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The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

CAPTURING POSITIVE FAMILY MEMORIES AND PERSONAL BIOGRAPHIES

 

This time of year is a great time to count our blessings and consider how to freeze our finest moments in time. The Over50 crowd may be most interested in tackling the project since they are closer to the eventual passing of the torch, but interviewing parents and grandparents and documenting family history can also be a great project for children and young adults.

There are lots of methods from which to choose, and more easy-to-afford options are becoming available everyday. My friend, Susan Kitchens, has an entire web site dedicated to the process and technology of capturing your family’s oral history.  – www.familyoralhistory.us. Be sure to check out her recent article in the Saturday Evening Post on “Interviewing Family During the Holidays.”

You can also write a memoir to leave behind for your family, or my personal preference, to force them to read every year just to reconfirm your greatness. Or create a memory book for a family or a particular town by collecting stories, photos and memorabilia from the elders in your group. www.capturingmemories.com offers examples and suggestions on how best to compile the data.

Most families I knew growing up had scrapbooks of the children, and photo albums of the family. And who can forget the infamous home movies foisted upon unsuspecting guests and family members during annual get-togethers? Over the years, our photo albums have been replaced with digital photos and home-made videos. More recently, it’s facebook pages with photo albums attached, a family web site or photo-sharing pages and ubiquitous YouTube videos.

Personally, I have written a holiday letter each year for over a decade. In addition to affording me an easy way to keep all my friends and family updated, I’ve found the letters to be great memory joggers, reminding me which year I actually took that trip or made that life change. And, of course, all can be saved compactly on a computer hard drive, flash drive or external hard drive or CD.

If you have old videotapes or reel-to-reel tapes, you should consider having them transferred to DVD. You want to be able to relish your memories long after the technology has evolved yet again. It’s surprising how inexpensive the transfers have become.

And depending upon how sophisticated you want to get with your ancestral research and how far back you want to go, there are plenty of web sites to help you connect with your early roots and find out about your father’s father’s mother’s mother. Here are just a few— ancestry.comgenealogy.com, familysearch.orgmyheritage.com, andtribalpages.com.

Yes, the holidays are a great time to look back with appreciation and look forward with hope. Capturing our special individual or family moments keep our best memories intact for many generations. Reviewing photos and family history together this time of year can even foster a new family tradition.

What does your family do to sustain its treasured memories and how does your family use these valuable historical resources?


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January 31, 2011 Posted by | baby boomer information, Family history, Healthy Aging, over 50, Successful Aging | , , , , | Leave a comment