Write your memoirs as your personal background check.

A Family Tradition Trip

Investigating Family Traditions to hand down:


A couple of my friends offer a trip of their grandchild’s  choice when the child turns age twelve.

One lets the child pick anywhere in the United States, the other anywhere in the world!

Becca and Grammy (2)

But certainly the adventure could be a trip in your state or city. The idea is experiencing a special planned time together that will create a lasting legacy.

Sundial-A Heritage Pass Along

Investigating Family Traditions to hand down:

How did you tell time before clocks and watches?


Share that one of the earliest time measurement devices was the sundial.

In bright sunshine the gnomon (the projecting piece) on the sundial casts a clear shadow, which shows the time. The shadow slips past each of the hour lines rather like a clock hand. It starts in the morning, goes past 12 noon in the middle of the day, and continues in the afternoon.

Sundials are made so their time is correct by the sun. This is called solar time and is a local time. Clock time is different and it can be confusing to check a sundial and clock together. It depends on the place and the time of year. The times on a sundial and clock can be half an hour or more different even though both are correct.

Sundials are not affected by changing the clocks. When clocks are put forward during the summer, reading a sundial stays the same—the position of the sun in the sky has not changed.

A Special Teen Promise Ring

Investigating Family Traditions to hand down:

Chip's ring for blog

From James Dobson materials I was intrigued by this general idea from his book,  Preparing for Adolescence.

To mark the special time when our son was ready to date, my husband and I planned a lobster and steak dinner at a special restaurant. During dinner, we presented him with a ring. (The one pictured above.) This ring was to be a reminder to keep his heart and body pure for his future bride.

On his wedding day, our son started a new tradtion. Just before he took his marriage vows, he took off the ring and handed it to his dad. That simple act told us he’d kept his vow.  His dad now wears the ring until our son, who now has three young sons, needs it to carry on the tradition.

Visit  http://hopecc.com.au/pdf/building-strong-teenagers.pdf   for further ideas on parenting teens.



A Family Heritage Shotgun

remington double barrel shotgun crop 1

Investigating Family Heritage Items & Traditions to Pass Along

This Remington Arms Co. double barrel hammerless side by side shotgun is a family heirloom that belonged to my husband’s great-grandfather. My husband remembers the weapon as the “family gun” used for shooting unwelcome squirrels in the pecan trees, rabbits in the garden and hawks in the chicken yard.

remington double barrel shotgun shield on butt

His great-grandfather worked as a prison guard at one time as indicated by the shield on the gunstock.

remington double barrel shotgun close up


Taking photos of this old shotgun spawned questions about its history and we are waiting for a call from the Remington Company—another way to gather information to pass along to the next generation.

A Family Heritage Clock

Investigate Family Heritage Items & Traditions to Pass on-


Continuing the theme of investigating ways to pass along a legacy, here is an example from my family. This Sessions clock was made in the USA and passed on by my great-grandmother to my grandmother on my father’s side, then to me. The clock is over 100 years old, still works, and must be wound up weekly using a key in two slots—one slot to wind the chimes that ring on the hour, and the other to move the clock hands that point to the time. This family clock is a treasure of workmanship in our current digital age, and each time I wind the clock pleasant memories of good times with my grandma return.


A Scottish Family Heritage Wedding

During the month of June, I have been investigating wedding legacies to pass along. Here is an interesting idea.

Kathy tartan velvet pedestalThe Scottish theme greets wedding guests with plaid bows and rich red tartan colors.

Using the Scottish tartan theme, wedding designer, Kathy Walkup, created tartan wedding accents representative of the client’s family heritage. A special way to leave a lasting legacy.

Kathy tartan deco 4

                       A tartan plaid runner weaves across the reception table.

Tartan refers to the pattern of interlocking stripes, running both horizontal and vertical on a cloth. The pattern of interlocking stripes called a tartan is often mistakenly known as “plaid.”  Plaide actually comes from the Gaelic word for a blanket, and is specifically used in the context of Highland dress to refer to a large length of material.  The original kilt was known as the “belted plaid” and consisted of a length of cloth (basically a large blanket) that was gathered and belted at the waist.  The plaids were most often made from a tartan cloth, and so the confusion between the two terms.

Kathy tartan deco 3

                              Tartan theme colors highlight the wedding cake.

Typically today one thinks of “clan tartans” — that is, tartan designs that represent certain Scottish clans and families.

Kathy tartan wedding 2

     Plaid accents adorn the altar.

Family Heritage Pass Alongs

As a private investigator the focus of this blog is to give you ideas for your own background check in order to leave a family legacy.
I discussed this concept with a friend, Kathy Walkup, from high school and she offered several ideas for leaving a legacy beyond writing memoirs. I’ll be posting these ideas in hopes they will jog your thoughts, as they did mine, on traditions you might want to pass on.

family name

Investigate Family Heritage Items & Traditions to Pass on-

A Family Name: