Storytelling Lunch

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                            June 15, 2016

                                 

Telling stories is a devalued treasure. People are too jumpy to hear, too hurried to tell. When we stop and listen to the remembrances, the memorable moments, we realize how special the experiences is.

Like yesterday when I enjoyed lunch with my dad and his new friend Carl. They’ve only known each other for about three months, even though they were born just four miles apart from each other in the hills of eastern Kentucky.

I sat and was still listening long after all the food had been eaten. Story after story was told about their Navy experiences. I learned that my “Granny Wolfe” had to go with my dad to sign up for military service since he was still only seventeen. I found out he had flat feet, a dis-qualifier for the infantry, but according to the man doing inspections, good enough for the Navy! Carl and my father talked about their “lodging accommodations”, and other “luxuries” of their experiences.

I sat and was mesmerized by their humor, their remembering of conversations and details, their stories of being tested in shooting a gun. Since they were Navy they were told that they had passed…although both of them doubted the truth of that…but one of the two Marines who was being tested didn’t pass.

Our lunch table was punctuated with knee-slapping laughter. Richness in the moment can not be confined to a length of time. Like a fine steak it is to be savored and enjoyed. “Rush” is not a word that gives any value to it.

As I sat and soaked I thought of our addiction to movement. We move from morning tasks to lunch, and from lunch to afternoon responsibilities. We seldom have time just to sit and listen…and in getting things done we miss the opportunities of stories that live on long after the afternoon agenda gets accomplished.

Dad and Carl strolled through history, visiting Carl’s entertaining pursuit of family genealogy to discover the grandfather he never knew. His search brought him to a choice. His grandfather  could have been either a thief shot and killed in a barroom gun fight…or the captain of a riverboat.

He and his siblings chose the stream that pointed towards the riverboat captain. It becomes easier to talk to the next generations about a captain making sure a riverboat safely navigated the Ohio River, rather than telling the little ones that their ancestor was scoundrel who was also slow in the draw.

From there my dad talked about a certain river barge company that would name each of its boats after a woman…Abigail, Esther, and such.

Like two checker players they jumped from one story square to another. Each move began with words like “That reminds me of…” or “Well, let me tell you something!” Chuckles abounded and their faces lit up as they recalled the moments, lost in the reliving.

At the end of that day I realized that the storytelling luncheon was the most important thing that had happened to me. It was my biggest accomplishment…and I had just sat and listened!

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Grandchildren, Humor, Parenting, Story, Uncategorized

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One Comment on “Storytelling Lunch”

  1. Norma Rivas Says:

    Good read. Often times we get lost in the shuffle of the day that we fail to stand still long enough to appreciate it.
    (NrR)


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