I am a terrible memory keeper. My daughter’s baby book has three completed pages, my smartphone has upwards of 800 pictures in its camera roll, and just last week I tried to organize actual photos from 10 years ago into actual boxes only to find more than half the pictures stuck together. As the Joni Mitchell song goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone,” which is why my theme for 2017 is preserve. I plan on kicking off the new year by finally printing photos, organizing albums, and treasuring family stories in real, tangible ways. And I’m going to start with my grandmother’s life.
Grandma Cuckoo — who got her name for her clock collection, not because she’s a few balls short of a circus — is about to turn 80. As the family matriarch, she’s not only full of life, but also stories. And remedies, lots of home remedies. Like the time she told me, as a girl with deeply sunburned shoulders, that Noxzema skin cream in a pinch would dull the pain. It did. Or when she told me, as a grown woman, to combine ground cinnamon from the spice jar in my cabinet with a dollop of honey and smear it on my face and rub for deliciously smooth skin. It worked.
Grandma Cuckoo lives in a retirement community and is something of a catch with her sparkly sweaters, folksy twang, and long acrylic nails decorated for the seasons. I like to think of her as our family’s Dolly Parton, and I want to preserve how special she is for generations. Pictures don’t do Cuckoo justice, they don’t give a full story, just a snapshot of a second. Which is why I’m thrilled a service like StoryWorth exists.
StoryWorth is a service that captures your family’s uniquely personal stories into a bound book without relying on a failed memory keeper like myself. StoryWorth does the work for you by emailing one question a week to your loved one; all they have to do is reply via email with their story, and it’s saved automatically to their account. You can include pictures in order to tell your story too. Stories can also be recorded via phone call if Grandma (or whoever you select) struggles with computers.
After a year of questions, StoryWorth sends you a hardcover book of your family stories. What a priceless keepsake.
Thinking about Cuckoo, there are so many questions I want to ask her: Why cuckoo clocks? Tell me about meeting Poppy for the first time — what did you think? What was it like when he was deployed overseas and you were pregnant with my mom? Why the decorative nails? What inspires you? The list of questions I could ask are endless, but just in case the well runs dry StoryWorth has a library of over 500 questions for users to select and send.
StoryWorth is a unique, beautiful gift for the holidays. A year’s subscription includes one storyteller, one hardcover book (choose from five customizable covers), and unlimited recipients for your family stories. StoryWorth also includes holiday e-cards to make your book even more personal. A year’s subscription is currently discounted to $59.
I can’t wait to make good on being the un-failed memory keeper I know I can be — with StoryWorth’s help of course — and preserve the family stories I hold dear.
StoryWorth is the easiest way to privately record your family stories and print them in beautiful keepsake books. Never lose another family story: Buy StoryWorth now for the holiday price of $59 (offer expires 12/25).