By: Nanci Wudel
(Nanci graciously agreed to tell about this great idea she recently shared on Facebook.)
This is a candid shot of our sweet granddaughter, Brinkley, reading a book I made two years ago for each of our kids and grandkids. The book, Grandma Nanci's Bedtime Stories, was a labor of love and tells through stories and pictures my adventures as a child. It touches my heart to see it appreciated!
I never looked at this project as a great idea. It just seemed logical to do. I had established a tradition of telling the grandchildren these fun real-life stories just before they went to bed, when I would be visiting them. I thought that writing them down in semi-scrapbook style would be wonderful for them to have. When I'm not at their houses, they can still hear my stories. It got to be such a bedtime tradition that to this day, two of our grandchildren (ages 10 and 12), sleep with their "Grandma Nanci Bedtime Stories" right next to their bed!
I made one for each family. Really nice for family histories, and for keeping the stories alive for future generations! Each story is titled, has a "What did I learn?" at the end, and has a picture with it. Sometimes, it's an actual photograph of me, or whoever is the "main character" in my story. Other times, it's generic pictures of something related. But, each story is absolutely true, making it a fun autobiography!
For example, one of our grandkids' favorite stories is about the time my grandma was tending me and had to put me into "time out" in her basement. As I was sitting there, crying because I had to go to time out, I suddenly heard a BEAR in another part of the basement!
My grandmother lived on a mountain where bear sightings were not uncommon. Well, this bear seemed to get louder and louder. I was SO scared. I pounded on the basement door, screaming for Grandma to let me out because there was a bear in the basement!
Finally, after what seemed a long time, my Grandma, who I loved and adored, opened the door and said, "Where do you hear the bear?" I pointed across the room to where the coal furnace was. My Grandma listened for a minute, then scooped me up and said, "I want to show you something."
Still crying, I clung tightly to her as she took me up the basement stairs. She put me down, but still holding my hand, said, "Nanci, let's go into the living room." As we approached the room, I saw my uncle sleeping on the living room couch at the far end of the room. My grandma said, "Now listen closely and tell me what you hear." Sure enough, I could hear the bear again! I grabbed my Grandma's apron and buried my head. "Grandma, it's the bear!"
Suddenly, my Grandma started laughing, and carried me over to stand by my sleeping uncle. I would never have guessed it. The bear noise I had heard was actually my uncle snoring!! He was sleeping in the part of the living room that was directly over the furnace in the basement. Every time he snored, the noise went down through the heater vents and came out even louder in the basement.
We woke up my uncle to stop his snoring, and then we laughed and laughed! What did I learn? That when I was at Grandma's house, I didn't ever want to do anything again that would put me in time-out!
I'm working on Vol. 2 now, which will be stories and pictures from my high school and college years - and what I learned from each experience.
I have time constraints, and keep it simple, but my grandkids love it.