no pricetag

I discovered a treasure today. And while it doesn’t actually belong to me, it’s in my possession (I’m borrowing it), and you’d think it was worth a million dollars the way I’m guarding it with my life.

It’s actually worth more than a million dollars. To me anyway.

It’s a “book” my great-grandma, Helen Margaret Forsythe, wrote for her daughter, Mary Joan Forsythe Yoder (my grandma) in 1967 when she (Helen) was 77 years old. Did you catch all that? The book is written in her beautiful handwriting and chronicles some of her favorite childhood memories (and many from her adult years too).

Great-Grandma Helen was born in 1890 and lived to be 95. She died three days before my 10th birthday, and I remember visiting her in the nursing home when I was the age my girlies are now.

So, it’s super-special that my daughters and I get to visit their great-grandma and make the same kind of memories. Grandma is doing so well and loves the nursing home. She’s made all kinds of friends and has visitors all the time–she LOVES people.

While Mom, Grandma and Livi were playing Upwords today (and Ava and Nina were entertaining themselves doing who knows what), I was reading Great-Grandma Helen’s book. I’d come to a part that just cracked me up and have to read it out loud. My girls loved it too. It’s a gem, I tell you.

When I get this big ol’ Zoo Book done, I have a notion to type up the book and self-publish it. It’s such a blessing. Next week I’m going to share an incredible story about Helen’s sister Edna who died when she was 10. It will bless you, I promise.

Here are a couple excerpts that made me laugh today. Maybe because I could see myself in my sweet (and ornery) great-grandma.

Sometimes when some neighbor children came to visit us, we liked to play the book of the story of the three little pigs. I was the pig that got in the churn and rolled downhill past the big bad wolf. Only I used a medium-sized barrel instead of the churn. I had my head on a cushion to start with, but the cushion was never where my head was while rolling downhill. Needless to say, I didn’t try that again.

One time when Bertha Wagner was our teacher, Nellie Kirk and I were seatmates. I was telling her a funny story (whispering), and we giggled. Our teacher called us to her desk and made us crawl under her desk, where we had to sit cross-legged. Naturally, we were quite embarrassed before the whole school. First we laughed and then we cried. Finally she told us to take our seats.

Father didn’t put the sleigh-bells on the horses on Sabbath day. Once cold frosty day, I put my tongue on the iron strip on the edge of the wagon bed. My tongue stuck, and I couldn’t get it loose. Father said don’t try to pull it loose, you’ll hurt your tongue. Breathe on it, and it will come loose pretty soon. I did, but I never tried that again.

Do any of you have treasures like this from your past? Do you have grandparents (or great-grandparents!) still alive? Has it been awhile since you’ve seen them? When’s the last time you sat with them and let them tell you a story from their childhood?

Don’t wait another minute to do something special for an older loved one.

Write a note, pick up the phone, make a visit.


Have a great weekend, friends!!

11 thoughts on “no pricetag

  1. Pingback: Marla Taviano | Christian author and speaker » Blog Archive » heaven is “so beautiful”

  2. Lisa

    Oh, be still my heart! People just don’t invest the time in these sorts of things anymore. How blessed are your girls that they will have your published books, Marla!

    We were just given some family heirlooms, including a 120+ year old rocking chair that belonged to my husband’s great-great grandfather. I look at it in the corner of our living room and imagine the babies who were rocked, the stories that were told, the long, lazy Sunday afternoons that were rocked away, and I am overwhelmed with how seamlessly life goes on from one generation to the next.

    I don’t know what I’d do if I discovered a loved one had kept a journal — it’d feel like winning the lottery many times over! What a treasure, Marla!!!

    I hope you’re having a beyond blessed Sunday.

  3. Sarah Montanye

    I love that kind of stuff! For my grandma’s 80th birthday a few months back I got her a “Grandma’s Memories” type book where she gets to write down different stories and memories from her life, then someday I’ll get it back. To me that is a priceless treasure too!

  4. Sarah P

    Thanks so much for sharing! I simply love stories like that. My own Great-Grandmother had written a short autobiography for her 100th birthday! It is almost 10 pages long, and to read some of the things is simply amazing.

    I have always loved older people from the time I was a little girl. I love hearing their stories. Too many peoople dont listen and there is so much wisdom that we can all benefit from.

  5. Stephanie

    I wish I had the chance to have known Great-Grandma Helen! I guess I would have been five months old when she died. If only she could have lived to be a hundred.

    Please do publish her book! Oh, that would be so much fun.

  6. Ali

    How touching. I hope to leave tangible things like that behind for my family. There is something quite special about a book or journal that can be held in your hand as opposed to a blog or online photo album.
    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Jen L

    These stories remind me of some books I had when I was young, called The Grandma’s Attic Series by Arleta Richardson. They are still available on Amazon. I think Livi would love them!

  8. Emily Kay

    That’s one thing I love about blogging…journaling about our lives will (hopefully) be treasured generations down the road (if the Lord doesn’t come first). I have journaled since I was 8…it’s so much fun to look over those old notebooks and read what was going on then! 🙂

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