LAST MONTH I went on a camping trip with my daughter and her family. My Mother, now about to turn seventy six, came with us. What a treat it was to sit at the picnic table deep in the forest and listen to my Mom tell us stories of her childhood. She told us about the summers she spent at her Grandparents farm in Vienna, Georgia. There was no indoor plumbing or electricity. We were hanging on her every word. Listening to hear her story, our story. The story of our heritage.  

     OUR FAMILY lived in Hawaii, when my children were still in school. One of the things I loved about the Hawaiian culture was a term they used, "TALK STORY". It was the tradition of sharing the stories of your family. Keeping the culture of your family alive by word of mouth. Last week, my husband and I traveled to Tennessee for some R & R. I saw again the tradition of telling the young about their heritage. In one small town we visited, an older gentleman was teaching clogging or "buck dancing" to the local children. Their performance at a local "two-step night" was something to behold ! His goal was to keep this dancing tradition alive in the next generation.  

     SOON my Mother, my Daughter's family and I will be traveling to Vienna, Georgia together. We want to see the land of my family heritage. I want to tell my Grandson's about how I ruined my new summer outfits in the Georgia red clay when I visited there as a child. About my Great Aunt's and Uncles houses and the first basement I ever saw made from that same red clay. We'll see the land where the Patterson farm stood and visit the graves of generations long past.    

     WHAT IS YOUR STORY ? In these days of everyone moving about, families are flung far and wide across our country, the world. Time is fleeting past us at break neck speed. Don't waste a minute. Share your stories with your children and your children's children. My oldest grandson has been asking me to tell him the stories of my son's childhood. He wants to hear about how his Uncle never wore shoes in Hawaii and played in the tide pools and learned a warrior dance from a Samoan gentleman.  

     On that note, Today's TOWANDATUDE word is "TALK STORY". Tell the stories of your youth, the stories your parents told you of their youth. Keep it flowing. Keep your heritage, your culture alive for the next generation to come !