What is a Klediment?

June Carter Cash entitled her autobiography Among My Klediments (Grand Rapids MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979). June defines klediment in this way:

“I’ve got to go home among my klediments I’ve heard them say”–those precious mountain people in southwestern Virginia and eastern Tennessee. A klediment can be almost anything that has earned a right to be a part of things close to you. It can be precious antique furniture gathered from grandmother, pieces of china, little handmade doilies, straw mats on the floor, or the Priscilla curtains you made yourself.

A klediment can be a thing you love. An old ace bandage that saw you through two months of a sprained ankle, a faded parking ticket, a jar of screws collected from your grandad’s shop. A klediment can be a thing you just can’t throw away.

A klediment is a keepsake. It evokes your deepest memories bringing a flood of emotions into your heart and recall of specific parts of your family history background–personal, intimate, special.

Genealogy klediments include your grandmother’s Swedish rocking chair, that she carried herself, on her back, all the way to America. Bronzed baby shoes of the soldier who did not come home. An Appalachian hair chart, locks of hair stitched onto parchment in pedigree descent–black and gold, fine and long. A family group photo or painted portrait–with or without identifications written on the back.

These objects trigger genealogy memories. And bring to mind the family stories that accompany the objects. United Healthcare sponsors an informative magazine, Renew: Live, Laugh, Learn. The current issue has an article “What’s Your Story? Sharing the memories that make up our lives may improve our emotional health and happiness,” written by Kathy Barnes.

__Organize family photo albums
__Create a family cookbook
__Start a family blog
__Set-up a private family page on your Facebook site
__Make a memory quilt with blocks or photos
__Create a playlist of meaningful songs
__Record your stories–in writing or by voice
__Interview each other
__Write your autobiography
__Prepare short vignettes of what you remember–people, places, things

People are born storytellers–that’s how we share what we perceive as important–at the meat counter, in the Church foyer, on the sidewalk, in the middle seat on the plane–wherever we are we share stories. Barnes suggests that we record in some way our perceptions of life. Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS “Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.” Andy Rooney

PPS Today is September 11. Share your stories of this infamous day with those around you.






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