Sunny and Dad, this week in 1952

Went on a shopping expedition yesterday to Prescott. I call it an expedition because we tend to put it off until there are enough reasons to drive 45 minutes each way.

While nosing around Michael’s (an arts and crafts-type store), I came across a book about scrapbooking your family heritage. At first it looked like a boring compilation of old black and white photos, but then I started reading the accompanying captions. They were fascinating accounts of stories across generations and the similarities between namesakes and their great-grandparents.

It had never occurred to me to go back into the scrapbooks I’d made for my mom and dad and incorporate that memorabilia into what I’m creating today. But the fact is – the family story is continuing, independent of who’s still here with us. I think what clinched it for me was remembering what my daughter said when I showed her one of the books from my early life. She said, “Yeah, it’s good to have the names of the people, but what did they do? What are the stories behind these pictures?”

If I could tell my favorite family moments, it would be about the times we laughed the hardest. Do you have memories of where and when you laughed so hard you couldn’t catch your breath?

Take my dad. He had a less well-developed sense of humor about himself than did my mom. But boy did that make for some hilarious scenarios. I actually slept through the frigid, winter morning that he tried to carefully get down the driveway to his car, and I woke up to screaming laughter. Apparently he had slipped on the ice, fell on his butt, and went sliding down the hill and under the car. Not only that, but when he fell, he had a shoehorn in his back pocket which added injury to insult. I appeared just as he came back into the house where he stood fuming while he watched my mother and brother hysterically rolling on the floor, incoherently trying to tell me what had happened.

And oh, the time somebody gave us a coconut and my dad tried to open it. I have no idea what he was thinking when he put it on a plate and proceeded to to hit it with a hammer. Of course nothing happened to the coconut, but the plate cracked in half. Then he went to the garage and came back with a manual hand drill and tried to drill the thing open. The drill bit broke off in the shell, after which he was so frustrated that he bounced the coconut down the front concrete steps where it finally burst open and sprayed sticky white coconut milk all over the place.

Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of these particular stories, but I can pair other photos with the recounting of those tales so my kids and grand-kids can read about their relatives and the comical moments we shared.

Do you remember any of those kinds of family moments?

6 Responses to "It’s About the Stories"

  1. Susan

    February 17, 2008

    OK Sunny, speaking of coconuts, how about the time your parents were on a cruise that went through the Panama Canal, and your mom got hit on the head with a coconut?

  2. sunny

    February 17, 2008

    Yes, it’s true. Apparently there was a family coconut curse.
    C’mon — don’t other families have these kinds of stories? 😉

  3. colleen

    February 20, 2008

    I’ve learned from the little bit of family research I’ve done how important it is to write the names of people on the backs of photos or somewhere, and yet I still don’t do it. I mostly want to know the names of my ancestors and dates and let the pictures tell the stories.

  4. sunny

    February 20, 2008

    I know what you mean about writing down the names. It just seems like extra work that we’ll “get to someday” even though we know that the only way to get it done is to schedule time for it.

  5. Swirly

    February 21, 2008

    You are a very good story teller! My mom and I have a lot of those kinds of stories…she has a very easy laugh, and I got that from her. xoxo

  6. sunny

    February 21, 2008

    Thanks, Christine! That’s a lovely compliment, too, for your mom. 🙂

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