Tag Archives: storytelling

Little Squirrel and Little Goosey

Ah, Saturday. It’s like the Death Valley of the blogosphere. Not very many people publish blog posts on a Saturday, and there are even fewer blog readers. But here I am, typing my heart out for NaBloPoMo. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and pull up a chair. I’ll tell you a story about stories.

Lily and Emmy love to listen to stories. Not just stories from a book, but stories that Ed and I make up. We each have our own character that we have developed over time. Ed’s stories are about Little Squirrel. My stories are about Little Goosey. Amazingly, when the girls beg one of us to tell a story, the character’s day mirrors our own day. For example, on the day that we visited the pumpkin farm, LITTLE GOOSEY WAS THERE, TOO! I know, the coincidence just floors me.

While we don’t actually see Little Goosey very often, we spot Little Squirrel all the time. She lives in our yard, along with her friends Chippy and Little Squirrelita. Little Squirrel also likes to travel. She hops on top of our minivan when we go visit Grandpa, and she even went with us to ride roller coasters at Great America. She’s a very bold little squirrel.

So bold, in fact, that she will come up on our front porch to eat our pumpkins.

View video here.

Lily and Emmy have asked me why I talk so funny to Little Squirrel. I do talk baby talk to her, I guess. But she’s just so darn cute! As long as she stays outside, that is.

Little Goosey prefers the pond to our yard. That’s why we don’t see her very often. The pond is across the street from Dunkin’ Donuts, so I would imagine she also goes there quite a bit. She just can’t resist a pumpkin donut in the Fall! Can you believe that she flew all the way up to Alaska with us? She looked rather silly sitting in the airplane seat, but her wings were just not up to that long distance flight. She is still quite young and her wing feathers are fairly new, you see.

Now that you’ve been officially introduced to two other “family members,” they just might stop by Lemon Drop Pie again!


NaBloPoMo November 2012

Do you tell stories to your kids, or remember stories you were told when you were little?

Up to the Balcony, Part 1

Fairy shoes. I thought my mom had fairy shoes. When Mom played the organ, she would slip off her street shoes and put her organ shoes on to play the pedals. Her organ shoes had very pointy toes with tips that curled up slightly. I thought they looked like fairy shoes, although black is not a very fairy-like color.

My sister and I often went with Mom, up to the balcony. We listened to her playing the organ and also her singing. She sang solos often in church, accompanied by my first grade teacher who was the church organist. During one rehearsal, I tripped and fell up the stairs, hitting my head on an old radiator. I cut my head open. As head wounds do, the cut started bleeding profusely. Mom held a wet wash cloth on my head during our 35 mile drive to the nearest emergency room. These were the days of big cars with long bench seats — I sat next to my mom and lay my head down on her lap while my first grade teacher drove. I received a few stitches on my temple that day; the scar is still visible under my hair.

After that trip to the ER, I traipsed up the steps more times than I can count, up to the balcony, to watch Mom play the organ or practice her singing.

Watching an organist play the organ is like watching a carefully choreographed dance. Heels and toes glide gracefully across the pedals; hands and fingers play the keys and change the stops. Many organists also sing along with the hymns they are playing. Organists are the original multi-taskers.

The correlation between church music and organs had been firmly planted in my brain as a little girl. Imagine my amazement when I attended my first major league baseball game and heard an organ playing! Ta-da-da-da-ta-DA! CHARGE! My high school had an organ in the auditorium, and for four years I wondered why. Finally, during baccalaureate, I heard that organ play. And what a surprise to discover my physics teacher was the organist!

After I graduated from high school, I was off to Valparaiso University, where I heard an amazing organist play in the Chapel….

(to be continued)

A Good Story — YOUR Story

Technically, I never knew my grandma. But oh! The stories I know about her! I know that towards the end of her last pregnancy, she sat down in a chair and it broke. How her children laughed! And then subsequently were scolded by their father. Soon after, expecting one baby to be born, she delivered two bouncing baby boys! One was eight pounds, and the other nine. No wonder that poor chair broke…Grandma was carrying seventeen pounds of baby!

While I was never blessed to know my dear Grandma, I was blessed with a father (one of those bouncing baby boys), aunts and uncles who told many, many stories about their mom. And so, while I never met my grandma, I feel as though I know her.

As many of you know, my own mom died over a year ago. She fought desperately to stay here, to watch her precious granddaughters grow up. I am determined that my daughters will remember her and know her as they are growing up. Soon, I will be writing “Stories My Mother Told Me” at Mommy’s Piggy Tales, Janna Antenorcruz’s blog dedicated to storytelling.

