What’s a Treasure Chest of Memories?

Treasure Chest of Memories

A box full of photos and memorabilia is one type of Treasure Chest of Memories

You may have noticed that at the end of many of my posts, I refer you to my memory-sharing site, TreasureChestofMemories.com. I figure the time has come to tell you the rest of the story.

The original Treasure Chest of Memories

My passion for telling stories stems from a gift left by my grandmother. Shortly before her death, Hazel Crymes passed on an old spiral notebook filled with a lifetime of memories, which she dubbed her “Treasure Chest of Memories.” Her writings included childhood memories, stories of her children as they grew, good recipes, and wisdom she had gathered along the way. Continue reading

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Sneaky Grandma

Silouette of child

This must be me.

Grandmothers can be sneaky.  Grandmothers also excel at making each and every grandchild feel like they are the most special one. Sometimes the former aids the latter.

My husband’s maternal grandmother wasn’t particularly sneaky. She’d simply lie and giggle. She’d look at him and say, “You know you were always my favorite, right?” Then she’d put her hand over her face and giggle. (At least she couldn’t lie with a straight face.)

My grandmother was extremely honest. She and my grandpa raised their four children to be truthful at all times. She never told my sister or me that we were her favorites. I hope that she didn’t tell any of the others either. However, we suspected we were.

Grandma-Crymes-at-Christmas

My Grandmother Crymes

One reason for our suspicion was that whenever we went to visit, our pictures were displayed front and center in the living room. Our dozen or so cousins’ photos would be relegated to shelves in the corners, side tables, etc.

Shortly before she died, I visited my grandmother a couple of days after my cousin Harry had visited her. I was appalled to see Harry’s picture sitting in the place of honor. My sister and my pictures were stacked in a corner. Suddenly the realization of grandma’s game of bait and switch hit me. Though it saddened me that she was too weak to switch the photos around, I was deeply touched at the measures such an honest woman would take to make her grandkids feel special.

© Laura Hedgecock 2013

Interested in sharing your memories? My website, Treasure Chest of Memories, gives tips, resources, and a blog about memory sharing.

Yearning for the “Rest of the Story”

My passion for genealogy is what led me to volunteer to “key” for the World Archives project in which millions of microfilmed records are being indexed.

A feeling of headiness with my “exceptional” accuracy rating and my German led me to choose to key 1940 – 1941 WWII Nazi records from Kraków, Poland in which Jews applied for permits to remain in the city.

Immersion into this ugly period of history is itself disturbing.  It’s difficult for me to imagine a world in which one, by virtue of their faith, had to apply for a permit to keep a few pounds of their personal belongs and live in squalor.  Looking at the rejections is even more disturbing.  In 1940 Kraków, that must have been terrifying.  Seeing the names and addresses of these individuals, I yearn to hear the rest of their stories. Just because there were so many of them, doesn’t mean each one’s not a poignant drama worthy of being told.

What did they do? Where did they go? Did they survive?  Do they have relatives looking for their records?

Here’s hoping that one day their subsequent generations will hear their stories.

©Laura Hedgecock 2011