Friday, October 15, 2010

Grandma Lessons

Valerie Umphrey, Lettie Gilbert, Keilana Clark, Becky Clark
August 2004

Been thinking about my grandma a lot lately. She'll have been gone six years next month. She could always calm me down when life was stressful--probably because she was a woman who had lived through a lot of stresses and managed to find a lot of calm in the middle of it all. And because no one in life has ever seemed to love me as effortlessly and completely as she did. And that's saying a lot, because I've been blessed to be well-loved by a lot of good people in life. But nobody can love quite the same way as a grandma. Some things I learned from watching her.

Sure, life is tough. But you're tougher. Whining or complaining is a waste of time. If you've got food in your belly, clothes on your back and a warm place to sleep, you aren't poor; you should always be grateful for what you have, otherwise you're wasting your blessings. Someday you'll laugh about this; the sooner, the better. You are responsible for your actions and the consequences that follow them. Nothing, and I mean nothing, is ever more important than family. Refuse to be taken advantage of. Love unconditionally, but hold people accountable. Everything is more fun with a few kids in tow. There's always someone who could use your help, so look around, figure out what needs to be done, and get to work. Your husband should be your best friend and someone you respect and have fun with. Discipline is more about consistency and clear expectations than about punishment. But when you've failed to meet the clear expectations, punishment will be fair and swift. Hard work is worth doing, and it always comes before playing. But playing is pretty important, too. A good lightening storm or the Northern Lights are far more important than a warm bed and a little lost sleep. Traveling is one of life's great pleasures, but the most important part of any trip is coming home to the Missions. A good fire makes any home cozier. There are few things better than knowing you got a great deal. An organ is a perfectly reasonable thing to buy at a yard sale. Disneyland is pretty great and you should go if you get a chance, but the happiest place on earth is anywhere that a grandma is surrounded by her grandkids. Patience brings peace. A woman can never have too many shoes. Poking a hole in the bottom of a chocolate is the best way to figure out what the filling is. Never be wasteful-yogurt cups make pretty good kiddy cups and old butter tubs are great for sorting your knickknacks and whatnots. Moms love having things like their little girls' eyeglasses from 5th grade--even if that little girl is over 60. Meat should always be well done, and a little half and half or gravy can make just about anything better. Memorial Day decorations must be left on graves the Saturday before Memorial Day, so that when everyone else comes to decorate graves, yours will already be there looking beautiful. Lilacs and peonies make great bouquets. Walking and flower picking are two of life's great pleasures. Children should be free to explore, so long as they check in now and then. There's nothing wrong with letting the horse hang out in the front yard with you for the afternoon--he's a pet, after all. Tuna fish sandwiches and red Kool-Aid make a fine summer afternoon lunch. Christmas is the best holiday. Halloween is a close second. Grandkids are for spoiling.


Andrea said...

What a wise and wonderful woman!

Unknown said...

Lilacs and peonies were my grandma's favorites too. Karen always tries to put them on the graves before Memorial day as well. If you didn't know already, Becky (my sister) had baby #3, girl #3 on Nov. 1st. Good luck with your mommy adventures!

Becky said...

i love's inspiring me to do the same for my granny...who has been on my mind a lot lately, as well. i hope the move went smoothly. :)