June 9, 2012 4:48 pm

Saving Family Memories in SkyDrive

Carrian is the foodie behind Sweet Basil, the food blog. Sweet Basil is all about getting everyone back into the kitchen where good food is approachable and where friends and family can build healthy and happy relationships. Carrian has been writing Sweet Basil for about three years and is a wife, and mother to two girls. Carrian enjoys spending her time seeing new places, trying new restaurants, and just relaxing with the family.

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I’m really learning to appreciate those around me before they are gone. I’m only 28 years old and I’ve had multiple friends and family members pass away, the majority way before their time and very suddenly. I’ve had regrets with some that I didn’t take the time to know them, what they loved, what made them who they were, and their life before we met.

Years ago, my grandma wrote a short book about her life for all of us grandkids. I treasure that book more than most other possessions. In the book, she tells of her life, how she grew up, and how she became who she is now. One story is about how she finally wrapped up ex-lax in a chocolate bar wrapper after a classmate wouldn’t stop picking on her. She gave it to him at school, and then watched him suffer through the results while feeling smug/guilty. Or the time her dad said they could go to her cousin’s to listen to their favorite radio program, but they all had to “swear” to be good. She was the youngest and took “swear” literally. She threw out every cuss word she could think of until all of her brothers and father started rolling on the floor with laughter and she cried and cried.

These are only the funny stories, but I truly love the ones about her meeting Grandpa, getting married and him serving in the war, her fears, joys, and heartaches.

That book has made me think a lot about passing on our own stories. Family history is an important part of life that we generally forget about until the person is gone, and it’s too late.

My family has begun to use SkyDrive to tell our own story. Each member has a Word Document in the “Feik Family Story” folder. At any time, we can each log on and write memories of our own. It’s very simple to set up:

  1. Sign into skydrive.live.com with your Windows Live ID
  2. Click on “Create a folder”
  3. Click on “Create a Word Doc”
  4. Label each doc for your family member
  5. Click on “Share” and then “Get a link”
  6. Share link with your whole family
  7. Encourage them to start typing and share!

Someday, we will have a book created from this document to tell our story. I cherish the stories from my parents. I know they won’t be around forever, and this way I get to read stories and get a glimpse into their lives as will my children when they are older.

This is the first thing that Mom wrote. I love how she writes, and I love that I get to read more and more about her carefree life in Idaho and how our family got started.

“Idaho is a good place for growing kids. There is plenty of wide-open spaces and room to go anywhere your imagination can take you.

Our house was in town. It sat on a double lot. There were trees to climb, lots of cool shade to dream in, and a big open lot for pick-up games of baseball with the neighbor kids.

On hot summer days I would ride my bike to the library and bring home stacks of books to read in the shade of the apple tree, while stroking the silky softness of a baby kitten nestled in my lap. We made mud pies on the ditch bank and crafted boats from cucumbers, then sent them sailing down the ditch to distant lands.

Although we lived in town, my dad owned acreage outside of town. We had horses and cows, pigs, and occasionally chickens, ducks and even turkeys. It was on the farm that the real magic of childhood happened.

The baby animals melted my heart and the sweet smell of pasture grass beckoned me. A little creek ran along the far end of one of our pastures. That is where my bare feet led me most summer days.

Frogs croaked in the tall grass along the edge of the creek. In the spring, the buttercups were a thick carpet of yellow. This is where I taught my little orphaned duck, Ducky Lucky, to swim. The cows grazed quietly around me and on lazy afternoons they lay in the sweet grass contented just to chew their cud.

I would lie in the warm grass and watch the clouds roll by, taking in the warmth of the sun and songs of the frogs and the birds all around me.

I knew nothing of the hustling world around me. Soon enough, I would be part of that world, but for the time being, I was content to lie in the sweet grass. Idaho is a good place for growing kids.”

So tell me, how do you document and share your family’s memories?