Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ – #Family #Storytelling by Jennie Fitzkee

Since this series began in January 2018 there have been over 1000 Posts from Your Archives where bloggers have taken the opportunity to share posts to a new audience… mine.

The topics have ranged from travel, childhood, recipes, history, family and the most recent series was #PotLuck where I shared a random selection of different topics. This series is along the same lines… but is a ‘Lucky Dip’

In this series I will be sharing posts from the half of 2022

It is an opportunity to showcase your writing skill to my readers and also to share on my social media. Which combined is around the 50,000 mark. If you are an author your books will be mentioned too, along with their buy links and your other social media contacts. You can find out how to participate at the end of the post.

Today Jennie Fitzkee celebrates a very special woman in her life, her grandmother and her hero.

Rose, My Nan, the Log House, and Stories

My grandmother Nan was born in 1886, the same year Laura Ingalls Wilder’s daughter was born. They both have the same name, too – Rose! What a connection. There’s more.


Nan as I remember her.

Nan when she was 14.
Just think- I not only spent time in her childhood home as a child,
I visited there when I was 14.
My granddaughter just turned 14.

Nan in 1909 when she was married.
Look at that hat and muffler!

My grandmother, Nan, has been my hero since I was a little girl. I spent Sunday afternoons with her, and it was delightful. No, it was more than that. Nan filled me with stories, taffy pulls, and dressing-up. She drove me and my sister in to Kresge’s, the five-and-dime, to spend a whole nickel on anything we wanted. Sundays with Nan were the best.

She was born and raised in a log house in West Virginia. Every time I read “Little House in the Big Woods” to my children at school, I think of Nan.

She told me all about that house. I spent time there as a child. I love that house.

That’s me, visiting the house in 2016.

Nan was a storyteller. Oh, those wonderful stories and memories! I remember her stories well, and my own childhood events have become the foundation for ‘Jennie Stories’. Perhaps that is why I enjoy Pa’s stories in “Little House in the Big Woods.”

My first childhood memory is the sound of a train. I was sleeping in this family log house, which by the way is in Lowell, WV. The house today is known as the Graham House, named after a family member who built it, and is on the National Historic Register. But, back then in the 50’s, my family still owned the house. The history is thrilling; it is the oldest two-story log house west of the Appalachian mountains, built in the early 1770’s. My grandmother, Nan, lived in the house until she was married. She told me many times the story of Indian raids. On one occasion the children were in the summer kitchen and ran to the house. The boy did not survive and the girl was kidnapped. It took the father eight years to get his daughter back, trading horses with the Indians – hooray for family stories! They are the glue that keeps us together.

As a child, listening to this story is much like my preschoolers listening to my childhood stories. I know how that feels, and I, too, made those pictures in my head. That’s what children do when they hear a Jennie Story or chapter reading, like “Little House in the Big Woods.”

The sound of the old steam engine train whistling by as I slept at the old log house is one of my fondest memories. When I recently visited the house with my husband, my first visit since 1964, I immediately recognized everything. I ran up the stairs and felt along the wall beside my bed, as there had been holes for rifles to go through when fending off an Indian raid. The holes were still there, just as I remembered, and just as Nan had told me.

Is it the sound of the train that makes my memories crystal clear? I think so. On the playground at school the far away sound of a train goes by in the morning. Often I have the children listen carefully, and then I tell them about sleeping in a log house and listening to a train. Stories are the keepers of words and memories.


©Jennie Fitzkee 2022

My thanks to Jennie for sharing this wonderful post in celebration of her grandmother who sounds amazing and clearly passed along her love of stories. I know Jennie would love to hear from you.

About Jennie Fitzikee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie – Blog: Jennie Fitzkee – Facebook: Jennie Fitzkee – @jlfatgc

How to feature in the series?

  • All I need you to do is give me permission to dive in to your archives and find two posts to share here on Smorgasbord. (
  • Rather than a set topic, I will select posts at random of general interest across a number of subjects from the first six months of 2022. (it is helpful if you have a link to your archives in your sidebar by month)
  • As I will be promoting your books as part of the post along with all your information and links so I will not be sharing direct marketing or self- promotional posts in the series.
  • If you are an author I am sure you will have a page on your blog with the details, and an ‘about page’ with your profile and social media links (always a good idea anyway). I will get everything that I need.
  • As a blogger I would assume that you have an ‘about page’ a profile photo and your links to social media.
  • Copyright is yours and I will ©Your name on every post… and you will be named as the author in the URL and subject line.
  • Previous participants are very welcome to take part again.
  • Each post is reformatted for my blog and I don’t cut and paste, this means it might look different from your own post especially if you are using the block editor
  • If I do share a post which contains mainly photographs I will share up to five and link back to the original post for people to view the rest.

N.B – To get the maximum benefit from your archive posts, the only thing I ask is that you respond to comments individually and share on your own social media.. thank you.


63 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2022 – ‘Potluck’ – #Family #Storytelling by Jennie Fitzkee

  1. Little House in the Big Woods is a classic. Nan must have passed the joy of storytelling to Jennie. I even got the pleasure to listen to one of Jennie’s “It Happened Like This” stories in person a few months ago.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Aww.
    What a lovley memorey of a special Nan
    How good to hear that storytelling lives on.
    I hope my grandson will have fond memories of our times together one day.
    well he will certainly have a book or two.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I loved this! The pictures are wonderful and the stories made me smile, laugh and gasp – the one about the Indian raid was amazing. Many thanks. xx

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Thank you, Sally! This is one of my favorite posts. I have been reading “Pioneer Girl”, an annotated autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and thinking a great deal about Nan. Reading this post again was perfect for me, ‘meant to be’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennie, this is absolutely beautiful! It made my heart and soul smile. Nan, Rose, log cabins, memories, story telling…you are passing on her amazing legacy. 💛🥰💕

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love Jennie’s Nan. What marvellous stories she must have told and passed that skill on to her granddaughter. Thanks for sharing this, well worth reading again.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A great story, and a wonderful tribute to your nan, Jennie! Now we know a little bit more, who had influenced little Jennie growing to a wonderful teacher, right. 🙂 Thanks for the interesting view back. Thanks also to you, Sally! xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hi Sally, this is a wonderful post by Jennie. These memories of her nan and the house she grew up in are fabulous and also remind me of Little house in the big woods. I have read all Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books many times, they are a personal favourite.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I loved Little House in the Big Woods when I was a child. What a gift you were given to have so many rich memories with your beautiful grandmother! And how cool that her home is part of history forever! Thanks for sharing Jennie’s story with us, Sally! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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