Category Archives: Blog Posts-Personal Histories

The power of food to evoke memories

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Homemade chocolate sauce over vanilla ice cream, a family tradition

It’s gotten warm around here in New England–it’s still spring but many days have felt a lot like summer. And of course, warm days naturally lead to thoughts of ice cream. Continue reading

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Making Memories with Shared Adventures

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Volunteers with the Blackstone Heritage corridor coming back from a “rhino encounter” private tour of Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon

It all started because of a rain delay–volunteers for the Blackstone Heritage Corridor had been invited to get a private tour of Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, but the bad weather pushed the event into May. I had planned to bring along my oldest grandgirl, but then I realized her birthday was the day after this rescheduled fun event. Continue reading

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A Trip in Time–Visiting Wellesley College’s Botanic Gardens

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In the greenhouse at Wellesley College

The trails hereabouts were all clear as we approached spring, until we were hit with a late season blizzard, and so it’s back to icy trails and the challenge to find safe places to walk. When my hiking buddy Jennifer suggested visiting Wellesley College’s Botanic Gardens, my first thought was, “Yeah, no ice!” I did not, however, expect to be transported back to the years of my childhood. Continue reading

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Classrooms frozen in time

Plantation elem. 1st grade

1st Grade, Plantation Elementary, Look for the little girl on the far right at the back with glasses and the white head band. Yes, I wore glasses for one year.

Do you have a box of photos waiting to be sorted and scanned? Maybe others that need to be placed into photo albums? Me too. I’ve worked at this before, and thinned down the pile substantially, but there are still photos that don’t really fit into the categories I was using–family and close friends.

When I was growing up we not only got individual school photos taken of each of us each year throughout my elementary school days, but our entire class was also captured for posterity, along with our teacher. Continue reading

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Traces of Farm Life

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Sign that caught our attention, on Wattaquadock Hill Road in Bolton, MA

It was a cold weekend, and my husband wanted to explore, so we set off. Despite the cold (it never reached above 22f and the wind made it feel much colder) we were dressed for the weather and we were ready to get out and move. Continue reading

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Video-conversation on Personal History and Easy Walks in Massachusetts

Thanks to Jan Miele, graphic artist, part of the Benchmark Advisors Group, who invited me to be her guest on “Your Business Matters,” an Ashland, MA Cable TV show. Jan offered me the opportunity to talk about personal history, what it is, and how you can make an investment in your family’s future by sharing the stories of your past.

https://vimeo.com/204425943

The first 14 minutes offers information about personal history.

  • At 14:35 you’ll learn a little about the Association of Personal Historians, of which I’m a board member.
  • At 15:34 you’ll learn more about how Easy Walks in Massachusetts, the walking guide, came about.
  • At 22:00 I talk about our upcoming partnership with the non-profit group Ten-Mile River Watershed Council, to create a walking guide for the towns in their watershed.
  • And at 23:30 you’ll hear a little about our partnership with the Massachusetts Walking Tour, a project with Mark Mandeville and Raianne Richards http://www.masswalkingtour.org/

Marjorie Turner Hollman

Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and has completed two guides to Easy Walking trails in Massachusetts, “Easy Walks in Massachusetts 2nd edition,” and “More Easy Walks in Massachusetts.” A native Floridian, she came north for college and snow! On the board of directors of the Association of Personal Historians, she is a Certified Legacy Planner with LegacyStories.org, and is the producer of numerous veterans interviews for the Bellingham/Mendon Veteran’s History Project. http://www.marjorieturner.com

https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Walks-Massachusetts-2nd-Northbridge/dp/0989204340

http://tinyurl.com/MTH-More-easy-walks

 

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Time with grandparents

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Grandma and grands having fun on Choatie the turtle at Choate Park, Medway

Each time I spend time with my grands, I am struck at some time by how differently I am able to interact with them, contrasted with the time I spent with my own grandparents. Bonds with my own grandmothers were strong, yet one worked full time almost her entire life, leaving us happily ensconced at her beach house retreat while the other cared for her increasingly frail mother, and thus was never very free to spend much time with us.

Each generation and each family has different life situations–there are no “right” ways to be a grandparent. Continue reading

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Asking for help

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On the trail at Birchwold Farm, Wrentham

Maybe it’s just me, but I have a terrible time asking for help. I’m much happier being the one who is helpful, has the right answers, knows just the right place to go to obtain whatever help you might need. Yes, it’s a learned trait, and one I came by naturally. My mom was the one people often turned to. They knew that if she didn’t know the answer, she would be able to suggest who could help. She called it, “Kuhl’s consultant service,” always said with a smile. (“Kuhl” was our last name.)

I worked very hard to avoid being the one who needed to ask for help until life events took over and there was little choice. Finding myself a single parent, boy, did I need help! Later, because of illness, I needed even more help. Thankfully, my life is much more stable these days, but there is still a lot I need help with. I was reminded of this today, as we set out for Birchwold Farm in Wrentham with our snowshoes, to enjoy the recent snowfall. Continue reading

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A question and a story

Don & M 3-7-09

My dad and I

Do you know when you’re going to die? Well, I don’t know the answer to that, for you, for others, for myself. But since I’m a storyteller from way back, here’s a story:

You know, my dad was lucky. Three months before he died, Dad sat in his living room watching four of his teen grandchildren gathered on the floor around him, reading chapters of his soon-to-be-published memoir. He and I had spent a number of weekends together over the previous several years, working together to help document his life lessons and experiences. I clarified details of stories that didn’t quite hold together, drawing out more information. The more he shared, the more he remembered other events. Continue reading

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Walk-Fit: or, Making Friends

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Liz (on the right) getting the troops organized

I met Liz Myska along a trail as we joined others who had ventured out to help with a trail cleanup. For those who have never participated in these events, they are very social. Yes, we’re making the trail cleaner, but if you’re not careful, you may make friends who could change your life! Liz is one of those type of friends Continue reading

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