of survival during the Great Depression and the loneliness back home as daddies went off to fight in the great wars.

Listening to these stories while our grandparents are still with us is invaluable. It’s a way to honor their lives, cherish their experiences, and keep their memories alive for posterity. Each story was a thread in the tapestry of our family’s history, and by listening, those who listened and chronicled the words ensured that this tapestry remains vibrant and complete.

So, sit down with your grandparents. Ask them about their youth, their challenges, their triumphs, and their daily lives. What their grandparents shared with them. Listen with an open heart and a curious mind. These conversations are precious, and one day, you’ll be grateful for every moment you spend absorbing their wisdom and stories.

Make time for them; they will willingly share theirs with you.

Excelsior, friends. This is Old Doc Granger

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