Stories Are Everywhere

If you were to look into an elderly person’s safe deposit box, you would find many, many stories there.

The original copies of birth certificates; copies with black backgrounds, showing microfiche. Before computers, long before electronic files, important information only backup was microfiche. It is a flat piece of film with microphotographs of pages of documents, newspapers, and other printed matter.

The births recorded were of both parents, all siblings, and one sibling who died a day after birth.

The story goes further. In those days, the mother may not see the baby, or say goodbye with touching, holding, grieving. The mother did not attend the funeral, held in a day or two. She was still in the hospital. I’m grateful we don’t do this anymore.

The story of a family disagreement; a maiden aunt buying a separate home from her sister- and brother-in-law, then the young parents of the baby who died, purchasing a home Land Contract, and staying there for over 74 years. What a legacy.

Other items of business may include old CDs, old IRAs, old Annuities, all with beginning balances, ending balances, and indications of renewal is standard. Which ones came first? Are they still active, maturing? It’s hard to know. It takes a quiet time in a room bigger than six feet by six feet, no ventilation, outside light, or comfortable chairs.

It’s a lot to process the memories known about those documents. It can also create memories by making stories about those documents in your imagination. They can be comforting in times of change for families. Families whose elders are on the decline and nearing the end of their lives. It is a shame we lose many of their stories when they pass. Try to have them tell you those stories before it’s too late.

Write your stories, folks. Jot some notes your descendants can learn about your life and experiences. Our collective history is so important. Keep it going. Cherish it. Have a visit with the elder of the tribe. You’ll learn so much. Have a beautiful Sunday. We’ll see each other tomorrow.

Yogi Berra

The world’s most famous blunderer aside from any political person, has to be the loveable Yogi Berra. His Yogi-isms are famous. One of my favorites, “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over” is a classic. And it’s as true as the day is long.

The Yankees are the team America loved to hate; no one can deny they were one of the hottest teams with Reggie Jackson back in the 70s. I remember seeing them in the new stadium in Kansas City about 1980. It was great fun, although people did not yet tailgate and we arrived with three small children three hours before the gates opened. The kids and I sat in the car while their father canvassed the parking lot looking for other people from Nebraska.

We finally got to our seats. Talk about nosebleed section! Oh my gosh, it was the very last tippy top row. It was hot enough to fry an egg on the pavement. We were relatively poor, lower middle class I suppose, and couldn’t afford all the things the vendors were hawking. The boys had sunflower seeds, and out of my view they spat them out, flinging them into a lady’s beehive hairdo who sat in front of them. I did not see this, because our four tickets had two on one side of the support pole and two on the other side. The children’s father insisted on sitting next to me, but refusing to hold his daughter, a baby who insisted on trying to crawl on the floor in front of our seats. I suppose it couldn’t have hurt her, but the smell of vomit emitted and my mind knew some fool was sick from cheap beer, high heat and humidity, and no food at a double header between the Yankees and Kansas City. Good Lord!

It was an exceptionally long day, and the kids were all tired out for the ride home. Our boys had lots of fun, as brothers often do, and our daughter, well, she survived well. She was tough even then, she wanted to do everything her brothers did. No, she did not have sunflower seeds. She was about 16 months old, so her food was appropriate.

So back to Yogi. He’s also famous for saying, “Baseball is 90 % Mental. The other half is Physical.” Really? Despite the Yogi-isms, he was present for 22 World Series, either as a player, or a coach. “Pair Up in Threes.” “It’s deja vu all over again.”

Yogi was so right in his observation. It’s never over until it’s over; whether it is working on retraining your sweet tooth, adjusting to retirement and filling your days, or working on a new craft such as painting or writing. Simply starting isn’t finishing, and we need to consider that. Starting is just a step towards finishing. We need to keep going, persist despite discouragement or obstacles. Daily work yields long-term accomplishments. Just get started. You’ll gain momentum as time passes.

Today was a day to get Mom to a doctor appointment, Hobby Lobby, lunch, Walgreens. The usual outing. She got exhausted and gets upset with herself and worried. I just tell her don’t worry, I’ve got all the time in the world. It must be hard to not be able to do much anymore. I can only hope I have her long life, and a life where I can still get around, be of help to the community, and have a life that is fulfilling. Hope the good Lord is willing.

Tomorrow is another much needed day at home. It will be another beautiful day outdoors, and we’ll see you then. Take care out there, mask up where you have to (vaccinated or not) and enjoy every minute of every hour. They pass too quickly. Make the most of the time we all have to be together. Thank you for reading!