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Photo: Barbara Reddoch
“So it's the laughter we will remember. Whenever we remember ... the way we were,” sang Barbra Streisand in the 1970s.

The lyrics point out that some of our best memories are connected to laughter – to joyful times spent with friends and family.

Think back on your childhood and recall the most vivid memories you have that are joy filled. Mine include these: Every other weekend we drove from the Shenandoah Valley over the Blue Ridge Mountains to visit my grandmother on the farm near Charlottesville. My brother Rusty and I would lie in the back of the station wagon and call out page numbers from the songbook Singing Youth and start singing. Other special memories are of camping in Nags Head using Army surplus sleeping bags, playing guitars and ukuleles and singing worship songs around the campfire. Nearby campers always ended up joining in.

They Remember

After I became a parent and there was more money, we often planned extravagant (expensive) vacations, but those are not what my children remember. They remember the white-water raft trip we took when they were teens and the back packing trek on Catalina Island, where we snorkeled in the cold Pacific Ocean and shared our campground with buffalo and wild pigs.

My grandsons (age six and nine) love coming over to my condo, making a pallet on the floor (lots of blankets and pillows), and eating popcorn and fresh raspberries. In the morning, they have permission to turn on the television and watch from their special bedroom. I believe when they are grown, those will be the best grandmother memories they have of me – not the times I spent a lot of money taking them places.

What kind of memories will your children or grandchildren have? Most likely it’s not going to be of the latest smart phone you purchased for them, the expensive jeans or the television you let them put in their room. Most likely, their memories will center around time spent together — which can cost nothing and will reap years and years of benefit.

For helpful hints about making memories, visit http://suite101.com/article/family-time-a102512.

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By Dee Litten Reed. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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