Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Traditions - A Good Book

Neither of my parents were avid book readers when I was younger (mostly because I never saw my mom sit down long enough to read a book, and my dad was always reading stacks and stacks of political meeting minutes for our town), but my sisters and I cannot get enough of a good book.  I will voraciously attack a book series originally intended for middle-to-high-school-aged girls!  (Yes.  I have read the Hunger Games series approximately 6 times.  Yes.  All three books.  Six times each.  Don't judge!!!  I'm a stay-at-home-mom and I don't get out much.)  But in all seriousness, I really do love to get caught up in the characters lives, envision where the story might take them next, and mourn the loss of reading about them when I come to their story.

Even though my parents didn't read a lot of books themselves, they made a huge effort to read to us every night before tucking us into bed, and both were amazing story tellers.  That's how they met, really.  Both worked at a historical village where my mom was a weaver and spinner and my dad carved decoys.  Both could tell a story, complete with character voices, that would have every member of the audience completely captivated.  My dad loved, in particular, to retell the old Brer Rabbit stories, and my mom would spend an entire 1 1/2 hour car ride to see our grandparents regaling us with the epic Wizard of Oz.

A few years ago my dad started writing down stories about his grandfather, Alonzo.  Alonzo was dead long before my sisters and I came into this world, but I now have an account of his life seen through my father's eyes.  My dad then went on to write a book on his father, and is working on one about himself.    

The cover of Alonzo and Me, complete with "limited edition" sticker.  
Alonzo's book is filled with pictures of important places and events in the Gibersons' history.
My mom followed suite with a book called Traditions, where she assembled all of our favorite family recipes and added some of the best stories from her childhood and ours, all in a binder where we can add our own recipes and stories.

You've seen this before here.
An excerpt from "Easter" from Traditions.

I treasure both with all my heart!  It is such a huge gift to be able to see a glimpse into my family's history, written down, with the characters expanding past the pages they are written on.  It's almost magical, and my favorite kind of book.

Whatever your choice of literature is, whether it's historical, fiction, or inspirational... I think it's really important to read something.  Something that expands your mind, makes your heart swell, or challenges you to become a better you.  And I hope to pass this love of reading on to my boys.  I want them to be able to imagine a better tomorrow because they've read about the past.  I want them to love the written word, and make up their own stories, too.

What kind of books inspire you?


  1. My favorite books that Mom would read us before bed were the American Girl doll stories. I can't wait until my girls are old enough to read those to them. Molly already has a package of "Molly" books to go through when she's ready.

  2. Incredible memories - what a treasure to pass down from generation to generation! One of my favorite book series is the Chronicles of Narnia. I'm a huge C.S. Lewis fan and somehow these books take me to a distant place where all that is good wins out through the toughest of life experiences and good will prevail. I was kind of surprised at how the Sugar Creek Gang series captivated our son when he was eight or nine. This was a very special time between father and son. They would curl up into bed and they would read a little - talk a little - and read some more. They even took a road trip to find the "Sugar Creek" in Indiana.

    1. I love the Narnia Books! A few years ago we bought the audio books from Radio Theater. They are really fantastic with music and voices for all the characters. It's our go-to for car trips.

  3. Kelly, did they find Sugar Creek?

  4. They found it in Thorntown, IN... It was very unassuming with a little sign :)