Saturday, August 11, 2012

Will they know your favorite things?

My husband, Dave, and I just returned from a whale of a great family visit with four generations (ages 1 through 94) on both sides of the family. We shared lots of hugs and laughter and stories, and we ate too much, but we strengthened loving bonds and created memories galore.

Many of us have known each other for decades (for our entire lives in some cases), but we’re still surprised when we discover something new: My mother-in-law loves orange sherbet mixed with vanilla ice cream. Spencer’s passion is screenwriting. Stacy’s favorite color is red. Craig and Jonathan love playing rowdy games with the little kids. My granddaughters adore their Great-aunt Sandra. Glennyce showed her gentle humor when she surprised six-year-old Claire by wiggling her wig (the last time they saw each other, Claire was too young to understand Glennyce had cancer). I treasure listening to my husband and his brothers play cards late into the night and their frequent bursts of laughter.

That got me to thinking. You and I know our favorite things but do our loved ones know? If not, would they be surprised to find out? Shocked? Tickled?

Some of our likes might not make for important family history but they can provide interest and give our readers ways to know us better.

They might even help future generations identify with us and feel a connection to the family. For example, did my grandson, Kade, inherit my passion for collecting seashells?

What are your favorite things? After you’re gone, will your family and other readers know?

These are a few of my favorite things:

a rose’s perfume
a grandchild’s hug
my husband’s pranks
salmon grilled just right
dark chocolate
sound sleep
Clare de Lune
Mt. Rainier
African smiles
banana muffins
ripe nectarines
Asiago cheese on hot buttered pasta
hot Kenya tea
ferry rides
my old photos
1812 Overture
tomatoes and basil fresh from our garden 
gathering seashells from Puget Sound's beaches 
cardinals basking, crimson, in early morning sunbeams

What are your favorite things?

Make a list and look over your rough drafts for places to add interesting tidbits. Beyond letting your readers know you better, those details will add richness, texture, and enjoyment for them.


  1. Linda, such insight is written into these words. So many things we unintentionally keep secret! Thanks for sharing your list, in which are many of my favorites: dark chocolate, ripe nectarines, tomatoes and fresh basil form the garden, bookstores, a rose's perfume and, in my case, my husband's teasing. :) Can you tell I enjoyed your list?


    1. Hi, Sherrey, you're right--we keep some things secret unintentionally. I suspect down deep sometimes we think no one would be interested.

      On the other hand, if one of our children or grandchildren (or some other reader of our stories) is going through a rough time, perhaps our stories can help them feel connected to the family, especially if they can identify with, or share, some of our favorite things.

      How fun to know that you, too, like so many of my favorite things. :) We have a lot in common.

      Keep writing, Sherrey!

      Be of good cheer,

    2. Linda, when in Africa, did you spend time in Nigeria? We have a great-niece and great-nephew doing mission work there right now. He's college age and the girl is a year out of high school. Their grandparents were missionaries in Nigeria. The kids are working at an orphanage. I have seen some amazing photos of the people and the country side.


    3. Hi, Sherrey, my job involved working in over 20 African nations, including Nigeria, but I never got there because situations were too dangerous each time I wanted to go there. I did land in Lagos a few times on the way to and from other nations, however.

      We also had Africa-wide meetings with leaders of each nation and I met and ate meals with and sang worship songs with all of them, including some from Nigeria. I'll always remember an amazing Nigerian, Dr. John Adive, who headed up Bible translation in Nigeria at the time and I believe he headed up a Bible organization that covered the whole continent. He had been a BSF Teaching Leader (as I had been) and spoke one morning about how much he learned from BSF (Bible Study Fellowship, Int'l) and how important and life-changing the study in John had been the previous year.

      May God give your great-niece and great-nephew His special enabling power and an abiding joy in working in that orphanage. There are so many needs and I'm sure God is using them to be His hands and arms and smiles. Thanks SO much for letting me know! :)


  2. Dearest Linda,
    You always touch a chord in me! This post triggers a memory of my husband Wayne finding out something about my Dad that I didn't even know. He and Wayne became fast friends and when we visited, Wayne made a point to spend time with him, taking him to the hardware store or just sitting with him. So many revelations came from those visits- did you know your Dad wanted to be an accountant? did you know he loved looking at architectural plans of houses in the paper? No, I didn't. He never shared except with Wayne and I never asked. I'm grateful for those little snippets now that Dad is in Heaven. His 90th birthday to tomorrow 8/17 and we are all getting together at the lake. Mom has ordered a birthday cake and we will celebrate his memory and how much we miss him. Yes, we need to write our stories to keep our spirits alive to our loved ones!

    1. Kathy, what amazing discoveries and insights you received from Wayne's conversations with your father! Your story gives me goosebumps! How you must treasure those snippets. And may you all have a blessed time together with your family at the lake, celebrating your father's birthday! What a good idea that is. I might do that myself.... thanks for the good idea. :)


  3. Oh Linda, this post calls me to higher ground!
    As an allergic, highly sensitive, bionic person, there are so many things I must avoid, and frankly my mind can default to the negative so easily.
    But to celebrate the things that give me joy...the spirit "lifters" in my to praise GOD for His goodness to me.
    Thank you for this timely reminder sweet lady~

    1. Hi, Jess, your comments are always so encouraging! I pray for God to help me write and then post something that will be helpful to others, so all the credit goes to Him.

      I'm sorry about the health issues that threaten to discourage you, but bless you for the ways you celebrate the joys God gives and His goodness.

      Thank you for the blessing you are to me and the others here at SM 101. :)