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For SeniorsBY STACY WINES, Director of Planning & Community ProgramsThe warmer temps allow me to venture outside without the necessity of dressing like an Eskimo. I enjoy walk- ing on my property and viewing what’s in bloom. Often my grandchildren tag along and I tell stories about what the property looked like when I was little. I consider myself fortunate to have raised my family on the same property I grew• School and College days: Classmates, teachers, coaches, extra-curricular activitiesup on (many, many years ago).Some stories shared are ones I heardFind out what time of day works best for them to be interviewed. Your inter- view will be more successful if you re- spect their schedule. If you are recording the interview, make sure you have pen and paper to jot down any clarifying questions. Save them for the appropri- ate time; by doing so, you won’t inter- rupt their thought process. To help your loved one remain as comfortable and act as natural as possible, place the record- ing device somewhere where it will not be obstructed and leave it. As they start reliving stories, they will forget about it and become more relaxed.the bad and the ugly• Hobbies and travel• Military services• Faith or religion• Major life turning points/gratitudefrom my grandpa, like how M-37 actu- ally went through our back yard at one time (no wonder digging back there is next to impossible). I show them the trees we’ve planted since we built on the property 26 years ago, where we had a shed until lightening hit it and caught fire, and where their mommy and Uncle had a fort.These prompts are merely suggestions. Every person is unique. Try to guide the questions so they suite your loved one’s interests and journey in life.This past weekend, my youngest nine year old grandchild was particularly in- terested in this one overgrown, woody vine that had some unique seedpods left over from last year. I explained it’s a trumpet vine from my great-grandma Carrie’s property and how those funny looking pods hold the seeds for us to share with others, just like it hasbeen passed down many gen-erations already.You may feel overwhelmed by how long this process takes. It will be time consuming. I guarantee, once your loved one is gone and you listen or watch the life story for the first time, you will be ap- preciative of the time you took to capture it. Trust me – there will be no regrets.I didn’t think much of the day’s events until later that night when I was tucking my granddaughter into bed; she asked when we can go for another “story walk.” Her comment made me realize how important it is to capture life stories. The internet has many different websites to guide you in the process. Whether it be your own story or that ofa loved one, it is nevertoo early or too late to start. If you are con- ducting the interviewSpring is finally here! It sure did take its sweet time, didn’t it? Maybe it took so long to get here so we would appreciate it more.of someone else, the following sugges- tions may help you.By no means do you want to have a script, but it would be best to have ques- tions prepared beforehand. Here are some prompts to guide you:Trumpet Vines and Life StoriesOnce you’ ve made the decision to interview someone, you’ ll have to get them on board with the idea. Let them know why you selected them; be sin- cere and heartfelt. Let them know you are not going to judge; your intent is to help record their life’s journey. Inform them of how you will capture their story – either by taking notes, video, or audio taping. By doing so, you will help put them at ease.• In the beginning: Childhood, youth, neighborhood• Romance and Marriage• Family relationships• Triumphs and Tragedies: The good,I’m looking forward to going on another “story walk” with my grand- kids. Maybe then the trumpet vine willbe in full bloom. Speaking of that, if you want a seedpod of Great-Grandma Car- rie’s trumpet vine, let me know. I’d be happy toCELEBRATING SENIORS I SCENE 4405 3share.

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