What is the Greatest Gift We Can Leave Our Loved Ones? Meminto Has The Answer!

Friday, April 19, 2024
 What is the greatest gift we can leave our loved ones?  For a long time now I've thought the greatest gift I could leave was the gift of memories - not just the time and thought that goes into making memories, but preserving those memories in a way that lasts for generations.  

I started working on this several years ago when I began writing my memoir.....when I was in my 20's.  I continued to write, adding bits and pieces of stories about my life experiences as they happened.  I wrote them for me, but mostly with future children and grandchildren in mind.  In the past decade, I expanded on those stories to include stories about where I grew up, what my childhood was like, what my school experience was like.   Although I try to share stories about those things, I've found that a true interest in our ancestors lives doesn't really develop until we are matured, with our own life experiences under our belt, and our own stories to tell.  That means that my kids and grandkids won't really have that much interest in my 'days gone by' till I've 'gone by', if you know what I mean.  Therefore my stories, my history, will also be 'gone'.  But....if those tales are recorded somewhere, they'll live on for future generations. Isn't that what we all want, for our legacy to live on for generations?

I'd already completed one bound book of questions I'd answered about my life, my experiences and personal philosophies.  So had John. But I still had my 'memoir' stored on my computer, as well as the many stories I've written about special people in my life stored on the internet in my blog.  I longed to convert those into something concrete and durable, something that would be attractive, able to be held in your hands and read a little at a time, something that represented how valuable I held my life experiences and the people who shaped me.  Like an unexpected gift, I received an email one day from a company inviting me to try their software - software made for recording and preserving memories.

At first I was skeptical because not long ago, another company had reached out, asking me to pilot their software and that had proven to be a very frustrating experience.  That program was still in the raw stages with too many bugs and after several frustrating weeks, I gave up.  I wondered if this was another fresh, new company looking to have me find bugs in their program.  I hesitated.  Knowing I had material just waiting to be recorded, I poked around the website and learned more.  This company, Meminto Stories, which originated in 2017 in Germany, was similar to the first company John and I had used on our first book.  It allows writers to record their memories by answering questions/prompts but Meminto also has a blank book template for creating your own custom book.  That was exactly what I needed.  That template would allow me to copy and paste my memoir into a book.  It also allowed me to add photos.  I decided to give it a go.  

As you can see, the process was a success and my book turned out even better than I hoped.   I was thrilled to finally have found a medium that allowed me to combine photos with narratives.  The photo book program I use allows you to add text, but not copy and paste.  Meminto allowed me to import my long text entries and accompany them with high quality photos, producing the perfect marriage of text and photo memories.  Another great thing about Meminto is that you can actually dictate your answers using the Meminto app on your smart phone. You simply select your question/prompt and then hit the 'microphone' on the app and start recording.  That's such a great option for folks who don't want to sit at the computer and type or for folks who have stories to tell but may not be tech savvy. Here's a few  screenshots of the software.

Another thing that really impressed me was the amazing customer support Meminto provides.  I was lucky to have the company Founder/CEO, Albert Brückmann at the ready, answering emails and live chat questions more rapidly than one might even expect even a family member to respond, but the Meminto website is filled with FAQ's and explainer videos and an option for a live chat.  I found the entire experience so satisfying.  

From the day I finished my book and submitted it for print to having it delivered to my door was 8 days.  The typical time between submission and delivery is 12-20 days.   The quality of my book was truly beautiful.  The paper quality was outstanding, and the print was clear and easy to read.  I was so impressed, I immediately purchased another package and converted my memoir into their blank book template.  The hardest part of the process for me was choosing a cover.  Meminto offers so, so many options, I could barely choose.  Again, the finished book was stunning from beginning to end.  I can't say enough about this company or its product.  

The price for a book is comparable to the previous company I used, but the quality of the finished product is definitely superior.  A book up to 100 pages is $79, up to 200 is $99 and up to 300 is $139. Additional copies of your book are $39 each and all photos are printed in color!!  My first book, 'They Loved Me, Supported Me, Guided Me, Inspired Me' was 200 pages and my memoir, My Life, the First Quarter Century, was 142 pages.  I'm so happy to finally have so much of my writing finally in print.  Meminto offers a perfect way to preserve your memories for generations in a beautiful, durable, hardcover book, whether it be to share vacation experiences, special events, childhood milestones, or family history, all rich with text and color photos at a price that's fair and competitive. And what a fabulous option to just press record and dictate your stories for Meminto to transcribe for you! Now there's no excuse for anyone not to record their stories and what a special gift that can be passed down the generations.  And what a great gift for Mother's Day!

To start your book or to buy a book for someone you know whose stories deserve to be told, check out the Meminto website today: https://meminto.com/  I promise, you'll be glad you did.

