Friday, July 30, 2010

Living Like Grandma


When I was growing up, visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s house were treasured times. 
They were great people. 
Humble, Unselfish, Caring, Genuine.
  I have come to realize that the things I remember about my Grandma are qualities that
have been lightly tossed aside in our culture today. 
Not lost yet, as we are still here to remember,
the way Grandma lived is very near to the ideal of attaining simplicity in life today.
Taking a stroll down memory lane has been well worth it for me this week,
as I talked with my husband of the way it was then. 

 

Over the thirty years of my life that they were living, I do not recall anything in their home changing. 
There was no lust for newer, better furnishings, or different décor. 
They had what they needed and lived with it contentedly. 
They lived simply.

 

 I remember grandma taking care of her flowers every morning, clad in her broad brimmed hat,
delighting in the gentle beauty of each flower.
Her mother, too, had beautiful flowers that she cared for. 
These were important to them both. 
Maybe not the flowers themselves, but the act of cultivating beauty. 
A lovely habitual routine that has stuck with me as a virtue worth undertaking.


  Grandma was not a flashy or center of attention type person,
but she insisted upon taking time for the really important things:
like making peanut butter milkshakes and root beer floats. 
The cooking of grandpa’s favorites everyday,
yet, never heard complaining of being tired of frying bacon for breakfast again. 
She just matter of factly served him. 
Neighbors were chatted with almost daily. 
She cared for community people when they were sick and dying. 
Grandma was concerned with others.

Grandma and Grandpa were extremely generous, even though they did not have much.
For example, Grandma’s “good” dishes were Corelle.
They were plain, ordinary folk, well thought of and trusted by friends and neighbors.
  I always took pride in introducing myself as Clyde and Gladys’ granddaughter.


Even Grandma’s cooking reflected a plainness and ease we have lost:  
Baked chicken with potatoes and carrots,
or pork chops with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Ham and baked beans with cornbread. 
Simple meals, simple ingredients.
  I do not think she ever made a lasagna, or tacos, 
but her table was always laden with good wholesome food that everybody delighted in.

Growing up in the depression must have given her a sense of gratefulness for what she did have.
Hers was a generation that knew how to happily live with less, and put others first.
                                                      Somehow we have lost that.
Even our idea of living with less is four times as much as Grandma had.

 

Our fast paced, must-have society is growing unappealing for many women today.
  I hear pleas for quiet, rest, peace, simplicity, and I thought it was just me,
but  no, I now see it is a wide sweeping epidemic. 
The days of aspiring to be a super mom, in a frenzied and chaotic life has quickly grown old….
Perhaps because we were created to abide, not to just do. 
Likely because things never satisfy the longings of the soul. 
And surely because our heavenly Father  made us for real relationship, which takes time,
lingering time. 
The kind of relationship where, in quantity of time, we find quality.

    I remember Grandma’s house as being a restful place.
Maybe that is because there was nothing to do. 
Few toys, fewer entertainments, just people. 
People waiting to be loved and valued,
just like the little ones running around at my feet,
and the bigger ones leaning over me, wanting to be near.

Leaner times may be coming, people fear.
We may of necessity need to live with less. 
I don’t know, but I do believe that living more like Grandma wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. 

1 comment:

scraps of starlight said...

"Perhaps because we were created to abide, not to just do.
Likely because things never satisfy the longings of the soul.
And surely because our heavenly Father made us for real relationship, which takes time,
lingering time."
I soak up these words today.
They will settle on me softly over the days to come I think.
Thank yo uso much for this reflection.
Yes, returning to Grandma's time would be no bad thing at all :)