SUNDAY SOLILOQUY: This story has a very important message about sharing memories before it’s too late




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House was on fire

The call came mid Saturday morning, our Grandparents’ house was on fire.

Daddy, Momma, and us five kids loaded up in the car and headed out for the 20 minute drive to Fultondale. I remember even as a young teenager, praying it wasn’t so, and if so, it would be minor.

Honey bees

As we drove up the hill to the house, our worse fears were confirmed—–the house had burned to the ground. Nothing was saved, it was a soldering heap. All the mementos of my Grandparents’ lives were gone in the space of thirty minutes.fire house

And who do we blame!!!!!!——-THE HONEY BEES!!!!!!!!

That morning, my Granddaddy had gone out to his honey bee hives, collected the honey, had come in and put wax on the stove to melt. Unfortunately, he left the kitchen and forgot about what he had left on the stove.

Even to this day, I remember fondly the house and all the good times of visiting as well as spending a week during the summer going to the local Baptist church’s singing school.

Vintage book – Staging Den and Pack Ceremonies Paperback – January 1, 1968


In my mind I walk through the rooms

In my mind, I walk through the front door, remembering the aroma, going through each room and remembering the furniture—-the antique dining room table with sideboard, the two refrigerators they always had, the piano, the added on bathroom (and yes, I remember the outhouse when I was much younger), the old large closet with the musty smell, filled with old clothes and such. Later, I learned included in these clothes, were the wedding dress of my Grandmother and other period clothing.burnt to ground

My Grandparents are now gone, but I wish I had been more interested in my genealogy. Dad said that Grandma could have told me just about anything I needed or wanted to know. She was the go-to person on knowledge concerning family, past and present.

I now encourage my kids and extended family to ask questions, and to understand that to know the future, we need to explore our past.


Start your family tree by downloading the book below – includes many free online links.

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources


Check out other genealogy books and novels by Donna R. Causey




  1. Good encouragement to keep in touch with the past. I failed to do that when my Dad and Brother told me things about the family history.

  2. I am blessed to live on the same farm where 7 generations have lived. On the way home from school we could stop at the Graham house for a cold biscuit or a warm sweet potato from Grandma’s sideboard. We could sit with the grandparents and listen to stories about their childhood or from my dad’s generation. We could walk through the pasture and see where Grandma’s mother had a boarding house for sawmill workers, or the commissary that held a small telephone exchange 30 years before I was born. We even picked up tin coins that said J. C. Graham Merchandise only of value in his store.
    Relatives would come home to our farm as a home base they had left decades before. And always there would be stories.

  3. I remember the sideboard with the sweet potato in it. The pecan pies and the gingerbread. I sure would love to sit down on the front porch and ask all the questions I was too young and dumb to ask. I am thankful to have the Graham/Vann memories. Keep up the great work.

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