Ten Years, 589 Posts - A Decade of Exploration and Memories

Friday, April 12, 2024

Life is not just the passing of time.  Life is the collection of experiences and their intensity. - Jim Rohn

When I sat down to write today's post, I searched for a quote to preface it and I'm pretty sure there's no better quote than this one for the job.  This past week, April 4th to be exact, my blog, "Life As I See It" marked its 10 year anniversary.  10 years!!!  It seems like yesterday that I sat down at my computer to begin this blog, not knowing what it would be, how long it would last, who might read it or whether I'd have enough to share to even constitute a 'blog'. 

Here we are, ten years later, and it seems I have not run out of words and thankfully have not run out of interested readers.  While I didn't have a very concrete image of what this blog might become, there were things I was committed to it not becoming.  I didn't want this to be a sponsored blog - one where I made money for advertising.  I wanted my blog to be a place where I could share places I'd discovered, places undiscovered in my 60 years of life - some practically in my own backyard.  After just eight such stories, I switched gears a little and wrote my first 'philosophical' post, Changing How We See.  In that post I shared photos of old, decayed trees that still stood despite their condition, and talked about judging a book by its cover.  I encouraged people to view the elderly, tattered people in your life, not as broken or beyond their usefulness, but as treasure chests of wisdom and experience with so much to teach and share.  Since that post, I wrote 75 more 'Food for Thought' posts - those being my favorites, ones I'm most proud of. 

And then I met Reggie - a jolly guy who operated a food truck between Broadalbin and Galway.  Reggie was the first person who struck a nerve so deep that I felt compelled to write about him.  That led to 50 more posts about other special folks I met along my journey whose story I wanted to share.  That became my "Intriguing People" category and included famous folks like my third cousin, Leo Durocher,  Bailey Wind and regular folks who we met in our travels that just really made a difference in my life.  It also included stories about several of my relatives.  I discovered that I love telling people's stories.

In 2015 I began sharing local businesses on the blog.  I loved photographing shops I frequented and felt honored to be able to spotlight them on the blog.  That continued throughout my 10 years.  2015 was my most prolific year on the blog.  I wrote 102 posts - 13 in November alone.   Over the years the number of posts fluctuated, the last couple years being pretty quiet with 27-32 posts each year since 2020, but I still love to write and love the outlet I have here on the blog.  

All in all, in ten years I've written 589 posts.  They encompass stories about destinations in NY, VT, MA, CT and RI.  There are 28 about Gardens, many, many about local shops (including The Speckled Hen, everybody's favorite), a category about Animals, This & That (where a large variety of miscellaneous stories appear) and even some dining reviews in Let's Eat.  Let's just say - I have rarely been at a loss for words.  So many places and adventures I probably would not have experienced had I not had the blog as incentive, like the launch of the Adirondack Cruise & Charter, The Saratoga Automobile Museum, and so many more.  The blog took me out of my homebody mode and gave me a sense of adventure to explore and see things I wouldn't have thought to see had it not been for the sole purpose of having material to share on the blog.  And let's not forget why this all started when my youngest daughter and family moved to Indiana and I needed a distraction from the void and grief I was feeling.  The blog was the silver lining in my cloud and became the bright spot that lasted long after her return.

So where does all that bring me, here in 2024.  I'm filled with gratitude - to have had the time retired to explore so many amazing venues so close to home.  I'm grateful for the technical ability (much acquired along the way) to start a blog and grow it over the years into what it is today.  I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to discover how much I love writing and sharing stories behind the photos I take.  But mostly I'm grateful for all of the folks, like you, who have been along for this journey reading my stories and emailing me your own thoughts and experiences over the years.  Without you, the readers, this blog would just be a journal and while that isn't a bad thing, it's been so much more fun having you all along for the ride.  I've met so many wonderful, special folks - people who touched my heart in such a profound way.  Many of those folks I met as a result of chasing down a photo or being in the right place at the right time, often for the sake of this blog.  Had I not explored this journey of blogging, I would have missed so much.  It has truly been a blessing.

Where do I go from here?   Well, as I write this, I am taking a break from social media.  When that break began on Jan 2nd, I wasn't sure how long it would last but I'm still 'breaking' 3 months later.  I've also not been taking photos.  I can't say for sure how long it will be before I get back at it, (if I do) perhaps when the landscape regains its beauty, who knows?  I am still writing and I can promise I will continue to. There WILL be more blogs. That I know for sure.  I hope you stick with me and will enjoy whatever is to come in 2024.  In the meantime, whether you're an OG or came to the blog later, I urge you to take time to explore my blog Directory to explore what you may have missed.  As we approach summer and look for things to do, my New York blogs spotlight so many fun attractions you may not even realize are so close to home.  Thank you sincerely for being an audience and a friend and for allowing me to share Life As I See It with you for a decade!!  It means everything to me to have had you along for the ride.  

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