Saturday, May 31, 2008

I'm glad they did it!

It's new material for the kids and I'm going over excellent reading matter from my past while I share it with them. We've been reading together parts of two of my favourite old series. One is the "Little House" series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the other is the "All Creatures Great and Small" series by James Herriot. And whenever I read either of these two authors I'm caught up in the magic they wove. Even though these two authors may seem poles apart, they actually have a lot in common.

Both of these series are autobiographical but written in very entertaining story styles. Both were written when their authors had grown quite old and were looking back over their own lives. They each decided to leave their own legacy in writing and I'm so grateful they did. What a lot of history, geography and even science are tied into these fun, human-interest books. Putting us readers into their own places with their descriptions has to got to be my favourite way to learn.

We've learned a lot about that pioneer time in America when Laura and her family were moving west that's helped us put our own lives in perspective. And we have a real feeling for the late 1930s in Yorkshire when James first became a vet, not to mention noticing the vast progress in technology that's happened in those 70 years. And we've cracked up laughing at some of his hilarious anecdotes. I can't help thinking that if neither of these authors had written, we'd be so much poorer without knowing it.

Of course that started me speculating about the number of people with fascinating stories who think they couldn't possibly record them and don't bother trying. Or the ones who do and then leave them in their cupboards. So I'm sure we are already poorer without knowing it in thousands of ways. Anyone with a knack or passion for writing and recording in an interesting way ought to regard it as a sort of duty to record them because we never know who we'll touch. Even if it's unlikely that we'll become as famous as Laura Ingalls Wilder or James Herriot, doing it just for the love of it and for those who may be touched is a worthwhile enough goal anyway.

I'm beginning to toy with the idea of writing my own grandfather's story this way. I never knew him. He died almost ten years before I was born but I've just recently got to know him through typing my own father's family history. My grandfather (his father) was born in 1892. He had lots of interesting things happen to him. He served in both wars and he was the boxing champion of South Australia for several years. There is lots of information about him, including several funny anecdotes that happened around the country-side and in the ring. Yes, I'm thinking I wouldn't mind writing his story in a sort of novel form when I finish the fictions I'm working on because he's a man I think many would find interesting.


  1. What a beautiful idea! To tell your Grandfather's story would be such a treasure to many people, especially your children. You already have a gift for writing so maybe you will?

    As for the Subway issue, it's been assumed that homeschoolers were denied entrance due to the grand prize being $5000.00 worth of playground equipment. Subway & Scholastic have never confirmed this, but have since apologized in the last few days. Many, many, many homeschoolers have pointed out how they could have worded it better and avoided the war.

    If nothing else, they did manage to prove that the pen is mighty whether used wisely or not!

    Here's to you wielding your pen well and sharing your Grandfather's story with the world.

  2. I loved both the Little House books and James Herriot's. I have read many of Herriot's adventures to my boys and they love them! How can so many funny things happen to one country vet? I wanted to read the Little House books to them as well but when I tried the boys thought they were too girly. Maybe when Macy has a better understanding she will enjoy them with me.
    I really hope you write your grandfather's story. That would be such a eonderful gift to pass on to your family.

  3. I hope you write your Grandfather's story. I wish some one would write down the stories of my grandparent's and great-grand parents. There is RICH history there. ;-)

    Besides that - I'd read it if you wrote it. :-)

  4. nneCan you believe I am getting ready to read "All Creatures Great and Small" for the first time? I've never read it before! I recently got it from Paperback Swap.

    I think it would be great if you wrote about your grandfather, I'd read it!

  5. Paula, I really hope you do this! I've been thinking of putting down my father's anecdotes about his family and growing up in Puerto Rico as well. I had tried to encourage my father-in-law to do this, but he never got further than a few notes about his early life before he passed away. My husband doesn't know enough of his stories to be of help. I could kick myself for not writing or recording them as he told me his stories. I don't want to make that mistake with my dad.

    By the way, we love Herriot! Good read aloud choices!

    Peace and Laughter,