Recording Stories-From Every Day To Extraordinary

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts | 1 comment

Recording Stories-From Every Day To Extraordinary

Recently I visited a school in Greenville. While I spoke with one class, I saw the principal come in and stand in the back of the room. I was at the point in my presentation where I discuss the concept of “Write What You Know.”


In this section, I share how I decided to write a chapter book about my experiences with my siblings and cousins on Grandpa Jones’ ranch rather than a picture book about Grandpa’s experiences because I learned you are to write what you know. Then I showed them pictures from our days at the ranch in the 1970’s. I saw her lean over and say something to one of the professors.

on ranch

After the session the principal came up and introduced herself. She commented on the presentation. “Your story about the ranch brought back memories to me,” she said. “But not about a ranch. My memories were growing up in a mortuary!”

She went on to explain that her grandpa ran a mortuary business, and she grew up on the grounds. Her memories were of funerals, grieving families, her hairdresser aunt doing the hair, and hearing the stories of the lives people lived. She pointed out that a lot of people think it is a sad business, but she said her grandpa always felt honored to hear the stories people tell at funerals. He always heard the best things about people.

I encouraged her to write down the stories from her childhood. An unusual childhood, certainly, but so very interesting to this storyteller.

A few days later I had the opportunity to swap stories with two good friends. My mouth dropped open several times, I’m sure. These two have some incredible family stories. “You need to write those down,” I said, several times. I think I am becoming a broken record.



You see, as more people share their stories with me, I am convinced more and more of the absolute necessity to record our stories. Our culture is hurting for historic perspective. We are so wrapped in the here and now, we don’t stop to learn from the past. And you know what they say about that, don’t you? Here is the quote:


“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana in The Life of Reason, 1905

This is often attributed to Churchill, but it appears it was first said by Mr. Santayana. Whoever said it first, it is true. It also reminds me of this verse in the Bible:

Deuteronomy 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

repeating his stories

So, start today! Write down your stories. They don’t have to be incredible.

The every day can become extraordinary with the perspective of years.

One Comment

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  1. Judy Taylor


    My Dad told frequently. Well actually I would say constantly. At some point I stopped really listening. Since his Heavenly homegoing I can no longer hear his stories. How I wish he had written them down.