Here’s my first entry written in response to a prompt that quickly stirred a memory for me.
If my messy cursive gives you trouble, here’s what I wrote in response to the prompt that said, “Describe the sight, feel, and smell of the first stuffed animal you remember having”:
I remember the night we arrived in Pennsylvania when I was four. I had been born in Ohio, but we were moving to live upstairs in my grandparents house in Waverly, PA. I don’t remember whether I was carried upstairs or whether I stumbled up in a groggy state, but I do remember that I slept my first night on a daybed in the hall upstairs next to a stack of boxes. Clutched close to me was my stuffed animal Tippy, a light brown puppy. He had floppy ears and four legs that stuck out like he was sprawled. He had a stubby tail. I had named him after a real dog we had owned in Ohio that had run away. Tippy, the stuffed animal, was actually silkier than I remember the real dog being. I loved to pet and squeeze my stuffed Tippy. I always took him to bed. I don’t remember how he smelled when I was little. I can only imagine the dusty smell that he still has. Yes, I still have Tippy. I haven’t slept with him since grade school, but I keep him in my closet along with Ribby, my stuffed frog. I’ll save the stories of Ribby for another page.
The journal my son gave me for Christmas is published by Chartwell Books. He gave a similar one to my wife and to his grandmother. The premise of this journal series is that you give the with its prompts to a loved one and when they are finished they return it to you to cherish.
You can find a wide variety of printed journals for purchase that have preprinted prompts at the top of each page. The one my son gave me, My Father’s Life, only has 204, with a slightly lower number of pages with prompts. It wouldn’t keep me busy for a whole year if I wrote in it every day, but it does provide some great questions to jumpstart my writing.
I’m looking forward to writing more entries in this journal and sharing them with my son.
I interviewed my mother after she retired and typed out the stories she told me. I cherish those stories.