How to Start Writing Your Own Childhood Memories for Posterity


Are You Recording Your History?

Writing your childhood memories is part of your family history, building bridges and binding families together. Whether our memories are filled with joy or with sadness, these little stories become treasures to children, grandchildren and extended family. Future generations will be captivated as they are introduced to their Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt, Uncle and other family members.

Writing about our childhood can also be therapeutic. It's completely free, helps to relieve depression and improve our psychological health. Sometimes we don't really know our thoughts until we write about them.

Recording your own personal history is also a great addition to genealogy. I recently just learned that my Grandmother, on my mother's side, was given away at about age one or two. She spent the next 15 years in an orphanage working from sun up to sun down. She dreamed of someday getting married to a kind gentleman and having her own home.

One day she came upon a "Wanted: Nice Lady To Marry." She answered the add, and was immediately married to my tall, dark and handsome grandfather.

Ideas To Help You Get Started Writing

One way that inspires me to begin writing my childhood stories is by looking at old photos of my family. The minute I see a particular photo, a picture of the experience that promoted the taking of that photo plays in my mind. That is the time I begin to write down every detail that I can remember.

Then something wonderful happens. The more I write, the more I remember. Before long I am recording a piece of my life history. You may find some of the following ideas helpful in starting to write your childhood memories:

  • Remember school days. Did you have a favorite teacher? What made her special?
  • Who was your very best friend?
  • How did you get to school?
  • What fun and outrageous activities did your family do?
  • Write about your first prom or graduation.
  • Write about your favorite grandma/grandpa.
  • What special trips did you take?
  • Write about your best Christmas.
  • Who was your first love or who gave you the first kiss?

You get the idea. Once you start, you will find it hard to stop writing about your life stories.

2 Tips For Recording Your Personal History

Write as many details as you can remember. Make your story as truthful and honest as possible without adding embellishments.

Provide background, but keep it brief. Don't go on and on and on. You don't want to lose your reader. As you write, leave an element of mystery now and then. This will entice the reader to stay with you.

Here is an example of one of my own childhood memories recorded as poetry. The introduction to my poem adds additional, interesting information. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it will help to get you started.

The Little House That Daddy Built

Times were tough, not only for our family but for most of the country. Jobs were hard to come by and at times so was food. I still can't imagine how our parents managed to clothe and feed three children (and for a period of time, six children), with very little money. Mama was magical with what she had to work with in terms of food. She could take a can-of-this and a little-of-that and make a meal that smelled like heaven and was down right delicious.

Daddy looked everywhere for work. We had no car and no bicycle for transportation. Daddy found an old worn-out pair of roller skates ( the kind that attached to the shoe ) and would skate for miles, hoping to find a job. Any kind of job. He would be gone from sun-up to sun-down day after day.

Finally,daddy found a job with a lumber company. Things were looking up. And to make things even better, our parents found a small piece of property, and daddy was going to build us a house. The question now was, where were the materials coming from and how could daddy build a house when he had no experience?

Well, he had always had a gift for building things and if there's a will...there's a way. Nothing would stop this man once his mind was made up. And as far as the lumber was concerned, that problem was taken care of too. His boss at the lumberyard said he could have all the scraps and pieces of lumber that he wanted. And every day, he would sift through the scrap pile gathering up what he needed.

The little house was about to take form. It would have a living room, kitchen and one bedroom. The bathroom would have to wait. Meanwhile, a bare path leading from the house to the "out-house" would have to do.

The Little House That Daddy Built

The Little House That Daddy Built

When I was 6 years old

Heated by our kitchen stove

When winter left us cold…

My brother and my sister

Both shared a bed with me

We only had one bedroom

Hardly room enough for three…

The little house was drafty

The cold air seeping in

Our little eyes were stuck like glue

Before the day began…

But with a nice warm washcloth

To place upon our eyes

Our lashes clean so we could see

another sun arise

The one and only bathroom

To be shared by one and all

“Please hurry up and let me in “

And banging on the wall’

The living room was kind of small

But it seemed big back then

Plenty of room to play some cards

Which we did, again and again

We had an old piano

Much to my delight

And it became a part of me

I played it day and night

It fed my soul it dried my tears

And filled an inner need

Like sunshine to a flower

And water to a seed

But soon the piano was replaced

with a new tv

I was broken-hearted

They took my friend from me

The little house that daddy built

Leave memories galore

Some I treasure more than life

And some, I just ignore

My life was formed within those walls

Just like a patchwork quilt

It made me what I am today

The house my daddy built

A marker11035 virginia ave. Lynwood California -
11035 Virginia Ave, Lynwood, CA 90262, USA
[get directions]

In the 1940s - Lynwood was known as "The American City."

