What can I leave my kids and friends?

Inheritance is an interesting package. Most of us have had something left to us from family: grandma's apple pie recipe, granddad's tools, an old guitar, a chest of drawers, even a small piece of property you've heard about but never seen.

Perhaps the tools and furniture stayed on the family farm at the home great grandpa built. Perhaps only a couple of photos made it north. Perhaps only a song.

Every Alaskan has stories to tell: the first moose encounter; that bear; the guy who pulled you and your car back onto the icy road; the spectrum of cultures and languages you observed at Carrs Market when checking out with your groceries; the amazing cultural rainbow your kids consider normal in their high school classes. The longer you've been here, the more stories you have to tell.

My husband Malcolm and I came to Alaska in January 1971 expecting to stay three months to help write a book. Anchorage has been home for us for 46 years, with the exception of four years in Juneau. Our three "biologic" children, our adopted family members, and the time span from Alaska's second decade as a state until today are all in our basket of stories.

In 2011, our youngest daughter, Alexis, urged us to write a memoir. Malcolm's reaction was, "No one will read it." Her answer was, "I will!" And, the process began. The last 18 months have been focused on that assignment.

On February 28, a dramatic delivery took place on our icy driveway. Two pallets with nearly 500 beautifully printed books ended their journey, having traveled from our computers in Anchorage to Canton, China, and back across the Pacific. The stories told within are a combination of our memories and the notes in Malcolm's 57 journals. The 200-plus photos (many in color) are from our dozens of albums.

Our memoir is now available for Alaska historians, political students, new and old Americans, and friends. Mission accomplished! We call it, "Magic Moments: Battles Worth Fighting and Joys Worth Celebrating; An Alaskan Memoir."

Since then, we have a gift we recommend to all Alaskans. You, too, have stories worth telling. Don't lose them! Your friends and family have stories too. All you need is a tape recorder and someone (young or old) who will prod you into telling the stories. We guarantee you will enjoy the process and make a significant contribution to your part of our valuable inheritance as Alaskans.

All our best wishes!

A copy of the Roberts' Memoir can be purchased in Anchorage at the University Book Store, at 2 Friends Gallery, or by contacting Malcolm or Cindy at cindy.roberts@gci.net. List price is $29.95.