Thursday, August 16, 2018
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How to Lead a Full Life Guest post by Randy Freed Here’s a little list of suggestions for my grandchildren on how to life live fully every day: First, cultivate a rich inner life and a rich outer life Expose yourself to lots of ideas. Read plenty of good books Marinate your soul in natural beauty. Get outside and smell the roses, and look at the sunrises and sunsets. Take up music or drawing or some other way to get your creative juices flowing. Get some exercise in a way that’s fun for you, and that you can do all your life. Keeping your body in tune is very good for the soul and the mind. Plan... (Read More ...)

I grew up in Iowa. Corn maze (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Or, at least, I lived there from second through sixth grades, from the age of 7, which is about the time you start remembering what happens in your life, until the summer I turned 12, almost a teenager. I lived in the mid-sized, Midwestern town of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Although the population is now about 250,000 people, I lived there from 1955 to 1959. In 1950, the population was 72,000. By 1960, it had grown to 92,000. It’s easy growing up in a small, safe town. As an elementary school student, I could get on the bus alone, at the stop two... (Read More ...)

How did you get your Grandma name? William Merritt Going to see Grandma (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Many new or about-to-be grandmas tell me they are not going to pick their Grandma name. They are going to wait for the first grandchild to pick a name for them. They do this in hopes they will have a story to tell about how they got their name. One Grandma I talked to recently said that her children were trying to get the new baby to call her Grandma, though she was waiting for her grandson to come up with something on his own. He started with Bink, since he couldn’t pronounce Grandma, but his parents... (Read More ...)

I loved getting to know my first daughter-in-law’s parents. Matti (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Her Mom was the kind of can-do person I admire. Nothing in the wedding preparations fazed her. She just figured out a way to solve whatever problem came up, with the attitude that just because she didn’t know how to do something didn’t mean she couldn’t do it if she set her mind to it. Her daughter has the same attitude. Her father was a doctor and her parents had decided to move from Richmond, where they met, to Maine, thinking it a better place for kids to grow up. I love the fact... (Read More ...)

Have they asked why? Salem Church Sunday School Erected 1889. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My friend, a new grandfather, had tears in his eyes. He and his wife were not allowed to see their new grandchild because of their religion. They are Methodists. It was two years before my friend met his first grandchild. I have another friend who told me her best friend from high school asked her to teach her how to pray when her mother died, because she had never learned. The mother of one of my favorite baby-sitting families when I was in high school advised me that when I picked a spouse, I should find one... (Read More ...)

What did you serve your grandchildren for a snack today? Stack of Nabisco Graham Crackers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A few years ago, a friend told me how she came to be called, “Nana” as her Grandma name. Her toddler grandchild pointed at her in the kitchen one day and said, clear as a bell, “Nana! Nana! Nana!” She was thrilled. Her grandchild had just picked out her Grandma name. She told everybody and started using it with her grandchild. A few weeks afterwards, though, she found out what had really happened. There was a bunch of bananas behind her on that fateful morning and her grandchild... (Read More ...)

Did you or your daughter or daughter-in-law call you by your Grandma name? I was quiet about my Grandma name when my grandchildren were born. A ladybug standing on a leaf. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I figured they’d call me Grandma Covin, just like I’d called my grandmother, Grandma Last Name. However, one grandchild had no other grandparents and one grandchild’s grandparents chose different names for themselves. So, I became simply, “Grandma.” When June Kilpatrick was a little girl, her aunt gave her a nickname, June-bug. Though she saved her children’s furniture intact, she had... (Read More ...)

Why Not Top 10 Commandments? A Grandmother with her new born Granddaughter (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Thou Shalt Not Judge the Mother of Thy Grandchildren Thou Shalt Tell the Parents of Thy Grandchildren They Are Doing a Good Job Thou Shalt Tell Thyself If Your Grandchildren Have Love, Food and Shelter, They Are OK Thou Shalt Tell Or Write Down Thy Own Stories for Thy Grandchildren Thou Shalt Attempt to Follow Thy Grandchildren’s Parents’ Rules I’ve been asking mothers and grandmothers recently what they think A Grandmother’s Top 10 Commandments should be. I stopped at five because most... (Read More ...)

Did Your Daughter or Daughter-in-Law Agree? I told someone recently how I came to write my book, “Who Gets to Name Grandma?” Matti (Photo credit: Wikipedia) There is often a disconnect between Boomer women, whose life expectancy has lengthened by 10 years in our lifetime, 30 years in the last century, and our daughters or daughters-in-law, who still think a grandmother is old. Women’s life expectancy in the United States: 1900: 48.3 years 1947: 69.7 years 2007: 80.4 years A different way of looking at our longer lives is, how long could you expect to live if you reached 65? How many additional... (Read More ...)

How New Grandmas Get in Trouble My friend, Julie, was a new, first-time grandmother. She had raised both boys and girls to adulthood and had some pretty definite ideas about how to raise children successfully. Now, with her new grandchild, she could pass them on to her daughter. Except, she didn’t ask her daughter’s opinion. I watched this comical dance in which Julie would take the pacifier out of her granddaughter’s mouth, telling me that the baby didn’t need a pacifier all the time. Her daughter would come behind her a few minutes later and tell me, “My Mom just... (Read More ...)