Like me, Janna believes in the power of storytelling, and she describes why you should share your story in her new ebook, Share With Me: Someone NEEDS to Hear Your Story. Janna also gives practical advice on how to go about telling your story.

Janna speaks from the heart about why telling your stories IS important! Click here to view more details about Janna’s ebook. In Share With Me, Janna also includes stories from participants in her writing project “Mommy’s Piggy Tales.” (One of my stories, “Caught in a Blizzard,” is on page 17!) Janna is asking for a donation of $5 to $10 for her ebook, and included in the amount is the opportunity to tell your story during the next Mommy’s Piggy Tales session, starting February 3.

I’d love to read your stories, whether they are about you or your loved ones. Visit Mommy’s Piggy TALES to find out more!

Disclosure: If you buy Janna’s ebook by clicking one of the links above, as an affiliate of Janna’s I will receive a 50% commission.

Write Your Stories Down!

Last June, Janna of Mommy’s Piggy Tales began a project to share our youth with our children. Every Thursday, I told a story about my childhood as if I were sharing it with my children. I’m happy to say that I finished the project, and now I have a collection of stories about my childhood for my children to keep, and hopefully treasure.

But my stories aren’t finished yet. The telling of Mommy’s Piggy Tales ended with the topic “After High School.” Many of the participants of Mommy’s Piggy Tales wrote in that last post that they couldn’t possible tell all that happened after high school in just one post!

So I was thrilled when Janna asked me to continue the storytelling! Every Monday, I will be guest hosting “My Young Adult Years” on Mommy’s Piggy Tales. Today, I wrote a preview about what’s to come with that project. Please click over to read more about “My Young Adult Years,” and join me in writing your stories down! You can also email me at lemondroppie(at)gmail(dot)com to sign up.

If you didn’t participate in Mommy’s Piggy Tales over the summer, now is your chance to join! Janna will begin a new session this Thursday, October 7. If you would like to record the stories of your childhood, read Getting Started for more information and to sign up.

I can’t wait to read your stories!

Tales of Southern Minnesota: The Power of Storytelling

It was evening. We were in a hotel room in Minnesota, my daughters tucked into bed after a long day. My husband settled in for the night. I quietly opened the door and left the room, heading for the lobby where I knew I would find some other members of my family. There were my aunts, uncles and my dad, seated around a table. I quietly joined them. Words swirled around me; cadences rose and fell, soft laughter filled the air. I soaked in tales of Southern Minnesota; listened to the challenges of life without running water. Like Jack and Jill, my uncles and aunts walked up the hill to the relatives’ house to fetch drinking water. Cistern water was used to wash dishes and to bathe. Words continued to flow and the current changed. Stories of schoolhouse bullies emerged and flying snowballs filled the room; the twins banded together to defeat those who picked on them. Storytelling continued late into the night, and I sat, listening.

Some of these stories I had heard before, some were new to me. I had emerged from my hotel room expecting to join my elders and hear tales that would transport me to their youth. That day, the day we buried my mother, was full of pain and sorrow. Listening to their stories soothed my body and soul.

 The field behind our hotel in Minnesota
If one of those oxen was blue, would you look for Paul Bunyan?

Long, long ago, this is how stories were told. Can’t you picture a fire in the middle of a tipi, with Native Americans gathered around to listen to their elders? Or a log cabin, fireplace burning, stories spinning around the room to while the evening away?

Oral traditions have preserved wonderful stories. Without them, Disney would have no material to draw on. Mother Goose would have no rhymes to lull babes to sleep. Our past would seem dull and uninviting without these stories to share. We laud the efforts of the brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson and others who recorded those stories for us. Even now authors retell those favorite tales from long ago.

In the age of information and technology, we still love to tell and to listen to stories. My sisters and I will tell each other about the exciting or irritating things that happen to us. My daughters demand both stories that are ancient, such as The Three Little Pigs, and newer stories from my own past, like the one where I was stung by a bee when I was three. My husband tells stories about “Little Squirrel,” and my specialty is telling “Little Goose” stories. We all tell each other about our day. When do we find the time? A few minutes here and a few minutes there. On walks to the park, or when we are stuck in traffic. During dinner time, and right before bed time.

What is the last story you told? Tell me!

Record the stories of your own youth; visit Mommy’s Piggy Tales to find out how!

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