Writing 101 – Day 5 – Be Brief

 You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter. And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.

I didn’t find a letter, but I found many of Mom’s note to herself while going through her quilting supplies. Random things like her kids birthdates, spouses, their birthdates, wedding day; initials of people with some material description besides it (what did this mean? A quilt?); family trees (I found out from one of these notes I had a great uncle who was killed in a kitchen knife accident – and also found out I was related to almost everyone in my hometown!) She also made notes on sales receipts of material she purchased and where.

I didn’t keep all these little writings. She seemed to like to write and had very good penmanship (the Palmer Method!). Some of the notes frustrated me because I had no idea what they meant. Sometimes, I wonder if I just should have been more interested in what she had to say, but you know, kids don’t always want to know what their parents think.

Since she died, I realized I did care, and so I have taken more time to listen to Dad’s stories. No letters from him though he writes in his journal every day. I read some once. Having been a farmer, he sticks with weather, temperature highs and lows, and what he did that day. Pretty mundane stuff. But, I found, when you talk to him, he can talk up a storm.

1957 army dad blue jacket

Try it sometime with your parents or grandparents if you still have them. You will never regret the time spent – for yourself and in helping them feel more connected to the world.


Q-Tip #11 – When you see a quilt you like that someone else made, ask a lot of questions as to the history and origin of the design, materials, etc. Most quilts have interesting stories behind them.

328 words, dang, I guess that’s brief for me!


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