Sunday, November 8, 2009

Advice From The Bartender In The Sky

Late last evening, feeling angst and sporting a headache that throbbed against my skull, I took a walk in the dark. My only companion, the moon. With his hair over one eye, he watched over me—saved me from the dark shadows. I gazed up into his face and wondered about the billions of people who’ve gone on to the next world before me, the ones who had dumped their troubles on him. The ones who had shared with him their dreams. The ones who had laughed and loved under his twilight.

I wondered about their stories. Some are known by all of us. Some by a few.
As I walked, I gaze over the valley that was my great grandparent’s farm, now divided among their children’s children. I know my great grandparent’s names. I can tell you they lay in the cemetery on the rise to the east. I can tell you their birth and death dates. However, I don’t know what they were like as people. Did they enjoy music or reading? Were reserve or outgoing? What was their favorite time of the year? Or their favorite foods? Did they believe and trust in the Almighty? What were their dreams?

We have pictures of course with names scribbled on the back, but by who? We have ledgers and invoices of transactions stored in the old farm house attic, but no personal memoirs. Knowing this, sadness crept in my heart as I crossed an open field. I wished someone had left behind their words for me. Told me who they were. Left a clue as to who I called my pass.

At that moment, the moon winked at me and from within I heard, “You were given the gift of the written word. Why haven’t you left behind words for your children or grandchildren or great grandchildren? Not all will seek them, but there will be one who will. Like you, they will cherish the memories you share and pass them on to another who well cherish their heritage. And so on.”

Stunned, I gaped into his one eye. The ancient man was right. He winked again and turned into a cloud, probably to advise someone else. I finished one swallow of crisp night and with a light step headed for home. I pulled from a drawer a diary given to me one Christmas years ago and wrote; November 8, 2009. Within these pages you will come to know who I was, what I felt passionate about, and what were my dreams. My hope is I will teach something of the pass, something that will make you a stronger person and that I’ll touch you in some way. With love, your heritage.

Note: Everyone leaving a comment will entered into a drawing on November 14 at 8pm est for a 2010 pocket calendar.


  1. I started doing that years ago. I keep journal in which I interview myself. I write down what's going on that year (did we move? what were our triumphs? our heartaches?) What did I learn from God? Do I have any regrets? What were my favorite recipes? How did I make them? What music was I into? Favorite song? Show?

    Then I write what I know about them-what I notice they do a lot-the games they play, the books they read-their jokes, their shared moments of laughter, what they always argue about.

    I write about the homes we've lived in, the neighborhoods-where we shop-what's going on in our community that's positive.

    I write about their dad-how they all interact, the way they groan at what they cal his 'hokey' music.

    I write about aunts, uncles, the grandparents they never knew, the ones they barely knew. I wrote why my uncle was called 'Uncle Woolly'.....

    I didn't have any of that in my life-my history was completely erased (too hard to go into detail) and I don't want that for my kids-for their kids.

    When I did scrapbooking consultation, I once purchased a tintype photo from the early 1900's. There were no words with the photo of the austere man and woman. Just someone's history that ended up in a stranger's hands. I used that to teach people that it's important to document photos and journal about our lives.

    Great post!

  2. Kelly, Yes you're right everyone has a story. I wish I knew more about my great grand parents and their partents. Hopefully, one day my great granddaughter will read my words and make sense of them.

    Thanks for stopping by.


  3. Oh, I wish I'd known you early, Magnolia. You could've inspired me.

    Inscribing pictures is so important. Something I've been lazy doing. I should know this. While going through old photographs in my parents attic, we found a picture of a striking woman. She was the image of what Hollywood looks for, but no one knows who she was. She has to be a relative, but not even a first name.

    Sigh, I wish I knew.

    Thanks for commenting, sweetie. AJ

  4. Autumn, I wrote my journal for more than thirty years. I stopped whjen I started writing romance. I love reading about my children's childhood, my troubles and struggles, my happiness as a young mother....

  5. Whewwwww. Bottom line, stay at home and shop online!

  6. Beth, I think you posted to the wrong blog, but I got you anyway. Even grocery shopping, be careful. (((HUGS)) AJ

  7. I fogot to post the winner on this blog. Magnolia you are my winner this week. YEAH!