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Mental Health Matters: January 2024

Just Ask!

Family history is YOUR history and MY history. One day, if you are lucky, you will find yourself in my situation — the oldest living generation of your family. But one ramification of this is there is no longer an older person to ask about family history. So, ask now while the wealth of stories is all around you!
Here are some questions you could ask — pick and choose, write your own, but be sure to document the answers, who you are asking, and the date. I promise you this will be a family treasure for years to come. Teachers, this could be a classroom assignment. The northern New Mexico area is rich in history that must be saved and this is a fun and simple way to start.

  1. What was your favorite subject in school and why?
  2. How did you get to school?
  3. What music did you listen to, and how? Radio, records, church? Who were some famous singers?
  4. Did you go to the movies? What are some you liked to watch?
  5. What was it like to be the (oldest, youngest, only child, etc.)?
  6. What were your chores at home?
  7. What are some of your happiest memories?
  8. Did your family ever travel for vacation or to visit family? Where?
  9. What was your first job? How much did you get paid? What did you do with the money you earned?
  10. What did you and your friends do for fun?
  11. Who was your first crush?
  12. Are you named after someone?
  13. What was the hardest time you ever went through?
  14. Did you have a pet?
  15. What was a good book you read when you were young?
  16. How did you learn to drive?
  17. What did a gallon of gas cost when you first remember buying it?
  18. Did you know your grandparents? What are some of your favorite memories of them?
  19. What was the craziest thing you ever did?
  20. What are some famous events you remember?
  21. What invention surprises you the most?
  22. What have you always been good at?
  23. Describe a favorite meal you had as a child.
  24. Tell me something else you want your family to know.

These questions can take place over time. The answers can be recorded or written. These questions will likely lead to others. Let the conversation flow. There will be some surprises, some laughter, and maybe some tears. But mainly there will be a precious, shared history passed on. Do it now.


  • Dawn Provencher

    Mental Health Matters: The northern Taos County communities have lost several young people in recent months. Questa del Rio News is starting a column dedicated to mental health matters. Dawn Provencher is a retired counselor. She has a master’s degree in counseling and a master’s degree in social work. She will be contributing to this column on a monthly basis.

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