April 27 is National Tell a Story Day. I’d hoped to tell a story to my fellow residents in the senior retirement community, but I have been sick and wasn’t able to schedule the event. I have done storytelling here before, and people seem to enjoy the stories.
Several years ago, my sister and I owned a small convenience/gift shop, Lil Country Store. We had events periodically where one of the activities was my storytelling. As you can see from a previous post, I dressed up in overalls and called myself the “ole country storyteller.” I had a lot of fun with that and even wrote some of my stories in the local newspaper. Sometimes I told tall tales, which are totally the creation of the storyteller. Sometimes I told country tales, which follow the sacred rule of being at least 10% true, but the listener has to guess which 10%.
The greatest storyteller of all time was Jesus. We call His stories parables. Even many non-Christians know the stories of the prodigal son and the lost sheep. The stories Jesus told were always to illustrate a lesson He wanted His listeners to learn. We understand and remember better if we are taught with a story that entertains us as it explains a concept.
Everybody has a story. I love visiting with other residents in Timberhill Villa and hearing their stories. Oral storytelling is wonderful. You can use your voice, facial expressions, and body language to convey emotions and even actions.
As a child, I loved to gather in front of the rocking chair in my grandparents’ home with my siblings and cousins to hear Grandpa tell stories of his days as a cowboy. Unfortunately, all those stories were lost after he died. So while I encourage you to tell stories orally, I also encourage you to write them down so they can be preserved for your family.
You don’t have to publish a book. My mother wrote what she called “her little stories” as she thought of something she wanted to share with her adult children. My mother-in-law told her story to a tape recorder. I typed them up, added photos, and printed them on my computer printer. We assembled the pages in three-ring binders. The “books” were very simple, but both families loved having the stories in their mothers’ own words. Some stories we had all heard before, but many were new to us. What a blessing that those stories are preserved for children, grandchildren, and future generations.
If you have a chance, tell a story today. Share something from your life with family members. Tell a fantastic made-up story to your kids or grandkids. Whether it’s completely true, a country tale, or a tall tale, your listeners will enjoy the story you tell.
Image: Igor Tishenko/Depositphotos.com