I don’t know about the rest of you, but I grew up with “A Prairie Home Companion”. I wish I could say we sat down every weekend to listen to it on the radio, but no, we just weren’t that kind of family. Instead Mr. Keillor and his Wobegon stories followed us on every car trip and family vacation. This was to the extent that I sometimes have to remind myself that the infamous “Tomato Butt” story did not actually happen to me, though I could tell it like it did.

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I have always loved hearing stories read aloud. I think audiobooks should be on the list of the 10 greatest achievements of all time, right up there with indoor plumbing and penicillin. My favorite memory of high school was my 9th grade English teacher. She herself was a wonderful story teller, always ready with something she swore was true. But what made her great was when she decreed that every Thursday was Story Time and we’d sit around in our desks eating animal crackers and listening to “The Princess Bride”. There’s no other better memory that I have of those four years, than at that desk listening to that story.

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Sometimes when work gets a little overwhelming and I feel that we’re all being a little too serious I like to remind myself of the roots of my career. Thousands and thousands of years ago, someone around a campfire decided that they had a story to tell. They stood up and started speaking, and well, it’s all gone down hill since then. Now we believe, in order to tell a good story that we need big names and bigger budgets to the point I wanted to scream at them to go down to the library or the school, gather kids together and tell them a story of a group of confused love sick kids spending a night in the woods or a story about someone being betrayed by their best friends and I guarantee they will be the most rapt, appreciative and delighted audience you will ever have. All it is is just a glorified Story Time.

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My husband, Ben, is rather well known in our group of friends and family for his story telling. No matter what, he always seems to have a story. In fact it was because of one of his stories that I first felt that I had gotten an in with my future in-laws. The night I could start to tell the infamous “The summer before fourth grade when I broke my leg playing tag in the yard with my uncles” was the first moment that something in my head clicked and I knew I was making the right decision. Sometimes I’m not as proud about Ben’s ability to tell stories; sometimes he chooses stories that take three hours to tell (he was famous for this in college) and sometimes he chooses stories that don’t really have a point and sometimes he chooses stories that are just plain embarrassing, but it’s one of the things I love about him.

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Tonight I was sitting at my kitchen table working on a Christmas gifts and rediscovering my loves for free Podcasts via Itunes I came across “The Moth” which features “people telling true, engaging, funny, touching and eye-opening stories from their lives.” The first one I opened was a piece by Garrison Keillor entitled “Lessons in Swimming” in which he tells the story of how he came to spend a summer in a library and why he’s still waiting to hear a very important story. His words at the end of this story struck a chord with me “I still have hope … I’m just wait to hear the rest of that story.”

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There are so many good stories out there, some of which we might have to wait a lifetime to hear. There are happy stories and sad; stories that make you laugh or wonder. There are stories that are true and false, or more simply some that are just fiction or not. There are stories that are too fantastical to be anything but false, but are true and stories that are too real that we wish were anything but.

My life is so full of stories, ones I read and ones I tell. Stories that have happened to me, by me or around me. Stories that I tell about people living or dead and stories that people will tell of me. It such a wonderful world, a world full of stories.

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