May 1985 doesn’t seem that long ago in my mind, although the majority of our family hadn’t been born at that point in time. When I am researching our ancestors, I commonly work with dates ranging from hundreds to thousands of years ago.
I picture the lives of my ancestors based on my own experiences and on the mental visuals that have grown in my mind through reading histories including details about their lives. The lack of details about them continually bothers me.
After watching several of our youngest grandchildren be their natural “wee” little selves after deciding that playing in the sandbox was more fun than running inside to “go potty”, questions arose in my mind about our ancestors yet again.
What did they use for toilet paper? How clean were their hands? Did they really put their little boys in dresses?
The long ago details of their daily lives are lost in time.
In the eyes of our grandchildren, is the same “lost in time” thought true for my ancient generation? By ancient, I include our children in that stone age collection because we know that is how their children view the lot of us.
Details emerged from an ancient day in May 1985 recently when I found photos of a day trip to Logan, Utah. I had been working 100 hour work weeks and wasn’t home much more than to sleep and change clothes. A day in the car going to see stuff and eat pizza at the best pizza place in a foreign town seemed like the perfect family outing.
I ‘neglected’ to tell our brood that the flakes I was shaking on my slice of pizza wasn’t just a flavor enhancement. It may have contained a little ‘heat’ too. Watching me decorate my slice with flakes from the round bottle with big holes in the lid seemed to enhance the desirability of following dad’s example and so of course all of our young ones mimicked me.
Their mother immediately give me the snake eye and yelled, “Don’t eat that!” but her reaction time was too slow.
Their jaws only had to cycle two or three times before the load in their mouths was spit out and their hands were grasping for water or their sodas.
What would these wee ones have done if the pepper flakes actually had any heat in them?
As it was, the first pizza order had to be discarded and replaced by another set of pies that were under the careful guard of my wife.
Our children haven’t seen the photos below since that long ago time, yet I’m confident that a single glance at them will bring back the pizza store plus all of the other details of our visit to Logan that day.
Events and stories are ingrained in our memories when something out of the ordinary happens to us.
When we interview our family members for their histories, we need to remember to ask questions that open their thoughts to memories of unexpected events because the details will still be safely tucked away in those memories.
What memories do you have of events in your lives that instantly bring the related sounds, smells, colors and details to your mind when you think of the event? Was it going through the gates of Disneyland for the first time? Spilling punch on your date at your first prom dance? The death of a loved one? Being tickled by grandpa until you wet your pants? Attending your first play on Broadway? Seeing Santa walk by your window late at night on Christmas Eve? Learning that picking and eating too many cherries from the tree in one day is a bad thing?
Whatever the events were, capture them in words and images while you are still around and are able to share them with your families.
Posted 26 Mar 2015 by Lee R. Drew on Lineagekeeper’s Genealogy Blog