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Dump On Me

Okay, Dear Reader. I’m ready.

For you to dump on me.

Give me your unvarnished opinions. In 2015, I want my words and examples to compel people to Make a Memory of their own. I’ve included working text and examples below. Is it confusing? Does it yield a Make a Memory idea or several? Is it unclear? Stupid?

Dump on me. I want people to start inviting people to Make a Memory on January 2, 2015, and I need to be sure my request is effective, compelling and easy to execute.


Turn “I wish I had” into “I’m glad I did.”

NWMF Cover ImageWho matters to you? Maybe you’re like me, with aging parents who are still somewhat healthy. Or perhaps you find yourself near Life’s end, with adult children and grandchildren. Maybe you have a friend with whom you’ve lost touch, or you’re surrounded by people you never really SEE.

We can all name people we take for granted, because everybody’s swamped. Overwhelmed. Harried. We mean to make memories with people who matter, but often, we put it off for someday. And someday morphs into never, as Life’s unpredictability claims the people we love.

I wrote Not Without My Father to inspire others to Make a Memory. Now. Today. To grab someone and turn “I wish I had” into “I’m glad I did.”

Make a Memory is a MOVEMENT.

Help start it by making your own memory.

  • Post a picture or video online.

Picture example:

Roy Watkins (Dad), you’ve always wanted to return to Germany before you’re gone. Here’s your chance to take a trip on me. Will you visit Germany with me and Make a Memory in 2015? #NWMFMakeaMemory

photo by Matthias Klaiber

photo by Matthias Klaiber

  • Include your name, where you live, and who you’re inviting to make a memory.
  • Show the memory you want to make with a photo, a map, a gif or a video. Be creative. Make everyone who sees it want to Make this Memory with you.

Video example:

  • Tag the person you’re inviting to Make a Memory so they can respond.
  • Hashtag your post with #NWMFMakeaMemory.

We’ll collect your Make a Memory submissions and showcase them here.

Your Make a Memory entry could change your life.

But your participation will help make enough memories to change the world.

35 Comments Post a comment
  1. Having thought about this now and then since your brought up the idea, I feel a bit of dissonance in that it has been my experience that when I plan something to be really special, it rarely goes as well as I envisioned it would. On the other hand, looking back at “unforgetable memories”, most of them were simple encounters/events and the magic happened “in the moment”, not “in the planning”. If nothing else, you have planted seeds in my brain and we will see if any take root when I head up to NJ next week to spend several days with my parents. Roy and Andra going to Germany?… sounds like another book is on the way.

    December 3, 2014
    • I really don’t think Dad will be able to go. This is my dream Make a Memory idea, and I used it as an example. If he takes me up on it, cool.

      I’d also love it if people sent me postcards, pictures and blurbs from Make a Memory moments. I don’t know how to make that easy, though.

      I will say that sometimes the only way to make a person set aside time is to plan. That was the case with my walk. It didn’t follow the plan, but the Memory is still special.

      December 3, 2014
    • Now that I’m fully awake (ha), I’ve come back to be more direct.


      I’m not demeaning spontaneous moments, but there will be things you’ll wish you’d done with your parents when they’re gone. What are those things? Pick one of them and invite them to do it with you in 2015. You’re right. It probably won’t go as planned. But heck, look at the amount of money people pour into planning the perfect wedding (or the perfect funeral), and how many of those go as planned? It isn’t about things being perfect or going as planned. It’s about actually making something important happen before it’s too late. (And, because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, we can pick anyone, at any range on the age spectrum.)

      December 3, 2014
  2. A very inventive post and you certainly caught my interest. I’ll be back to see how your project progresses. My friend and I have a memory-making tradition which goes back twenty years. Once a year our sons and grandsons go on a wilderness trip, picked one of the participants, and the leader documents the event for all in a booklet. One of my blog posts called “Here gator, gator, gator…” August 12th, 2011 chronicles one of those trips. (It includes a video of us “calling” an alligator up to our feet)

    December 3, 2014
  3. Laura and I are going to New Zealand, but not until 2016. But I have a couple notions that I will share for 2015, involving people from my wild and misspent youth. I think this is a good idea.

    December 3, 2014
    • Where are you going in NZ? Why haven’t you told me about this trip before now? Ohmigodohmigodohmigod. I love that place. If you’re going to the South Island, I’ll be happy to send you a couple of awesome places we stayed.

      December 3, 2014
  4. This is a great idea for a movement. To pick a memory I could make needs serious thought.

    I hope you and your Dad go on that trip to Germany. 🙂

    December 3, 2014
    • He won’t be able to eat or drink anything before he gets on the plane………..ha. And I’ll have to buy him a first class seat, right next to the toilet. And ask the staff to dedicate the bathroom to him, which will probably cost at least another seat.

      I guess I’d better make a ton of money with this next book, huh?

      I hope you’ll put something out there, Heather.

      As a general comment (not directed at you), I don’t understand why this is hard. People spew political invective onto social media every second of every day. They’re happy to post a link to announce, ‘I bought that!’ or share passive aggressive statements they hope a specific person will see. Many of my Facebook connections think it’s fun to give the play-by-play of a football game on social media, which drives me bonkers (though I’m sure I post things that drive others bonkers, too.)

