Earlier this month, I posted Gail Lee Martin’s tips for early May memories. Hopefully, you were inspired to write a few and are now ready for some more memory prompts. Get out your pen and start writing! May 15 – May 30.
Graphic from Pixabay
“In the merry month of May, there are many things to do that will jog your memory. Such as gathering edible mushrooms and green plants that spring rains have made plentiful. Do you remember your mother or grandmother going out to do this? Even here in town, I can find some of nature’s bounty to make our meals colorful and different by picking Inky Cap Mushrooms to add to soups, scrambled eggs, and even gravy. I also pick Poke, Goose Weed, and Lamb’s Quarter and cook them like spinach.
May is also Older Americans Month. This would be a good time to visit your older family members and neighbors and get them talking about what they did years ago.
Graduation time is upon us but those dreaded finals always came first. Write about your senior year as if it was a letter to your great-grandchildren. Add what was going on around the world during your final year in high school or college. Were you a class officer, in a class play, lettered in sports or music? Tell about your school’s colors and mascot. As always, add pictures if you can. Also, tell what you know about your parents or grandparents education.
Memorial Day finishes up this month. Do you look forward to it because the holiday signals time to play outdoors or for the time to remember your family and friends that are no longer with you – or both? – Gail”
These were originally posted on the Our Echo website by Gail back in 2007.
Gail Lee Martin with her granddaughter, Samantha on her graduation day.
Researching family history becomes more meaningful when you can see the faces that go with the names and dates. For Mother’s Day, I pulled together my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother. Beyond that, I have just the names and information, but no photos.
Pencilled on the back of the photo: “(Babcock?)”, then “Ezra Nancy” and “Grandpa Grandma”
I like seeing them all lined up like this. Looks like that high forehead and the nose came down through the generations. I must have gotten my nose and blonde hair from the Martin side, but I do have the forehead.
Here are their names and dates (left to right):
- Gail Lee McGhee Martin 1924-2013
- Ruth Vining McGhee 1897-1960
- Nancy Jane Babcock Vining 1851–1924
- Ellenor Nancy Jane Wright Babcock 1820–1882
These four women had 36 children and that doesn’t count the miscarriages or ones that died at birth. Nancy Jane remarried not long after her first husband died. In 1873 Kansas, a woman with children didn’t have the luxury of a long mourning period.
They were part of the migration westward in the U.S. as the family moved from Indiana to Illinois, then to Iowa, and finally to Kansas. Pregnancy and raising children must have been difficult in those times; feeding a large family while cooking over an open fire, washing unending diapers with water brought from a stream or well or cistern, and tending a sick child with no doctor nearby.
Many thanks to these women for persevering through hard times while caring for their children.
Gail Lee Martin actively encouraged others to record their early memories. She taught classes at the Shepherd’s Center in Wichita and sessions at the Kansas Author’s Club annual convention. Here are her tips for early May memories. Get out your pen and start writing!
Photo from Pixabay
May 1 – May 15, 2007 – May Memories
Memory jogs for May are abundant. The first that comes to mind is May Baskets. My husband and I received two yesterday. What a great warm feeling. One was from new neighbors that just moved in. The other was from a group of church youths. Do you remember making them and surprising neighbors? Have you ever received May baskets? How did you feel?
- Were you ever involved in wrapping a May Pole for your school or did your town celebrate May Day?
- Spring songbirds are arriving in my area. What are your favorites? Are you a bird watcher? It is interesting to watch the funny antics of the robins strutting in our street.
- Mother’s Day is coming. What memories does that bring you or your parents? How do you celebrate that day? Do you give gifts of flowers, candy, clothes, or jewels?
- It is school prom time and a great bunch of memories surrounds that special time. Do you remember planning & preparation for the prom night when you were a junior and the total enjoyment when you were a senior? Add pictures if you can find them.
These tips were previously posted on the Our Echo website.