View this video 2nd - very funny

Have You Recorded Your Childhood Memories

  • Yes, I've Recorded Many Stories
  • I've Written A Few
  • I'm working on it
  • No, but I will get started
  • I really have no interest in doing this
See results without voting

© 2011 Audrey Hunt

More by this Author

Comments 57 comments

writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

I enjoyed reading this story, I'm sorry to read you lost your piano. voted up

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I remember life like that, and I loved it. This brings back great memories!

I loved the Martin/Lewis skit and that second video is hilarious! Who was that?

RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 5 years ago from Tucson, Az

this old laptop is so frustrating! I cant see the videos! I have to go get on hubbys and see if his is any better :) touching story! I like the some I just ignore part...that's a lesson I am trying hard to learn these days!

mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Thanks for sharing such special memories with us. That piano never left, you carry it in your heart. That's a good thing, it would be bad for your back otherwise.

Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 5 years ago from Australia

A wonderful story, vocalcoach. I have so much respect for your father and others of that time who were so spirited and incrediably resourceful - the true characters of our time and beyond. You have such amazing memories of your house and the determination of your parents to create this loving home, against the odds. A lovely hub and my votes to you.

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

So many of our fathers seemed fearless and just did what they had to do. I read about the sod houses on the prairie during the settlement of the west and how the men worked so hard. Many still do. What a lovely tale full of love and inspiration. sigh

Charlotte B Plum profile image

Charlotte B Plum 5 years ago

i love your poems, especially the rhymes. Love readings stories like this, they are so precious and give such a rare glimpse into what life was like when I wasn't born yet. Thank you for sharing this with us, and I hope you write more!

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

Very nicely done hub, with your combination of prose and poetry. I remember some hard times, and I remember a couple things that I lost like you lost your piano, a small rocking chair and a shetland pony. Those times do stay with us and become a paart of who we are indeed.

annmackiemiller profile image

annmackiemiller 5 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

thank you for sharing this, it was very touching

Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hi vocalcoach, no need to apologize for quality! When you have such special photos as these they are precious no matter what. Thanks for sharing these memories with us, voting up! Keep on writing!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

Oh Audrey, I just loved this story and the poem.

What a shame you lost your piano, that was so sad.

Thank you for sharing this, wonderful and voting up.

SusieQ42 5 years ago

You are a true poet, Vocalcoach! I remember those days too! We gathered around that old kitchen wood stove to stay warm. Wonderful simple times, they surely were! There was no keeping up with the Joneses because there weren't too many around to keep up with! Thank you for sharing!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

I just truly loved this story. What a wonderful Daddy you had. I was poor as a child, but it made me grateful for many things that other children took for granted. Your poetry is beautiful. Thank you for sharing memories.....

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

writer20 - Even 'tho I lost my piano, I continued to practice and play on the one at church. :) I am determined, if nothing else! Thank you so much.

Hello Willstarr - Those were the days! In spite of circumstances, I think we were were fortunate to be born in times where values and honor were just part of living.

Thanks for enjoying the videos too. Take care, my friend

RNSMN - I love your words about the piano " you carry it in your heart." True...oh so true. A beautiful thing to point out to me. For me, focusing on the good that came out of my past, overshadows the heart-breaking, abuse that took place. Maybe,you can try that too. We have a choice about what we feed into our minds. Hey - that would make a good hub :)

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

This was a very touching hub, especially the part about how the piano was a part of you and fed your very soul. It must have been hard to have it replaced by a TV, but it seems it was never gone from your heart.

The poem was also touching.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for sharing your childhood experiences. A wonderful read.

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 5 years ago

Thank you for letting me into your life. It's a privilege.

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

Hubs about true life are always the best. I loved you poem and am sorry you lost your piano. This is an awesome hub.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Your dad was very special, Audrey, and so is your lovely poem. Thanks, too, for the Martin and Lewis rendition. They were hilarious together!

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Pamela - Your comments have touched me so. Writing about true life is not easy for me, so I really love what you have said. Thank you, so very much.

drbj - Yes, my father was s special man. He loved everyone. His life was very hard. So happy that you liked this. And Jerry Lewis has always held a special place in my heart.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

mckbirdbks - So true...that old piano will always be with me and thanks for that reminder.

fennelseed - Thank you for your appreciation of my poem and for all the amazing people who survived those hard years. You sure didn't see much "whining" going on back then. They just did what they had to do and were the better for it. I love your vote and ratings!

