The Home Approach to Personal History
I f you’ve moved around a lot, one approach to writing your history is to write about the events that took place in each home. Take a historical walk through each room of the houses you lived in and glean the stories seen by those walls.
“I can picture my sisters’ bedroom in one place we lived. Their room had wallpaper of white flowers on a faded yellow background. On the beds are rock star magazines, mailed to us from our grandfather who lived in England. There are Beatles posters on the wall near one sister’s bed, and Herman’s Hermit pictures near the other sister’s bed. Living so far out in the country as we did, those magazines linked us to the historical rock star revolution in our time, of which we would otherwise have known very little. Yes . . . now I can think of other stories and details of that place.”
And that’s how it’s done, one place after the other.
I actually wrote my own history this way at one time. As I look back at it, writing done that way gives a wonderful sense of time and place—very nostalgic. It’s almost delicious to read, now.
Even if you didn’t move around in your life, take that historical walk through your home anyway. Describe the rooms, and what you see in the rooms. Tell the stories of those rooms, then go on to tell about those outside gardens, those hay fields, those city streets, those country paths, those cow barns, those memories.