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The Payoff

A few weeks ago I met one of my Life Stories participants at a local printer and handed over a stick drive with her stories on it. The...

Our Stories Best Survive Us in Writing

“I wish I’d have listened more,” my co-worker said, referring to her father’s oral stories about his military service during World War...

What I Wore

These days find me sorting donations at the local St. Vincent de Paul store, and one day last week I came upon a large grocery bag filled...

A Quote

“The greatest asset any old person has is his or her life experience. When you have the opportunity to interact with an old person, you...

Beatle Mania

After taking a nine-week Life Stories class, my groups continue meeting for six monthly follow-ups to share stories they have newly...

Living, and Dying, in Nursing Homes

A woman who enrolled in a Life Stories class in January 2016 enrolled for a second time last fall. She is serious about her writing and...

Joan's Recipes

Joan, my mom’s cousin and a close family friend, was a great cook, and the sweet treats she made were ahhh-mazing. I remember from my...

His Excuse Was Amnesia. What's Yours?

My Friday morning Life Stories classes meet in the library of the local senior center. During a class last week, a gentleman came in to...

Laughing While You Write

Writing your life story is an opportunity like no other to look back on and share funny moments. A 90-year-old client and I shared many...

Bridging Generation Gaps

I’ve helped seniors write their life stories through which the writers’ grandchildren have learned that depression, heart disease and...

Don't Give In to Feeling Overwhelmed

These dreary winter days provide the perfect time to start writing your life stories. That is how I think of them, a succession of short...

Making History Real

Life stories bring history home. They make history REAL. A couple of guys who were in one of my classes last year served our country in...

Sharing to Help Others

At one level, your life story is not about you at all – but about how your experiences can help others. When I was diagnosed with cancer...

Intergenerational Connections

Writing your life story isn’t about vanity or being egotistical. Rather, it is a way of connecting to future generations and connecting...

Avoid the Telephone Game

Writing your life story allows you to share it in your own words, from your own perspective. Are you familiar with the telephone game?...

Um, It's Later Than You Think

It’s officially fall, and school is back in session. My Life Stories classes are back in session also. Hard to believe we’re already...

My Parents' Courtship

Ernest Rasche and Mary Ann Beckman started dating in 1944, the year before Ernest went into the Army. They never dated anyone but each...

Remembering My Father

Today, the 20-year anniversary of my father's death, finds me contemplating that my niece and nephew who will graduate from high school...

Of nature, telephones and ice cream

On the last day of my nine-week Life Stories classes, I generally ask the participants to share with the group something of what they...

Generation to Generation

We're halfway through this round of Life Stories classes. On Day 1, a 72-year-old father of two said his children didn't know much about...