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Hi Audrey,

I loved this read plus video clips,as always told in your own special natural style which has endeared so many to you.

Thank you somuch for sharing another gem on here.

Take care my friend.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Beautiful poem, Audrey. You've said it so well. I loved the videos, LOL Your father was a resourceful man and reminded me of my own dad. :)

macteacher 5 years ago

room. She never played it for me. I only found out later that she was an accomplished singer and player. Oh how I wish I could go back and have her play that piano and sing to me. Your hub that described your memories in the local movie theatre also brought back great memories of my youth. I am so glad that you feel the same way that I do about the wonderful times of your youth. You are so right..times were simple and wonderful back then. Keep on writing and I'll be here reading everything that you write.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

breakfastpop - Well, there's no one I would like to have more than you, in my life. Love your comment and I thank you so much.

iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

I had to look up who sang on that scond video...hillerious! George Younce was so funny!

What a great poem in tribute to your father! H was a har working man! It is amazing how he strived to do that for his family! Just wonderful!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Awww thank you for sharing part of your journey on how you became the beautiful person you are:)

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Lovely hub, really wonderful and your memories really came through here Audrey. I can see your dad on his roller-skates, how many of my generation would do something like that in the search for work? And you're right of course, your mam and dad's influence and your environment have a huge impact on who you are now - the piano playing was a key part of your upbringing and music is still a huge part of your life.

KDuBarry03 4 years ago

Oh wow, the emotions and the emotional intensity in this poem is overwhelming. I could picture a self-built house and you just playing the piano at a young age. This is a very touching story. This definitely makes you the strong and great person you are today.

ajmoon 4 years ago

What an awesome little poem, Audrey! I love it when we remember the bits of our childhoods that influence who we are now....voted up and awesome!

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

iamaudraleigh - George Younce! Thanks so much for researching this. I didn't know who he was, I just loved the video:) I'm so glad you liked my story. My father was the most positive, resourceful person I ever knew. Take care my friend.

sunshine625 - Awwwwwwe, gee Linda - thank you. You make me feel so good. I'm glad I shared this big part of my life at long last.

Jools99 - How insightful you are. I'm touched and happy at the same time. Little did I know that those hard times were forming who I am today. We don't realize that our childhood experiences are forming the people we will one day become. I always learn an important lesson from you Jools. I am thankful for that.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

iamaudraleigh - I laughed so darn hard at the Younce video. I was doing some research for this article on you tube when I came across it. Just had to post it. I appreciate your comments about my hard working father. Bless his heart!

Sunshine625 - Thanks Linda. Children are so resilient. I love your comment.!

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I'm so glad I found this today, part of the "childhood memories" theme. It's got everything! A tantalizing sip of memoir, a poignant and rhythmic beat in the middle, and that last hilarious video. So, I thought, I sang, I laughed. All is good. Thanks for adding a breath of fresh air to my day. :)

maggs224 profile image

maggs224 4 years ago from Sunny Spain

What a fabulous hub, I loved every part of it the story, the videos, the fact it was true, and last but by no means least that wonderful poem that captured it all.

Nostalgia at its finest, voting up, and hitting buttons as I go, it was a delightful visit thank you so much for sharing, it truly touched me.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Jools99 - Isn't it the truth though? Most people would laugh at the very idea of "roller-skating" to find work and food. I give my father credit for his strong will and perseverence. The 1930's were a tough time. And I thank you for realizing how those times shaped who I am today. I will always love and be thankful for music, particularly the piano. Thank you for your votes my friend and take care.

evelynsaenz profile image

evelynsaenz 4 years ago from Vermont

Times can be very tough when Daddy can find a job. My parents grew up in the 1930's and taught my sister and I to live with that in mind. We too had a piano. The TV came much later for us as well. I don't play my piano as often as I should but a house without a piano just doesn't seem like a home.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

Lovely! I enjoyed the background on this poem and the poem itself. I can relate to the piano verse. I can still see our old piano in the home -- learned to play it well. The last video is a real hoot!

shruti sheshadri profile image

shruti sheshadri 4 years ago from Bangalore, India

Beautiful! There is so much pain and suffering yet you have managed to capture the bright side of it! that has given a totally new twist to the poem... wonderful!

