Several years ago I edited a pair of books for my family. Childhood Dreams launched in 2008, and came out the following year. Friendship Farm went through the same cycle in 2009 and 2010. Friendship Farm‘s opening sentence recalls my daughter’s Christmas letter for 2008, Happy Christmas to All, which inspired, for two years anyway, our “annual round-up of Greffenius family writing and images.” I am so happy each book exists.
Each year I wanted to give copies out as Christmas presents, but you know how long it takes to publish a paperback book, especially when you can only work on the project every so often. Each spring, for a couple of years, we received a welcome box of books from Fidlar Doubleday, who printed both volumes for us. I have kept copies around since then, and still like to open one or both up from time to time. I’m proud of the collections, and of the family that made them.
Collections like these lend life and permanence to family memories. You can collect poems, short stories, photographs, letters, memoirs, or any piece of writing you might want to save for your family. My grown son wrote a foreword for the first volume, where he reflected: “for this family, I think writing, reading, and memories are intertwined.” He recalled when he and his mother “voraciously consumed ” To Kill a Mockingbird, she reading aloud, during a trip to Chicago with her as a child. Then he concluded:
Read the stories in this book years from now. They’ll evoke positive memories of the past. Each story, poem, or essay recalls a memory about the author, and brings back the same types of memories I experience from each Christmas Day, or from reading To Kill a Mockingbird.
Childhood Dreams and Friendship Farm are available in paper only, directly from the editor.