Barbara’s personal history was written from our audiotaped interviews. It focuses on her life as a minister’s wife and mother to four children and on her long career as a piano teacher.

More men than women ask me to tell their stories, and grown children are more likely to hire a personal historian to tell a father’s or grandfather’s story than a mother’s or grandmother’s. I think this is because women of older generations in particular often led quieter lives, focused on home and family. However, their stories are no less interesting or important, and I very much enjoy telling them when I have the opportunity.

Here is an excerpt about evenings with Barbara’s close-knit family, living on a farm in rural Ohio around the time of the Second World War:

An Evening at Home

And here is the full chapter focusing on Barbara’s religious faith. Because this is a theme of her life and she returned to this topic throughout our interviews, I decided to honor it with its own chapter instead of scattering references to it throughout. This chapter closes Barbara’s memoir.

Faith and Gratitude