Published June 26, 2017

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Ah. the memories of fireflies.

Memories are strange things.

I’m at the “fifty-something” time of life when, on an increasingly basis, I often cannot quite recall exactly when something in the past happened unless I’m able to bracket it between two other dates … which triples the effort, if you get my drift (Since to figure out those bracketing dates, I’d need to know four other dates before and after each of the two of them!).

But trying to nail down such dates often seems important to me as a genealogical exercise in an attempt to relate and share those personal memories that are a part of who I am (for better or worse).

It certainly helps a bit if the memory relates to something with a regular cycle, annual or otherwise.

For instance, I have fond memories of the Vacation Bible School at the church in which I grew up.

Now, many times, churches hold such events as part of their Sunday services in deference to busier during-the-week family schedules.

But I recall quite clearly that the Vacation Bible School of my youth was held in the evenings for one week, two hours at a shot (curricula at the time called for two weeks of one-hour sessions but for whatever reason, my old church did it for one week, essentially doing two lessons as night).

But during what week of the summer was the school held?

Well, to figure that out we need a “bracket” – and that’s when the fireflies enter the picture.

The fireflies in my part of Berks County pretty faithfully make their appearance in mid-June.

And for reasons known only to the synapses of my brain, I recall often sitting with my late mother on a swing in our yard, after coming home from Vacation Bible School, just as the fireflies would be making their appearance for the year.

So that tells me that the school was generally the third week of June, probably the first full week after the public schools left out for the year, which is another “bracket” for me see since most years we seemed to go into at least part of the second week of June.

This is micro-history, for sure – but it wraps up a multitude of memories … such as the week when Bible School coincided with Tropical Storm Agnes … or the year when it turned out I was the only one who showed up for my age group (a weeklong tutorial!).

So when memories are perhaps someday shared about me, I want my love of the fireflies to be part of that memory.

It’s this sort of simple memory that makes our genealogical stories into more than names and dates.

Cherish the fireflies!

1 Comment

  1. Lois Smith

    10 months ago  

    Fireflies? You called them fireflies? They’re lightning bugs here in PA! LOL My brothers and I used to go out at night with a jar and catch them…very fond summer memories! Also attended Vacation Bible School every summer. My favorite part was always the craft we made with each lesson…usually involving popsicle sticks and yarn. Wouldn’t trade those memories for anything!!