Monday, January 28, 2008

Week Twenty-Nine: Family Time

Last week there were some great responses to "Games and Puzzles." You could really see the family dynamics as various bloggers wrote about the game times they had with their families. I wanted to continue in the same vein with "Family Time." These times can be referring to your household family, or extended family members.

*Did your family have a regularly scheduled family time?

*What sorts of things did your family do together most often?

*Where did you spend your family times? At home or elsewhere?

*How important were family meal times?

*Did you ever go for "Sunday drives"? Where did you go?

*Did your family have a favorite place at which to eat out together? What made it a favorite?

*Was there a favorite television show you liked to watch together (or a radio show to listen to together)? Did you ever read together?

*What kinds of things did your family talk about when they got together?

*Were there certain kinds of sports or activities that you participated in as a family?

*Did you ever have a family portrait done by a professional photographer? Was this done on a regular basis, or just occasionally?

Understandably, if you grew up in a household where the family dynamics were not the best, the above questions may not apply. Some people may find it therapeutic to write honestly about this, while others may find it helpful to write about how they determined to have things be different when they raised their own families.

One of my great-great-grandmothers, Jana "Jennie" (TON) HOEKSTRA, was orphaned at an early age. She lived with her step-father, but once he remarried after her mother's death, she went to live with an uncle and aunt, and worked as a maid and a laundress at a young, young age. She had a very hard life. One of the most precious possessions I own is a little scrap of paper on which she wrote about some early memories she had of her immigrant Dutch parents:
I, remember when my mother was kind to me, and took the long walk, with her, Sundays after-noon and her Love.

I, remember the walk, my Father and I took one evening in Cincinnati Ohio. The Father's day, and mother's days are a blessing.

Sunday Feb 14--1943
This is all I have ever seen in Jennie's writing, and it is so significant that the one thing that has been saved of all she ever wrote was about her family! Make sure your descendants have a record of your family times, and copies of your family portraits or snapshots.