Told by Patricia Coffie
Family stories are the stories I tell and this one had been in the making for a long time. Two Rivers Story Spinners in Des Moines, Iowa arranged a retreat to be led by Jim May in an Iowa farmhouse. Jim and the other participants worked with me to let go of some anger and fear in some of my family’s stories and concentrate, as Jim suggested, on the courage, compassion and wisdom in my mother’s life and in the stories of Mom and me.
I knew my first year was unique and lovely and universal in appeal. I decided to try out for the National Storytelling Network Regional Showcase.
I worked and reworked my story; bought and taught myself how to operate a camcorder and microphone; and created a studio in my home. I put the resulting recording into my computer and burned a DVD to take that story out in a format that could be sent to NSN. These are not small, first time tasks at the age of 71.
Telling at the NSN Conference, having the story on the NSN blog; and telling the story of the story are great opportunities to share family stories encompassing love and laughter and sometimes tears from that pretty good first year right on through the present.
Patricia Coffie was born interested. She celebrates the love and laughter and sometimes tears that life brings. Her outlook is Midwestern USA.
Her favorite recommendation came after storytelling with retirees when one said: “A lot of people can make people laugh. Only a few can let them cry. You can do both. Thank you.”
Stories; workshop on personal stories; workshop on research to turn family and history into story; and, oh yeah—puppetry shows and workshops since 1970.