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Grand Prompts To Ask Your Grands

Grand Prompts To Ask Your Grands serve as conversation starters that forge connections between generations and inspire story-worthy journaling. Circles of family and friends hold the histories that explain the familiar routines and traditions. Listening and writing the family histories provide us with the understanding of where we came from and how to navigate where we are going.

Share your story by entering a brief excerpt or your blog link in the Comments box. I will find you if you include the hashtag #grandpromptstoasaskyourgrands in your blog, Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter posts. All entries will be compiled and links posted on the last Thursday of the month (Throwback Thursday). 

July 13, 2021 Grand Prompt is :

Big Brothers and a Little Sister

My mom was born in 1933, just as the Great Depression bore down on all Americans. There were two older brothers. Her mother was the homemaker and took in piece hand sewing work. Her father was a union-card holding printer and scrambled to work whatever was thrown his way. There was also a circle of aunts, uncles, and grandparents who lived within walking distance or with each other. My mom had two older brothers. She was always the little sister.

My grandfather had the opportunity and foresight to buy a little farmhouse with several acres in upstate New York six or seven years before my mother arrived. From Memorial Day to Columbus Day, the family lived and work the farm, and preserved their crops for the winter back in Brooklyn. My grandfather returned to work in the city when he was called, but for most of the summer, he farmed the land, kept a cow and chickens and provided his city children a summer respite.

The brothers could wonder into the woods, explore the creek, and cool off in the swimming hole. They pretended to be cowboys and indians, ancient explorers, and, their favorite, pirates. Other boys probably joined them, but for the most part, they had each other as loyal playmates. As a little girl, my mother was not afforded the comradery or freedom. She could play in a sandbox and on the front porch, but could not follow her brothers.

My mother with her two brothers in her sandbox.

One afternoon, the brothers asked if their little sister could come with them to the creek. There was something she had to see. They promised to hold her hand and that she would not get dirty since their mother was going to take her shopping later in the day.

The little girl was thrilled to be included in her brothers’ adventures. They ran to the creek, probably swinging the little girl between them so her shoes would not get dirty. Her neatly combed curls bounced with the exhilaration.

At the bank of the creek, was a raft the brothers had lashed together with vines and branches. The brothers needed a matey to test the ship. Little sister was the lightest person they knew. She happily sat in the middle of the raft, careful not to get her shoes wet or dress smudged with mud. A gentle shove and she was off, happily waving. Within seconds, the raft fell apart. The brothers quickly rescued their little sister, but not before she stood drenched and muddy from head to toe. Her pretty dress, clean shoes, and neatly combed hair were a mess. It was bad enough the raft was a failure, but now they were in big trouble. The brothers carried their wet sister home, left her on the back steps, and ran to the woods where they stayed until the echoes of their mother’s wrath dissipated.

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If you had purchased a paperback or ebook Daily Bread and/or Becoming America’s Food StoriesThank you!

Take a picture of you with Daily Bread and/or Becoming America’s Food Stories, and I’ll send you Reader’s Swag and add you to the Becoming America’s Stories Readers slideshow, coming soon! Kid pics are welcomed with parent or guardian permission. Don’t forget to leave a rating and quick comment on Amazon and/or Goodreads.


Daily Bread is set in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, 1911. The story follows nine-year-old Lily, an American-born child of Sicilian immigrants, who wants to prove she is not a little kid. To be a big kid in the crowded tenement neighborhoods, she must tackle bigotry, bullies, disasters, dotty bakers, and learn to cross the street by herself
Hope you are hungry. Becoming America’s Food Stories recalls the tales that have been told around my family’s dinner table. The histories explain the motivations over bowls of macaroni, antics play out while slurping soup, and laughter echoes throughout the dining room. Pull up a seat. There’s always room.

“If you don’t cook with love, you have to get out of the kitchen.” Florence Messina

Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

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