Three Things I Learned From My Grandfather...
*The benefit of buying the best I can afford.
His favorite quote..."The cheapest is the most expensive in the long run."
*The best way to grow the most fantastic garden in town.
His favorite trick for tomatoes...dig down 18" for the new baby tomato plants.
Fill the bottom 6" of the hole with wet newspaper and then backfill.
Plant the new plants right up to their leaf lines, so they grow roots right the way down.
Oh, the newspaper?
It acts like a blotter or giant sponge to provide lots of moisture for the 'matoes.
*The value of a quiet voice and a strong spine.
12 year old me: " I wish I'd never been BORN into this family!" Stomp, stomp, SLAM!
Grandfather, quietly: "If I'd known then what I know now, you wouldn't have been."
Three Things I Learned From My Grandmother...
*The value of a quiet, peaceful soul.
My grandmother could be calm through the greatest storm in the family, making tea, putting out the baking and the cream and sugar, pouring the tea and calming everyone down, without saying a word. With her innate quietness and her incredibly calm soul, she could change the tenor of the room in a few minutes...with only cookies and tea.
*How to make the best homemade bread in the world.
I have nothing to add...she simply made the best ever. Mine will never measure up!
*The value of an afternoon nap.
My grandmother would lie down right after lunch, with her bedroom door closed and the window blinds down.
She'd nap from 1:00 P.M. to 3:00 P.M. every single afternoon.
She lived to be 87 years old, and in excellent health. Can't hurt, might help!
Three Things I Learned From My Brother...
*How to laugh at my own mistakes.
Standing in the barn when I was 5 and he was 19, I was watching him cleaning the barn and shoveling the straw and manure out over the box stall wall and onto the stoneboat.
Wearing my brand new red felt tam and feeling like I owned the world, I walked just a little too close to the stoneboat, and the next forkful of straw and manure landed right on top of my brand new red felt tam, and me...juicily running down my face and over my entire body, covering me and soaking my brand new clothes and...my brand new red felt tam!
* How to have courage in the face of the most frightening circumstance.
At 4, climbing to the tippy-top of the huge windmill in the front yard by the barn, I froze, afraid to look down from that awful height.
My big brother climbed up the side ladder of the windmill, uncurled my tiny frozen fingers from the railing.
Then, he climbed down, backwards...with me squalling and shrieking in his arms.
* The value of looking on the sunny side, no matter how black the day.
Having been terminally ill for the last several years and with rapidly deteriorating health and quality of life, he still answers the phone with a cheery, "Hi, Brenda! How are you doing today?"
When asked how he's feeling, he most always says, "Oh, not too bad. Could be worse."
"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance."
George Bernard Shaw
Photo credit ~ Nancy Carter