Take care :)

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Wow! Your little house reminds me of the one I grew up in way out in the country. You were very rich and probably didn't even know it, right? Beautiful Hub.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

KDuBarry03 - You have shared your own emotion along with mine through my little humble poem. Brings tears to my eyes. I love hubpages for allowing me the courage to write about this part of my life for the first time. Thank you.

ajmoon - It wasn't until I became a writer that I have revisited my childhood. It feels good. Thank you ajmoon (aj are my initials - do we share a connection somehow?) Many thanks.

rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

I actually read this yesterday and can't figure out why I didn't post. Hubpages zone out, I guess.

It's amazing what a person can do when they put their mind to it. Just to be able to plan ahead and see the value and placement of each piece of lumber is a tremendous vision, little lone actually doing it! A great tribute and poem to a great man! Exceptional!

Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi Audrey,

My life was formed within those walls

"Just like a patchwork quilt

It made me what I am today

The house my daddy built"

Beautiful and precious memories.

Audrey, thank you so much for sharing your childhood memories.

I enjoyed both videos but the second one was hilarious.

Voted up across the board!

Take care :)

Sunnie Day 4 years ago

This was so touching. I bet that little house was filled with such warmth and love. Thank you for sharing this precious story and poem.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

It is hard to comment on something so beautiful and is beautiful too. What an incredible journey your life has been!

Voted up, awesome, and beautiful and shared with my followers!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Beautiful. Enjoyed reading it and enjoyed your videos. Voted uP.

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Beautiful write Audrey! I had an old upright that lived in a hallway when I was young---

Godzangel profile image

Godzangel 4 years ago from Syracuse, NY


ahorseback profile image

ahorseback 4 years ago from New England

Vocalcoach ,I know that we all forget the bad and cherish the good memories and that's okay with me . The memories you share are very much like my own , and yet would I change anything about OUR upbringing .....NOT! .....No , I wouldn't and neither would you ! many sweet and perfect memories made out of one ingredient , love !......:-} ++++

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Sallys Trove - Thank you for the most beautiful comment! I feel so good to know that you enjoyed my hub and the video's. Come back and see me again soon:)

Maggs224 - "Nostalgia at its finest." I'm so touched after reading your comments. Somehow, you've helped me realize the importance of writing about childhood memories. I thank you for that and for the generous ratings . Very nice!

evelynsaenz - I agree with you, that a house needs a piano. Yes, those were tough times, but somehow we all managed and became the better for it. So glad you took the time to comment. Thank you!

Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

I really enjoyed that, and think it was very very good! I wanted more story and your poem told so much. I would award you a prize if I could! So I will just vote up and share.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 3 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Jackie Lynnley - Wow, thank you! Your words mean so much. And the fact that you would give me a prize for this is the best prize of all! Thanks for the vote up and for sharing!

Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

A beautiful poem that touched my heart. Your father must have built the best house in the world!! Great poem, voted way up.

tlpoague profile image

tlpoague 2 years ago from USA

What a beautiful poem! I felt as if I were there. I have enjoyed logging many stories about my family. I don't have it posted here anymore, but had started a series called Big Nam. It was about my dad and his many adventures with him and our family.

I imagine your family is just as grateful that you are preserving the memories of your own childhood for them to enjoy years from now. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips and your wonderful poem.

brakel2 profile image

brakel2 2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Hi Audrey. Wow, you did it again with prose/poetry. I was checking your rhyme, and it flows so gently. You picked a good topic for readers, as childhood memories are so much fun. Swinging is one favorite among many others. I think you deserve a prize too. Pinning. Blessings. Audrey

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

Wow Audrey what a great read as always. Loved this great read and voting up for sure. Here's to wishing you a great day to come..

Lots of love from Wales.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn. Author

Vellur - Our little house was very humble but oh, the love that went into that house. And yes, we thought it to be a castle! Thank you my friend ~ Audrey

tlpoague - Your stories about "Big Nam" must have been amazing. They don't make 'em like our fathers anymore :) So happy to see you here and to read your wonderful comments.

Dear Audrey - Thank you sweet lady for taking time to read my hub and leave me such a warm-hearted message. You are so kind to pin this. And I appreciate the blessings. I need all I can get right now. As beautiful as life is, it can dish out the stress now and then :) ~ Audrey

Eiddwen - Hello dear friend. I always light up and my entire being smiles when I see you have dropped by. Hope everything is going just great in Wales. Love to you dear Eddy ~ Audrey

Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 6 weeks ago from Germany

What a beautiful memory you have shared Audrey. I enjoyed reading it including the poem. Sorry you lost your piano. Thanks for sharing this hub.

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