Do you remember stories you would like to write keeping your memory alive by teaching, entertaining, or expressing your values and goals for future generations?
I remember this one from my childhood–It was a Saturday in 1956, the end of the first week back to school after the summer break. As soon as I was within earshot, Grandma reminded me of my Saturday chores; the most important being to burn the trash.
In her strong German brogue, she said, “Don’t forget ta burn da trash today. You know we can’t burn after 4 o’clock.”
Our backyard had two sections. The back section housed our two goats, Nanny, and Judy and the burning barrel. I had already learned that Nanny was not a typical goat. I had wittnessed how with amazing accuracy she could pick anything off the ground with her horns and send it sailing into the air.
As 3 o’clock rolled around, without issuing any further orders, Grandma went to the back door where her old brown sweater hung on the coat rack. Silently, she unceremoniously put it on, picked up the kitchen wastebasket, and marched herself clad in her sweater and brightly colored paisley print house dress out the door and down the sidewalk straight to the burning barrel in the goat yard.
Close on her heels I begged, “Grandma, don’t go in there. I’ll burn the trash.”
“No, I’m goin’ ta burn da trash, and you’re goin’ ta stay out of da goat yard!”
“But Grandma! You know how Nanny is. She’s going to think you’re coming into the yard to play. LET ME GO!”
Helplessly, I stood at the fence watching the most incredible scene unfold.
Grandma was about to dump the wastebasket of trash into the burner when a gust of wind arose carrying the trash across the goat yard. Grandma bent over to catch some of the trash. Nanny, seeing all the action at the burning barrel prepared to charge her target.
“Nanny! No, Nanny!” I yelled. I jumped the fence while Nanny came charging reaching Grandma. Nanny hooked her horns under the hem of Grandma’s dress and was about to raise her off the ground when I reached them. I wrestled Nanny to the ground while somehow miraculously freeing Grandma’s dress from Nanny’s horns.
Grandma righted herself, and as if nothing had happened, glared at me on the ground with Nanny.
“I thought I told you ta stay out of da goat yard!” she said. “But since you’re here, pick up da trash and burn it.” She turned and marched out of the goat yard and up the sidewalk to the house. She never looked back.
Hello, my name is Robin Waldron.
As a certified professional life story instructor and Memoir Network Affiliate with 19 years of experience in teaching life writing, editing, and coaching I can help you tell your story in your words.
If your goal is to write a book, I can help you accomplish that. If you have already written a book manuscript and don’t know where to go next, I can help you with editing. If you are not interested in a project as big as writing a book but still want to leave your legacy behind, I can show you an alternative.
I live in and serve the Indianapolis, Indiana southern border area including Marion, Hendricks, Johnson, and Shelby counties.
Putting my life writing skills to work for you will help you by:
- Teaching you how to write your life stories
- Coaching you through the tough spots
- Editing your final manuscript
- Assist you to publication
- Offer memoir alternatives to get your story told
Let’s talk. Contact me. Together we can produce a plan to attain your goal.