“One of the unexpected benefits of moving to The Woodlands senior living community is the opportunity to meet many wonderful people, each of whom has a rich story to tell about their life experiences.  The warm and welcoming reception new residents receive when they move to The Woodlands is almost like discovering long-lost family members.

When my husband John and I first came, eating dinner with our new Woodlands neighbor led to their sharing memories of their earlier years. As I listened to their stories, I asked questions, followed up, and wrote down what they shared. Many of them lived at a time during World War II.  The ‘Our Story’ series (or column) provides an opportunity for each of us to share some of our wartime experiences, whether serving in World War II, Korea, Vietnam or the Gulf war.

For example, do your grandchildren know where you were during World War II?  Do they know you rode in a cattle car as a displaced person sent to live on a farm?  Do they know their grandfather escaped persecution by the Nazis and arrived in America before many of his family died in concentration camps of the Holocaust?  Do they know you were a teenager before tasting meat? Do they know your ship was torpedoed in the Pacific? Do they know what you were doing during an air raid?

Our Woodlands senior residents have many stories to tell about their World War II and other experiences where they lived in Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany, living in the bombed cities, their cars confiscated by the military, and food, clothing and petrol were rationed.

As a child born in 1938, I remember the nightly black outs, with the streets patrolled, the ration books, saving big balls of tinfoil, and buying victory stamps for bonds at school; the soldiers who came home to visit in their uniforms and were welcomed by their family and friends. My uncle was an engineer on a Pacific Island and Aunt Aimee would point out a spot on the living room globe and ask if we saw his feet sticking out.

All sorts of stories, whether wartime or not, should be shared with our children and grandchildren so they may understand more about our times growing up.  How many times have you wished you had asked more questions of your parents?  Think about writing your own story. You, your family and even your fellow neighbors at The Woodlands might be richer and more appreciative of the past and present because of your story.


The Woodlands Senior Residents Cover Many Generations

Whether you are part of the Silent Generation born between 1925-45 or a Baby Boomer born between 1946-64, part of the surge to the US population after World War II, each of us has a unique story to share. There are a few among us who lived in war-torn Europe whose experiences are different from American children.

In the coming months, I welcome you to have a cup of something and let’s write your own story to share.”