Would an anecdotal history of a grandparent be relevant to our children today?
Not a nostalgia trip, but social details: how a grandmother lived as a young girl - manners, entertainment, home life, friendships, education and aspirations, holidays. Telling a story which shows life parallels with today in an interesting, personal way. Am happy to set up the bare bones of a story structure.
I am my family's historian, and I frequently write about my grandparents and great-grandparents, and as of right now, my sixteen year old daughter and seventeen year old son are not all that interested, but then at their age neither was I. It wasn't until I was older, that I got curious about my family history and it became important, which is why I I began writing about my family, so that they would have the information when they finally do get around to caring about it. Even if they are not interested now, they will be one day.
My grandchildren enjoy hearing/reading brief episodes or conversations but are not deeply interested further than that.
I think someday they will be, and agree that writing the 'old stories and styles' in a journal is going to be a treasure someday. There are also extended family members who may remember - and enjoy commiserating - about those same stories - in their own versions.
So much has changed from the time that we were kids, and our grandparents were in charge of the world. But some things have not...the courage needed for the men to charge into World War II...honesty and integrity that employers and peers hold in high regard...the desire to excel and achieve. These qualities are of paramount importance, given the level of competition in todays environment. You might want to also mention that our grands also took the time to be a kid, unlike the teens that surround us that are pushed into adulthood.
Thank you to the hubbers who responded.My g'parents lived in the first third of the twentieth century in Budapest.
I have written about my grandfather, Frederick, who survived a first WW Siberian POW experience. I will publish it here soon.
My story of my grandmother, Piroska, is important because she saw so much social change: just one example, as a married woman, they employed a kitchen maid and a nanny (both young Austrian farm girls), and after the Russians came through in 1944, rerturned to their looted house from Bavaria. Then followed the early extremist Communist dictatorships and poverty of the fifties.
When I first visited her there in 1973, she had a stash of perfectly folded plastic bags (in case there is a time of need again). A fresh chicken was used for three meals: I learned thrift leftover meals from her!! Work was always done cheerfully and with love.
Watch this column for some true stories on the wonderful, loving, musically gifted Piroska. I can submit the story of Frederick straight away, if there is an audience.
It is always good to have a sense of one's own family history--otherwise, if the story is not told, it is gone and future generations cannot pass on the oral tradition
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