Being surrounded by family the past few days reminds me of the fact that every life is amazingly unique. There is no one else like my Aunt Jane, my mother, or my father. No one like my sister or my brothers either. Their lives are a collection of the many people, places and adventures experienced.

During the last few days together over Thanksgiving, we've reminisced about our neighborhood, the paper route, and childhood friends. We've heard stories from dad's time in Vietnam, and chatted around my mother's latest puzzle (I haven't found a piece that fits yet). We sat by the wood stove and remembered all the wood we've carried and chopped over the years. We've looked through an old treasure box from Japan (where Aunt Jane was once a missionary). We remembered Grandma Stitzinger's yummy pumpkin pie while eating my sister's perfect duplication of the recipe.

My sister and I washed and dried a bunch of pots and pans--just like old times again. We got a phone call from Florida and it was Aunt Wilma, Uncle Buddy, and Aunt Ruth on three different phones. I listened in as they tried to remember (with a lot of laughs) exactly when their new high school was built and if it was 1954 when the whole school district changed it's something funny about someone putting an old metal stovepipe over their heads back when they were kids.

Meanwhile, the girls were busy doing makeovers in the spare bedroom (you should have seen my eye shadow and mom's teal nail polish). There was a house full of happy boys running circles around the house with C.C. the dog in hot pursuit. Later they all played Monopoly and doubt making their own memories that will last a lifetime. Sweet memories.

As the holiday season continues, remember that life stories form a bridge between people of all ages. Watch as you and your loved ones experience more genuine connection and new conversations as life stories are shared. You may think that some of the things you have to share aren’t all that important or relevant. However, you may be surprised at how much other people will really appreciate this new information. Capture life’s experiences without delay (so they aren't lost or forgotten) and watch the stories and the love flow.