The Art of Storytelling


I firmly believe storytelling is becoming a lost art. With so many factors causing families to be separated these days, the chief storytellers have no one to pass on their stories to. I find that even in my own life, my kids at home, who are of the teenage boy variety, don’t care to hear many “when I was a kid” stories. I know that one day when my precious grandbabies grow up they will want to hear them but for now they stay tucked inside. Then suddenly something will happen to bring them out.

Yesterday was one of those days when I was triggered and a memory came alive. And I shared them. I shared them with my husband and I will be sharing them with my sons and daughters and with you, my faithful friends and readers. Our church bookstore was having a huge sale and my husband found a book for me that he thought I would enjoy. He was right! It’s called “Coffee with Nonna- The best stories of my Catholic Grandmother” by Vincent Iezzi. A few things drew him to the book such as the word “nonna” which we know is Italian for grandmother. The cover has a grandma wearing an apron as well and he knows my grandmother was not just Italian but also Catholic. Phil knew it had to be good but what we both can’t figure out is why it was in our church bookstore. Our church is not Catholic but Anglican. I have a feeling I know who might have had a hand in stocking this book but I’m going to believe God put it there just for me, just for this time. I needed the boost it gave me.

The very first story is about “Nonna” telling a young Vincent who God told how to make the very best coffee. That isn’t the triggering story but it’s in his life that brought about memories. His Nonna made brasciole or braciole, which is a stuffed and rolled steak, tie with a string and then is cooked in sauce(gravy) to give it flavor. Vincent mentioned that when he was growing up it was during WWII and with meat rations being what they were, the steak was only for those who worked in the family -the adults. When my grandparents made braciole, I only got a taste so I guess the adults were the ones eating the steak. But then my father took over the family Sunday dinner duties after they passed on and he made sure everyone got at least a slice or two of braciole, including the kids. I broke the rule completely and I give everyone at the table their own steak, especially the kids who love it so much. The grandbabies haven’t really enjoyed it yet because they are pretty young but soon enough it will be their turn.

The whole mention of how another family consumed a favorite food of my own family brought up so many enjoyable memories from my childhood. I spent a good deal of time around the table at my grandparents’ home as a child and those times were full of laughter and great food. I miss those days and hope to provide those same kinds of memories for my own grandchildren.

I could go on but we’ll end there for today. I can’t wait to read more of this fun little book and relive more of my childhood. I’ll be sure to come back and share with you as well.  But what about you-who is the storyteller in your family? Is it you? Your parents or grandparents? An aunt or uncle? If no one has that job it might be time to begin thinking about taking it up and sharing some fun stories with your loved ones. Write them down, start a blog, record them on video-do something to preserve the past for the future. Our future generations need to know what it was like “back then” and they can only learn it from those who have been there.

Final thoughts-here I am making a memory with my granddaughter, this was in 2010. We always have tea parties when they come to visit. She isn’t here more than 10 minutes when she’ll ask for a tea party and if I remember having them with her.

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2 thoughts on “The Art of Storytelling

  1. Michelle, this was a great story in itself, well told, and I’m so glad you told it. It’s so true, It think many people take having meat on their table for granted and it’s a nice reminder how lucky we are.

    Thank you.

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