We [Really Do] Have Each Other

Reflections on a Summer of Listening

A Guest Blog by Mariah Lang

This summer I worked on the We Have Each Other project with CommunityCare of Lyme. The project is loosely based on the Lyme Historians’  oral history of Lyme, We Had Each Other. For We Have Each Other, we want to hear how folks are doing now. Though I grew up here, I went into the job not knowing much about this community, and I left with an understanding of life in Lyme now, and life in Lyme past, that will stay with me for years to come.

For this project, we started by speaking with the older generation of Lyme. CCL’s hope was to create programming around needs and ideas, as well as to understand the important perspective on life in Lyme. So, I cold called my way through a list of community members, and a good mix of people were willing to share their experiences with me. I went into this project with the understanding that every person would bring their own range of perspective to my questions, and that every person was going to be different. I came out of this project with a great feeling of connectedness. Of course, we’re all different but what’s astounding is how similar we all are, too.

I think the best part, for me, was actually getting to have these conversations with people …

but a close second was getting to sort through the conversations after. When I sat down and listened to the interviews, I could imagine the stories as they were told. I could put myself into the situations of the people I spoke with and really, truly understand. To be able to understand someone’s experience with life in Lyme, and add it to my own experiences makes the community that much more vibrant. I know Lyme better now, because I know the people who live here better now.

This was all a learning experience, and I want to thank everyone who chatted with me for taking the time to sit down and learn this process with me. Some of these folks were among the first that I have ever interviewed, and I’m sure it wasn’t perfect, but it was eye opening (and quite the adventure, too!). I learned so much about community, memories, aging, Lyme, and how utterly important it is to have one another.

If I could give one piece of advice that I learned from this project, it would be this:

say “hello” to your neighbors. If you don’t know them, get to know them. Approach everyone with a smile, because sometimes that’s just what other people need to see. Plus you’ll be happier that way too. In order to understand your community, become a part of your community. And please, just listen to one another. The betterment of a community lies within our stories and our experiences.  

By |2017-09-22T14:12:34-04:00September 22nd, 2017|Guest Blog, We Have Each Other|0 Comments

Listener Training 101: July 21st

CommunityCare of Lyme is seeking both listeners and storytellers (individuals sharing their experiences) for We Have Each Other, a new project gathering and celebrating stories of the people of Lyme.

There is an art and science to listening well! CCL is offering the first in a series of listener training programs:

Listener Training 101

Friday, July 21st, 2:30-4:30pm at the CCL Office in the Lyme Center Academy Building

Cayla Dyer, Lead Organizer with United Valley Interfaith Project (UVIP), will lead an interactive training in Listening: the Art and Science of Interviewing. This training is helpful for those capturing stories for We Have Each Other, and is broadly applicable to story capture and interviews of all kinds. We will be sharing experiences, tips and techniques. If you are an experienced interviewer, your participation is welcome and encouraged. Participants may also help with future Listening Training.

Please respond to this message or contact the CCL Office at 603-795-0603 if you can join us OR If you cannot attend but are interested. Please just show-up if you find yourself available at the last minute.

We Have Each Other builds on the work of We Had Each Other, A Spoken History of Lyme, published in 2000 by Friends of Lyme Library, and the current Stories Projects of the United Valley Interfaith Project, which pairs trained Listeners with members of the community and has already captured over 500 stories of aging with dignity across the Upper Valley, economic security, and life in Claremont.

Contact Mariah Lang (stories@cclyme.org, 603-795-0603), CCL intern, or Patty Jenks (patty@cclyme.org, 603-795-0603), CCL Director, to learn more about “We Have Each Other” or to sign up.
By |2017-07-19T11:12:27-04:00July 13th, 2017|CCL Update, We Have Each Other|0 Comments

Tell Your Story!

We Have Each Other

Are you interested in listening to other’s stories, or sharing your own stories?

CommunityCare of Lyme invites your participation in a new story-gathering project, “We Have Each Other.”

Inspired by We Had Each Other, a Spoken History of Lyme, the extraordinary collection of Lyme personal histories edited by Mary Daubenspeck and Judy Russell and published by Friends of Lyme Library in 2000, we are gathering and celebrating new stories from the people of Lyme. We are also part of the UVIP Stories Project, which has included over 500 seniors across the Upper Valley and over 100 Claremont residents.

We are eager hear about the joy, the challenges, the hopes, and the dreams associated with YOUR life in Lyme.

Contact Mariah Lang (stories@cclyme.org, 603-795-0603), CCL intern, or Patty Jenks (patty@cclyme.org, 603-795-0603), CCL Director, to learn more about “We Have Each Other” or to sign up.

By |2017-07-13T16:26:18-04:00July 8th, 2017|CCL Update, People of Lyme, We Have Each Other|1 Comment