Sunday, July 29, 2012

Young people need a grammy's wisdom

Attended a graduation party yesterday.  There was the usual crowd, babies, toddlers, elementary, middle and highschool kids, moms, dads, grammys and papaps.  As everybody sat around laughing and talking, I noticed each subgroup gathered in their own area.  Although everyone looked like they were having fun, I decided a shake-up was in order. 

So, though uninvited, I inserted myself in every group under some poor guise of an excuse.  The very young and old accepted me pretty much without any trepidation.  I played peek-a-boo with the babies; I played corn toss with the toddlers or at least tried to get them to play; I played "sling ball"
with the 6-12 year olds.  Having never played this game before, I was sure I would embarrass myself.
But, lo and behold, in four tosses I won the game!  Grammy, "Queen for a Day" of SLING BALL!

The moms, dads, grammys and papaps and I had no trouble communicating since we talk about the same things; kids, money, politics, religion.

It was the the teenagers that were the biggest challenge.  No surprise there!  They were all huddled in the den talking in hushed tones.  I stood in the doorway and announced, "hey, you can't ignore us older folks; we won't let you." They all looked at me with the appropriate perfunctory smiles. 
"We're probably having way more fun than you guys anyway," I continued.
"And you might just learn something while you're having all that fun,"  I insisted.

I left the den without any further ado.  About ten minutes later, the teens gradually migrated to the backyard.  Here and there little mixed groups of all ages began to form and everybody was still laughing and talking and having fun.

I just wonder if they were all laughing and talking about ME!  No matter, I was still "Queen for a Day" of Sling ball!  Nobody else could claim that title at this graduation party!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Insane or just plain evil?  That is the question.  The massacre in Colorado reflects the state of our current society.  I was born in 1944; during my childhood in the 50's, nothing of this magnitude was ever played out at least not in my neck of the woods.  I'm not going to try to pinpoint what spurs this type of aberrant behavior; that's for the shrinks to tackle.  But, I want to focus on the philosophy  of past parenting with today's thinking.

At the age of 3, my dad was killed in a work-related accident.  My mom became a single parent over night.  We lived with my maternal grandparents and a single uncle.  Mom got a job as a janitor, left the house at 5:30a.m. and returned at 5:00pm.  My grandfather and uncle also worked.  My grandmother was immersed in church activities.  So my brother, age 5, and myself were left to take care of ourselves most of the daylight hours.

Today that would be considered criminal.  Then, it was necessary and what was expected was that we accepted responsibility for ourselves and our actions.  Even at such early ages we understood that we had to make good choices.  We didn't always choose to do the right thing and suffered the consequences. But because we had so much practice at making our own decisions, eventually we became good at it.  Thus less punishment.  I was about to say more praise, but we were never praised for doing what was right; that simply was the expectation.

Today's children are not given those opportunities.  They are coddled and shielded from making their own choices, and when they get the chance and screw up, a parent is right there to make excuses for them.  Someone or something is always to blame.  The children never experience the appropriate consequences for their actions and as a result, the only thing they learn is that the bad choices they make give immediate satisfaction without any negative results.  So they continue to do the same thing over and over again.

Think about what I'm saying.  You'll be doing your children, your self, and our society a huge favor!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grammys, realize your dreams!

    So what if we're in our 60's, 70's, 80's or more!   We still have goals to achieve and dreams to be realized.  Most often we've had to shelf our personal goals to support our husbands and children with their immediate needs.  Instead of pursuing our careers, we've encouraged everyone else to work hard to grab that brass ring. 
     That's fine, that's what makes us the strong, caring women we've become.  But now it's our turn.
Yes ladies, NOW is the time to achieve that goal!  Whether it be to learn to swim, ride a motorcycle, or scale Mt. Everest, go for it!  We may not be getting any younger, but we can certainly motivate ourselves to obtain whatever it is we've always believed we could be or do.
     I've always wanted to write children's books.  I have a great imagination and love to pen stories.  Yet, until 2 months ago, I could never get around to it.  I didn't have the time; I needed an illustrator; I wasn't sure I could be published.  These are only a few of the excuses I entertained for years.  But at 68 yrs of age, I decided to chuck the excuses and just do it!
     Over the years, I'd written many stories about or for my grandchildren.  So, with the help of my son-in-law, Tim, I learned how to use the internet to secure a terrific illustrator, marry my words with the corresponding illustrations, and finally publish my first book, "NO WAY TO HAIRCUT DAY!"
For me, it's a dream come true! 
     I have five more books in the hopper, each dedicated to one of the members of "Grammy's Gang."  My six grandchildren will have a treasured memory of me in a personalized book written just for them.  But, more importantly, even at my age, I am beginning a new career; one I had to put aside for many years.  Now, I've realized my dream.  YOU CAN, TOO!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy to see you; glad to see you go!

     As a grammy of six, I look forward to their visits.  Two of the families live in the Carolinas and one family resides in Ohio.  Having all of them in Pittsburgh at the same time is a rarity, but we usually can get everyone together once in the summer and at Christmas. 
     All three families arrived this week and my hubby and I were very happy to see them.  We swam at the local community pool twice, had a grueling 8 hour Idlewild Park and Soak Zone experience where "grammy" climbed the rope web to the top and then literally collapsed, had an extended family cook-out which included 6 rousing games of volleyball where everyone suddenly suffered from blurred vision when it came to designated boundaries and accused each other of cheating, saw about 50 minute fiery objects moving across the night sky playing follow the leader, and played "5 Crowns" into the wee hours of the morning. 
    Saturday came and two of the families loaded up and headed out.  Bye, bye, glad you came, so glad you're going!!!  Be safe!  The last of the three will leave on Monday, but as of now they are in the city riding the incline, having lunch, and showing their 5 year old the sights.  Our house is totally SILENT!!!  I am just sitting in the recliner with a blank stare on my face---- it's heavenly.
     Again on Monday morning, as we wave good-bye we'll whisper to each other, "glad you came and SOOOOOOOO glad to see you go!  Love ya'll

Friday, July 13, 2012

Are your grandkids more technologically advanced that you are?

Hey Grammys of the world,

I'm curious!  I have grandchildren ages 1-9.  Two of them are already using Kindle Fire regularly and two are wizards on the leap pad.  Until recently, I absolutely refused to even think of reading a book on an electronic devise and had no idea how to play games, e-mail, etc.  But once I started watching them and seeing how much they learn and enjoy the many advantages these devises provide, I am now a believer!  We have to join them; this is a new world and by God, we grammys are not going to be left behind!   So save up your change, steal a few from your SS check, or raid your IRA and let's jump into the age of technology with eyes and minds wide open!