Monthly Archives: January 2014

Bethesda Women on You Tube on TEDx

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It wasn’t exactly on my ‘bucket list” but having a chance to tape a TEDx Talk for the internet has been high on my list of things I wished for. Then what do you know  – – Jane O. Smith organizer of TEDxBethesdaWomen invited me to be one of twelve women who were giving talks in Bethesda in December. Our videos went LIVE on You Tube this week.

You are invited to hear “Lively, spirited and sassy”  women share ideas and wisdom on a wide range of topics. The day we filmed there was a full house at Imagination Stage, Bethesda, MD. The audience was bubbling with enthusiastic energy that fostered each one of us to reach for our “gold”.

Jane O. Smith and her committee invited a very diverse group of speakers: a storyteller, the president of a community college, an international newscaster, an internet business guru, several others from business, a young woman who has plans to provide basic personal supplies for women in Africa and 6 others. It was a rich day listening to “talks” filled with insights, wisdom and intrigue.

The title of my talk is “Your Story is Your Legacy” – with the underlying theme that we all have stories to tell.  Since I am a storyteller I took this opportunity  to talk about my ideas on the importance of family and personal stories and to encourage folks to tell their story as a way to be remembered.

This link takes you to all the videos:
Hope you will listen and enjoy!

A Precious Find on Our Anniversary

Yesterday when I was looking for something in the closet in the guest room I opened a large plastic file box and found a treasure trove of memories. There are letters between Jim and me, souvenirs from our honeymoon and this precious date-book.

January to December 1955.

I remembered picking it up from a basket of “freebies” on the counter in the Manhattan Drug Store across the street from the Emergency Room entrance at Johns Hopkins Hospital in December 1954. In those days a calendar of the coming year was a familiar give-away.

Free was important to me and as I look through these months and see how often I was babysitting I am reminded of how grateful I was for those casual jobs. And I recognize the names – families of residents and interns – the gifted guys in the white suits I was so in awe of when I was working on the wards.

There is nothing like an old calendar to bring memories flooding back. As I read through these pages I love watching the progression of the relationship between Jim and me. Even though the details are not noted I remember them. The excitement and innocence of our courtship time, the evenings of meeting Jim in the Doctors Cafeteria in the hospital after 10 PM when he would take a break from “the books” in a study room somewhere in the backrooms of the small libraries throughout the hospital for an hour with me. A few names of casual dates with Jim’s classmates appear until he gave me his fraternity pin on May 16 th –

He proposed on July 9th.

Those were sweet days. I remember  pretty accurately how all this happened – but I am grateful to see it in writing. Confirming my memories.

Lovely and touching to find this on our Anniversary, Yes, it was all real. Not a dream. We were young and in love. And looking forward to spending our lives together.

And we did!

To celebrate and acknowledge today – – our 58th wedding anniversary – my family took me out for dinner.
When I told them about finding this calendar they were interested in hearing a few stories about those days – making me promise to take care of it. “We want to have it, Mom.” Well, they can have it – but not yet,

I still have work to do with all these “finds”. Re-reading all the letters – many from Jim to me and me to him.  As well as quite a collection of other letters – from my parents and grand-parents writing to a young girl who has just moved 12 hours away from home for school and then marries. Puts me in several other contexts – – rich in the stuff of stories. Also some interesting family papers which document who we have been and what we have done.

Yes, stories to tell – and another goal for my 2014 list –
Organize, scan and copy – the “finds” in the box.
Make an album.

Jim had an impulse for recording family history. I feel him nudging me.
Keep the history.
Tell the story.

It is our legacy for our family!