Thursday, January 3, 2008


When my mother asked my grandpa if he'd like to accompany them on their visit to our house during the holidays, Pa said, "I sure do. I've never been to Amarillo before."

I love that my 92-year-old grandfather made room for another new adventure. While he was here, I decided to take advantage of the situation and interviewed him. We had three interview sessions, the last one held the hour before my family departed for their journey home.

A lot of people are interested in genealogy. They want to fill out the family tree with names from generations ago. But I'm most interested in the stories of the people I've known and loved. My mother and Shannon listened as Pa talked about his childhood, his marriage and various jobs. I even asked him stories I'd heard before, but this time I learned something new. One of those favorite stories was about how he met J.P., my grandmother. She was 4 feet 10 inches tall and playful. My grandfather owned a tiny country general store and was busy doing inventory the day she came in with her cousin.

Pa said, "They were cutting up and I couldn't concentrate. I thought they were little kids so I gave them a pack of gum to go play outside the store."

"What changed?" I asked. "How did you go from thinking J.P. was a little girl to courting her?"

With a wink, he said, "I got to looking at her closer and noticed she wasn't no little girl."

Three months later they eloped. That led to another story.

I hope you discover many family stories this year. The stories are there. All you have to do is ask, then listen.

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