I don't know about you, but I come from a hilarious family. We're loud and it's usually from excessive amounts of laughter. It doesn't matter if we're playing games together, sharing a meal, even a nice holiday meal, or it's a normal day, our family gatherings are usually, well, a little crazy.
It's been like that for decades. It's just something I'm used to, because I grew up with it. But this hilarity didn't just appear in the last few decades. I imagine we come from some funny people way back in the past, too. I imagine our ancestors had a sense of humor, too. And in some cases, I don't have to imagine: I know. How do I know? Family stories, of course!
I'll share one of my favorite stories of an ancestor with a sense of humor. It's one of those that I really wish I could have been there to watch, and it also makes me wish I had known this woman: my great-great grandmother, Alma Bruns Lutz.
The story goes, as told to me by my Papaw Lutz, that his Grandma Alma Lutz would always hang out her laundry on the line to dry as usual, but that her neighbor started choosing those particular times to come outside and burn her trash. So all of Grandma's clean clothing ended up smelling like burnt trash. Well, that couldn't continue. I suppose Grandma asked her neighbor nicely a couple times to please stop. That didn't happen.
Well, Grandma wasn't having it.
So one day, Grandma decided enough was enough. The next time her neighbor came out to burn her trash while her clothes were on the line, she nicely invited her over to the fence to "chat." Her neighbor came right over, but Grandma was standing there holding her garden hose, water running. As soon as the neighbor came to the fence, she pulled her over, and shoved the running hose right down the woman's blouse, and told her in no uncertain terms to stop burning her trash while her clothes are on the line!
I hear Alma didn't have any more problems with this neighbor!
I love stories like this, and so do my kids. Don't mess with their great-great-great grandmother! She was feisty! Stories like this are what really make ancestors come to life for kids, even if...especially if...it shows them they were more than pristine faces in the black-and-white photos or names on the family trees, but real live characters who had a sense of humor, opinions, relationships, and lives just like theirs. That their family life was probably a lot like their family life today. And maybe just as entertaining, too!
What hilarious stories do you have in your family history? Share below!
And if your kids want to learn more about their family history and their awesome ancestors, check out our Activities page, or subscribe for our free workbook introducing kids to the basics of family history and writing their ancestors' stories.