      We use social media for all kinds of crap that doesn’t matter. Why not use it to inspire others to do something that WILL MATTER??

      December 3, 2014
      • I think why it might be difficult is because it’s something people want to take seriously if they take part in it, it’s something they want to live by and do right. Many (though not all) of the things we post on social media of the variety you described tend to be quite fleeting things that we forget easily soon after it is done. But by the very nature of your Make A Memory movement, it is something that will hopefully last. 🙂

        December 4, 2014
      • If I hadn’t vowed to walk the Trace in public, I never would’ve finished. Putting these invites in the public realm will hopefully make people follow through.

        December 4, 2014
  5. All I can say is, I’ll try. What’s funny is that the best memories I’ve had lately have been off camera. We had a great Thanksgiving just hanging out and playing games. I never once grabbed my phone to take a picture.

    December 3, 2014
    • And that’s perfect, Linda. Invite a few people to hang out and play games, using this format. Have snacks, and get everyone to send me a postcard in the mail. Afterward, you could post something about what the time meant to you if you wanted, but that’s not a requirement. Making the Memory is the requirement.

      December 3, 2014
  6. Just in case Roy can’t go I’d hate for you to waste those tickets…so I volunteer to go back to Germany with you! I haven’t seen it for about 35/6ish years now!

    December 3, 2014
    • A trip to Germany with Roy AND you is such a twisted idea……….BRILLIANT. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. You’re probably the only person I know who could shock Dad into listening to you, and he’d come back and regale people with spank banks and the glories of Trent Reznor.

      December 3, 2014
  7. tarakianwarrior #

    Andra, I must say you inspired me when you were doing your walk. Seriously. I’m sure I’ve told you that my relationship with my parents hasn’t been the best, well this year I made sure to visit them three times and two of those times were by myself. We traveled the Dillon, Butte, Twin Bridges area and I listened to all the stories my Daddy and my Mom had to tell. It was cathartic. We visited Bannack, MT (which is where I sent you those pictures of the Western side of Lewis & Clark’s meanderings. Then, my sister and I finished our mountain biking trek (and I wore the shirt that you and MTM picked up for me). There are many more memories that I made this year because YOU inspired me to make them.

    December 3, 2014
    • Lori, I’d love a submission for the book’s launch about your visits with your parents and what they meant to you. That’s really awesome. Would you be willing to send me a few sentences (or can I copy something from your comment above?)

      December 3, 2014
      • tarakianwarrior #

        Yes, I will do it! And, YES you can copy the above also if you’d prefer. Listening to my Daddy tell the stories and my Mom…Andra, I cannot thank you enough. Seriously.

        December 3, 2014
  8. I got this and will work on an idea over the holidays! I love this idea!

    December 3, 2014
  9. This is an interesting idea. I wasn’t sure I understood it until you gave the example of taking Roy to Germany. That’s really cool, but I am personally not sure how I would do the Make a Memory in my own life. I’ll have to stew on that one.

    December 3, 2014
    • All right. You have a daughter. What do you want to do with her in 2015? Something you’ll both remember for life? It doesn’t have to be something extravagant, grandiose or showy. It can be anything you think will be meaningful to both of you.

      That’s just one idea. You may want to reconnect with a friend, take your wife on a special outing, make something for a family member. I could go on and on.

      The biggest thing I fear is people will think they have to make these big, huge things. Some entries will be. But they don’t need to be. I just want everyone I know to resolve to Make a Memory with someone in 2015, something that, if they don’t do it, they’ll say “I wish I had” one day when it’s too late.

      December 3, 2014
      • Mme. Ross and I are going to take up kayaking this Spring. 🙂

        December 4, 2014
      • That’s perfect. Use this to invite her to a really great spot to start. If you do it publicly, you’ll be more likely to follow through. I think that’s awesome. You’ve got some pretty places to kayak.

        December 4, 2014
      • We’ll have to take some photos to share on the blog. 🙂

        December 4, 2014
  10. aqilaqamar #

    I seriously was shocked at the title. I don’t have much or anything to dump you on really. Can I hug on you instead? Here I hug on you 🙂

    December 3, 2014
  11. Ok, I’m in, Andra. 🙂 John and Ryan are great sports for putting up with some of my “try it you’ll like it” plans and I’m sure we can think of something new and different to experience together. 🙂

    December 3, 2014
  12. both of my parents have passed on, but i did enjoy many adventures with my father while he was still alive. i think this is a wonderful idea, andra.

    December 4, 2014
  13. Lance #

    I need to think about this. I’ll get back to you ASAP.

    December 4, 2014
  14. Reblogged this on jak & Cimmy's Journal Jar and commented:
    This was shared to us by Rob Ross of Rob’s Surf Report. Andra wants to make the fast-approaching New Year of 2015 more memorable with her Make a Memory challenge. Read on for details.

    December 5, 2014
  15. Hmmmm. I can definitely get behind the “making a memory” but I’m not sure exactly how I’ll share that. As always, your creativity is infectious!

    December 7, 2014
  16. Totally awesome! I so hope Roy takes you up on that offer!

    December 7, 2014
  17. Closest thing I have right now is

    16th wedding anniversary– we replaced our broken wedding bands

    We are wading through hardships and muck of life eyeball deep right now so… maybe not much but it’s what I can offer

    December 17, 2014

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