Story Blocks

My Grammy…my dads mom, was a wonderful grandmother. She lived in a tiny town in the middle of the high desert of Nevada. Luning NV had a post office (where my grandmother worked) and two bars. There were rattlesnakes, tarantulas and scorpions…a strange and sometimes scary place full of adventure.

Grammy was fun, sometimes a bit crude and, what I remember most about her, a great story teller. She would mesmerize us with her stories. Our favorites were the ones that would scare the bejesus out of us.

My husband, John and I, stopped in Luning during a trip to Death Valley several years ago. I wanted to find her house and see the changes to the small town. It took a bit of effort, and a call to my sister to narrow it down, but we finally did find it. Like most of the town, it was abandoned. The stone wall my Papa built from the desert rocks was still mostly intact. I am a rock collector like he was, so I beat a few choice stones from the wall to take home. When we walked around the house, we noticed the door was open – so not only did I vandalize the rock wall…we trespassed 🙄. There were signs visible that it was being used by the homeless as a place to sleep and get out of the weather. The ceiling was collapsed in the living room and the house had been picked clean of most hardware. Despite all of that, when I stood in the middle of her family room, where we spent most of the time with her, I was overcome with a flood of emotion and memories. I cried. My memory was so vivid of gathering around her while she scared us to death with her stories of ghosts and haunted graveyards.

I loved her and treasured all of the time I had with her. I want to be that Grammy for my grandchildren. I want my home to be a place where their imaginations are sparked and they build memories that last until they are 60! I also want to be a story teller. I don’t think it comes to me as naturally as it did to her, but I am sure it can be learned.

This is the inspiration for October’s Date to Create….Tell Me a Story.

I loved the idea of Story Stones after seeing several examples on Pintrest. The idea is to paint objects, places, people on small stones, then put them in a bag to draw out randomly. You then tell a story based on the pictures you choose. Not only could this be very interactive, it also promotes creative thinking and imagination. I thought it may be fun to use blocks instead of stones….Tumbling them out of a can and then telling a story based on the pictures facing up. I purchased some wooden blocks and decided to paint them myself. I just couldn’t seem to keep it simple. Each 1.5” side had to be a perfect little work of art. I tried to keep a theme for each block, i.e. weather, location, transportation, structures, villains, etc… I have 10 blocks in all (so 60 little paintings). Now that they are almost complete, I am going to practice….practice….practice. Maybe I will be able to story tell like my Grammy 😍. I also can’t wait to see the stories that Helen and Margo come up with on their turn. I know when they take them home, their dad is going to make them come alive. I think he inherited that story telling gene from my grandmother.


  1. I love it. Your story about your grandmother and the idea of story blocks as well. Story telling is so wonderful, exciting and important…passing down stories from generation to generation. i love it. Have you ever read my favourite book….WOMEN WHO RUN WITH THE WOLVES, Clarissa Pinkola Estes ? If you have, I know you would have loved it and if you have not read it, it is a must for you. ….an amazing book about story telling and includes little stories as well. It is very much about older women passing down stories to the young ones. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Also wanted to say about your story, it is amazing for you to have been standing in that spot where you were told story to from your grandmother. I can see why it was such an emotional experience. How wonderful. xx


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