My sister commented on my recent blog post, Dewey Ave Demolition. She said that, when she sees an abandoned building, she always wonders about the people “who once walked those halls, who looked out the windows.” It made me think about the habit of making up stories.
When we were growing up, we spent a lot of time with my Grandma. She was a kindergarten teacher and she was wonderful. She would always encourage us to make up stories.
“Look at the people in that car. Let’s make up a story about where they are going.”
“Let’s make up a story about the family that lives in the house with the red door.”
Everything was fodder for a story, “I wonder who left that bike there. Can you think of a story about why he would do that?”
Any time we went anywhere with my Grandma, there were stories involved. Either she would tell us a story or she would ask us to make up a story. This habit was her great legacy to us. Our imaginations were opened up and they could never be closed again.
I love to tell stories. Just as my Grandmother taught me, I make up stories all the time. I think my love of writing came from my Grandma. She was a great storyteller. When she told about the summer parties she attended, I could picture the girls in their dresses and imagine the boys with their fresh haircuts and practically taste the ice cold lemonade being served on the porch. She made everything come alive through her words.
Some of my Grandma’s stories would have us laughing so hard that tears would roll down our faces. Our sides would hurt from laughing. Other stories were heartbreaking in their sadness.
My Grandmother’s father was a storyteller. I have a book of his stories that one of my relatives transcribed at some point. They are so interesting. My Grandmother’s brother was a minister – a preacher, also a gifted storyteller.
I guess I am saying that I come by my love of storytelling naturally. It is in my genes. For me, it all springs from my Grandmother encouraging me to “make up a story about…”