Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lessons from Grandma

Grandparents are special people. I recognize how lucky my children are to have all of their grandparents in a fifteen minute radius. They have another set of relatives who regularly show love and attention to them. They also have important people to look up to, learn from, and have fun with.
It’s been 15 years since my grandmother died. Like my children, I learned so many things from my grandma.
My grandparents had a cabin up north that my sister and I would stay at for two weeks every summer. We also saw them on holidays and sporadically through the year, but this was the true bonding time with them. We were especially close with Grandma Jo who was our main caretaker during those vacations.
These are some of the lessons I learned from Grandma Jo:
1. Grandma demonstrated a love of reading. She always had a book that she read before bed each night. She would read to my sister and I as well. When I was older, she’d save all of her National Enquirer magazines (okay, tabloids) for me. I would spend hours a day reading through that big stack!
2. Grandma Jo showed a love of writing. She kept a short daily journal. She also typed many letters to family and friends on her electronic typewriter. I loved typing on that!
3. Grandma loved nature and animals. We would feed the ducks together at the cabin or just sit outside and gaze at the serene lake. We also showered her dog with an embarrassing amount of attention, especially since we never owned a dog.
4. Grandma was physically active throughout her life. Even as she grew older, she played golf, mowed the lawn, and took walks. Physical fitness is a lifelong goal.
5. Grandma taught me to play the card game, gin rummy. It was relaxing, and my husband and I now occasionally play it in the evenings.
6. Grandma Jo demonstrated good sportsmanship. We would frequently play cards or board games. She always thanked me for playing and said how much fun she had with me even when I won. She would brag to her friends that I usually beat her at the various games we played. Now I wonder though if she ever let me win!
7. Grandma made some really tasty dinners and desserts. I now make some of her recipes, they are some of my favorite things to eat. Her peanut butter balls are delish!
8. Grandma would regularly watch her soap opera, "The Young and the Restless." I continue to watch a few episodes each week. Because of her, I've been watching for over 25 years. My husband's mother and grandmother also are fans of the show.
9. Lastly, her favorite outburst or expression was “Judas Priest!” We would tease her that it was her favorite rock band. Of course she had never heard of the band! Guess who exclaims “Judas Priest!” on a daily basis now?!
Don’t forget to think about and appreciate what your elders have taught you…What have you learned from your grandparents?


Rena said...

Oh Kelly -- what a great post! Your grandmother sounded like a wonderful woman. I loved reading about all the things you did together.

I lived about 15 minutes from my grandparents too, so I saw them often. My grandma was a special lady. Her name was Roberta, but her friends called her Bobby. I always thought that was the cutest name for a little old lady. I called her Nana. She & I used to watch old game shows together like Bowling For Dollars and Name That Tune. Like your grandmother, mine was a wonderful cook and baker. My grandfather worked in a bakery most of his life, but I only remember things my grandmother made. She was also really into her vegetable garden and flower gardens. I used to sit on the back porch and help her snap green beans. That is, when I wasn't out in the garden eating up all her blackberries and raspberries!

Thanks for the sweet memories!

C.R. Evers said...

Your Grandma sounds like a special lady. I really never got a chance to know my grandparents really well. However, my parents moved close to us and I'm enjoying the relationship that my kids get to have with them. Their house is like a second home. My parents teach them about music, they bake with my mom, "make" things with my dad, sing songs . . . it's like a leave it to Beaver episode. I'm thrilled to know my kids will have such great memories as well as some great lessons too!

sweet post!


Denise said...

Awwww. I miss Grandma. And I miss dressing Lady in people clothes and sunglasses. : )

adrienne said...

What a great story! My husband and I live far from both our families, so our kids haven't had the chance to be as close to their grandparents as I would have liked.
My own grandmothers were kind of distant and non-maternal, but one taught me to sew and cook some Italian dishes. And I absolutely adored my grandfather - he was filled with a joy for life!

Kelly said...

Rena, my kids have a Grandma Bobbi!
Christy- Your parents sound too cute!
Denise- Me too...
Adrienne- My husband wishes my grandma taught me to sew!

Kim Kasch said...

Ahhh... like a chilled glass of wine on a hot summer night.

That was soooo refreshing. Thanks for sharing. So often we forget to stop and remember the simple things and the people we take and took for granted.

Linda D. (sbk) said...

I lived fairly far from my grandparents when I was growing up so I never had a close relationship with them. The news that they were coming to visit always upset me because all it meant to me was that they would take up all my mom's time.

Yeah, regretting that now that they're all gone. I do remember a few shining moments and flashes of fun memories, though, so I hang onto those.

Grandpa taught me that you can sit in a room with someone and just be there together without talking and feel so close to them.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Brenda said...

I grew up close to my dad's sis and I would stay 2weeks every summer with them and she would spend time in the kitchen with Grammy and learn to cook and I would spend time with Pap and learn to cuss, shoot skunks in the "stinker" hole...this way they wouldn't stink when you shot them...and had my first sip of beer...I loved those two mom always said it took her the rest of the summer to straighten me out...grin...