Mom was a "paper saver" so every childhood event program the four of us kids were ever in was saved, along with canceled checks of major purchases, recipes clipped from magazines, greeting cards going back to over fifty years ago, to snapshots from the 1920's to present day.
Everyday events listed on pieces of papers told the history of my parent's marriage and as us children were added to the family. The history of previous generations were also revealed from the photos and documents mom saved from her and my father's parents and grandparents too.
It's easy to see where my ideas for stories come from when handling my family's paper trail.
The check stubs I found from 1919 showed the final dispersal of money to the children of Samuel and Charlotta Johnson, who I based my Planting Dreams series on.
Photos of the wagon my newlywed parents used to haul their meager belongings from their town apartment to their newly rented farm in 1946, were studied and described in my great grandparent's trip from Kansas to the Indian Territory in my Tying the Knot book.
And this same wagon, saved and rebuilt by a grandson, was used to carry my father's casket to his final resting place last week.
You can bet this event will be mentioned in a future story of mine too.