Write your memoirs as your personal background check.

Family Heritage Items to Pass On

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.

Investigate Family Heritage Items to Pass on-


A special brooch or pin.
Include a note, such as: Grandma Lizzie Pendleton’s brooch, presented to her on her 16th birthday. She wore it to a cotillion dance in Vicksburg, Mississippi, where she met her future husband, Grandpa Pendleton.

Make a Family Valentine

family valentine

Personal Background Investigation-Assignment #30 Creative Ways to Leave a Legacy Series: Make a large valentine for family members to write sweet messages on and post it annually.

Such quips as “Let’s have some kicks for ’86” from my son, and from my daughter: Valentine’s Day is good but you’re the best” are treasures to remember for years to come.

Create a Family Cookbook

On the heels of the Christmas gift-giving season, this comment from a high school friend about giving meaningful gifts stuck with me. Her goal is to give away presents that are meaningful. “Gifts should either feed the body, care for the body, inspire the spirit, or instill a memory.”

I asked her for examples of meaningful gifts she had given and she shared some wonderful ways to pass on family history and traditions.
In the next several blog posts, I’ll share her suggestions for creative ways to leave a legacy in the form of assignments to consider.

Personal Background Investigation-Assignment #29 Consider compiling a personal cookbook with family stories and photos associated with the recipes.

family cookbook

Out with the Old, in with the New

Personal Background Investigation- Assignment #28- Share an “out with the old, in with the new year” remembrance.

happy new year

Scanning Facebook at year’s end, I happened upon this post from a special high school friend and with her permission share it below. Her words spoke volumes to me as to how capturing and sharing life incidents can leave a lasting impact.

The old year ended on a solemn, disappointing note that complicated both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, despite our best collective efforts.
It was still a huge relief for the process to finally end.
Now, to begin again, face a repeat process and just let things evolve as God would have them…and persevere through it.
In the course of last evening, while at supper, I met another widowed woman traveling alone on a 3 day journey from Michigan to Englewood. Her story tumbled out, was very like my own and she was overwhelmed by more than she could manage alone. I very nearly brought her home with me for the night because she was so weary and exhausted, facing 3 more hours of driving. Still she persevered on her journey knowing that comfort and friends awaited her, so I prayed for her well-being and safety on the road.
When I returned home, there sat a beautiful potted plant at my gate, with no giver’s name, no card, just left there for me to discover.
What a delight! Someone had thought of me!
It was a sign of encouragement to me, at the end of a weary, disappointing day to persevere on my own journey, to hold fast to the knowledge that God is with me, that there will be unexpected promise and delight, and the comfort of family and friends awaiting me at my own journey’s end!
Sojourning sister, I hope you are safely home and that you slept well!

Remembering Mother’s Cooking

Personal Background Investigation- Assignment #24- What kind of cook was your mother? Growing up what was your favorite meal?

My mother was a southern cook. That generally meant food served fresh, fried or with added fat or sugar. My favorite meal was a toss-up between breakfast and dinner.
I loved her breakfasts of big cathead biscuits, smoked sausage, country ham, thick slices of smoked bacon, fresh yard eggs, rice and/or grits, homemade fig and strawberry preserves. Sometimes she would fix sawmill or tomato gravy for our biscuits. Of course there was coffee and in the winter months, hot sassafras tea–good for colds and flu. We almost always had a big dish of homemade butter, a jug of fresh milk and a quart jar of honey on the table.

My favorite dinner: fried chicken, butterbeans, fried okra or squash, buttered corn of the cob, fresh sliced tomatoes and cucumbers with biscuits and honey or cane syrup. End the meal with banana pudding and wash it down with sweet iced tea. Yum.

Banana pudding

(Memories of LaVelle Pitts)

Remembering Answered Prayer


Looking to your past to remember times when God answered prayer in your life can be an encouragement to you and others.

Personal Background Investigation- Assignment #23- Describe a memory of answered prayer in your life.


The Lost Cows
There was no stock law in Florida when I was growing up. All livestock roamed wherever there was grass and water. Sometimes our cows would wander off and we’d have to go find them.
cow behind bush

One day five cows went missing. We searched all the customary places, but didn’t find them. For several days Dad sent me on my horse to look for the cows. Mom and Dad were anxious. These were beef cattle that Dad was going to sell to buy supplies for the family and farm.
They had special prayer for God to show them how to find the lost cows. The next morning, Dad got up and said he had a dream and believed God showed him where they were. In the dream, he saw the cows grazing several miles east of our farm near Highway 79.
Even though this place was far from where the cows usually wandered, Dad was confident God had shown him where they were. We went to the location. Much to my amazement the cows were in the exact spot Dad saw in his dream.
I started believing in prayer at a young age. (From LaVelle Pitts memoirs)