Username Post: Questions for a Mom        (Topic#1578003)
kiyawinn
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kiyawinn

I know there are lists etc. on the internet but I wanted to get others' ideas. I am in the midst of sending my mom a "question of the day" each day by email....my goal is to get some info and history of her childhood/growing up before it's too late.
She grew up on a farm in the 1930s with 13 brothers and sisters (she is now in her 80s) and had a really interesting life. (Her brothers went to WWII and she grew up without electricity just as an example). I know a lot of the facts but don't have all the stories written down.
So far, I've asked her what her first car was, what they grew on the farm, what her chores were, where she went to school (a one room school house on the praires), her favourite subject etc....
She is really good at elaborating on a question and I have gotten some really great stories so far.
I am interested to hear some other questions I could ask her that might give me more information.....Any ideas??
Thanks!

Alison


 
rockmom
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rockmom
In response to kiyawinn

Her favorite pasttime as a child and then as an adult.

Her favorite foods. What was her afterschool snack, if any and what was her favorite dessert as a child? My mom told me they had homemade bread with butter they churned and sprinkled with sugar as a dessert. Interesting. My DD's FIL had rice with milk and sugar as a dessert.

What were family gatherings like?

How did they treat illnesses?

Did they suffer any natural disaters like floods or horrible blizzards or storms?

What is her fondest memory?

Good luck!


 
950nancy
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950nancy
In response to rockmom

Alison, I bet she is loving having someone take an interest in her life! Kudos to you.


 
lifethroughalens
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lifethroughalens
In response to 950nancy

Alison
After my Dad passed away I happened to stumble upon a book by Thomas Kincade that did the same thing. I was to late to get my dad to do one but I bought one for my grandmother and my mom to complete. Some of the questions in it are: Your first pet, your favorite pet, your favorite memory, your favorite memory of me, how you met my dad (or granddad), how much things cost back then, your favorite poem (this came in very handy at her surprise 80 birthday party). If you need more, pm me and I will be glad to grab the book and list some others. I still pull this book out and read it and it still brings tears to my eyes sometimes. You will be so glad you did this! Good Luck!


 
Expert
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In response to lifethroughalens

Sounds like a neat project--I'm somebody that would be interested in the WWII era part of her life. Where her brothers were, how long, how the war affected her home life (rationing, limited information compared with what we get inundated with today), and just what it was like having your brothers gone and off fighting in a war.


 
CrimsonMama
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CrimsonMama
In response to kiyawinn

Wow! This is an enormous start on your ancestry. I wish I had done this because a lot of what my family thinks it knows, just might not hold water now that I am researching ancestors.

As her a lot about WWII, where did her brother's go? Was anyone injured? How did their mother and dad hold up? Where there letters home?

Did all of the brothers and sisters go to and finish school?

Go back farther....what was Christmas like when she was a little girl? I know my grandfather, who only had a 4th grade education, took extra jobs around the holidays, like for the post office, so they could have a nice Christmas. Having grown up poor, you could see why that was a big deal to him. Does she have good records on who all of her grandparents are? My mom did not, we have one grandparent that we can't find good records about. What was the best think her mom cooked? Are their old family receipes?

You said her brother fought in WWII. Did her dad or uncles fight in WWI?


 
Mother Goose
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Mother Goose
In response to CrimsonMama

My mother got her first store bought slip as part of her wedding outfit. Ask her when she got her first store bought clothes. How she wore her hair. What she used on her skin. What were the styles when she was a teen. What kind of music, dance, games. Ask about her first date, kiss. How she met her husband, how long did they date. Ask about her wedding and where they lived after they got married.


 
kiyawinn
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kiyawinn
In response to Mother Goose

Wow, some really good suggestions here that I hadn't thought of yet....thank you to all that have replied so far!
I do already have the info on how she met my dad (they were penpals first), getting married and where they lived, my dad's jobs/careers etc...
What I really don't have written down yet is her background, growing up and all the stories she has.....
Alison


 
Luvmyfam
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Luvmyfam
In response to kiyawinn

I would ask her about stories that she remembers her parents telling....what were her parents and grandparents like? I would ask her what she thought about new technology throughout the years (cars, planes, appliances). Ask her what her favorite decade was, and what it was like being a mom. My DH's grandmother was left to raise 4 girls on her own in an era where divorce was considered sinful.


 
CrimsonMama
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CrimsonMama
In response to kiyawinn

Yes, ask her about her friends. Her school friends, church friends, outside of the family. My mom and dad were born and raised in the same city, and lived their all their lives. They have life-long friends. My dad played football with a gentleman who he remained friends with until he died.

I have a photo of my mom with a next door neighbor friend when they were kids, and then another photo of them when they were juniors in HS.

This is fun!


 
Ohio4HMom
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Ohio4HMom
In response to CrimsonMama

This is a great idea!!

how about what kind of toy(s) did she have as a child

Scary story maybe from their childhood - my mom had one of when they were little and there were awful noises outside their "shack" and the shack being shaken - they actually lived in a little shack - and they all huddled together all night in a corner - they next morning they went out and found all their chickens gone, just feathers and bear prints around the shack



 
rubymillerand
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rubymillerand
In response to CrimsonMama

I'd ask about her hobbies, favorite activities, favorite books to read, if she participated in any sports, clubs, organizations, etc.

Ask her about her feelings on becoming a mother, did she work outside of the home before she got married (if she did, what did she do). How she felt about the war and the impact it had on her life.

Are there any major illnesses in your family that she might know about.

Just any random memories she may have. Songs that might remind her of a special time in her life or of someone special to her. My father has all these weird stories from growing up in the 60's and 70's that I always thought they were a little too screwy to be true.....until I met his best friend from his childhood that confirmed everything to be true ....I was both dumbfounded and terrified at the same time!

Good luck and have fun w/ your research.


 
CrimsonMama
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CrimsonMama
In response to Ohio4HMom

  • Ohio4HMom Said:

Scary story maybe from their childhood - my mom had one of when they were little and there were awful noises outside their "shack" and the shack being shaken - they actually lived in a little shack - and they all huddled together all night in a corner - they next morning they went out and found all their chickens gone, just feathers and bear prints around the shack




Whoa Nelly! Unreal!


 
Ohio4HMom
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Ohio4HMom
In response to CrimsonMama

I know right?? but it's a story that she lived...


 
dwelch
dwelch 
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dwelch
In response to Ohio4HMom

What about pets? My mom had a pet pig named Pinkie. (When she grew up, they ate her! EEEEeeek! I'm definitely NOT farm-girl material!)

Her favorite teacher, subject, friend in school. Did she walk to school? How far? Did she belong to any clubs or organizations as a young person, i.e. 4-H.

Did she hold a job? Where was her first job?

When was the first time she left home to live away from her family?


 
DittoBabyGirl
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DittoBabyGirl
In response to dwelch

What a great idea! I'm so glad you posted this...you just sparked an idea for me

My 17 year old son is going to New York next week to spend 2 weeks with my mom. They never really got to know each other beacuse we have always lived so far apart. I think I'm going to make a book with questions...and they can fill out out when he visits. Thank you!


 
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