I am always amazed at where I get some of my fodder for my blog … not only that … the timing has to feel right about posting certain articles. There are times that the ones that I have already written get put on the back burner because something better pops into my head, today is one of those days.
I think in the transformation of my life, the events that are happening in my life now … I really want to highlight certain things, like the importance of parents and especially, grandparents. Maybe I just need to expand that comment to appreciating the older generation.
In today’s ridiculously busy world and the insane schedules we all keep, I think the time we spend with our parents and grandparents becomes less. I think that we take those relationships for granted sometimes, thinking that they need less love and nurturing because we know that they will always be there. My own parents have always been a rock in our lives, for both myself and my kids. We even had to move back at one point after I found myself on my own with two little ones. They didn’t complain, they just opened their doors and their arms and said, “Just come home.” So we did, and I will post some of those pictures because they tell a story all on their own. My kids at that time were little, the best part was, they got to experience some fantastic things with my parents, and my daughter got to drive to school every day with her grandfather, that happened to be her principal. That is all in a different story. However, I think it started this story.
Last weekend, we were all looking at old photos at my parents place, we laughed hysterically at some of the memories, cried at others, but as I sat there with my blogging hat on listening to the banter, I realized I had to share. The kids were talking about certain instances that they remember being out here at “the Farm” as we always refer to it as. Fishing, racing on the cow bumps (that’s a farm tradition from when I was a kid), driving the John Deere yard tractor, baking Icelandic treats, walking to the end of the road, scoping out “Three Mile Beach” and the “Saturday Night Barn Dance” that still plays on the radio. My dad and my daughter were laughing about the fact that they used to sing all the way to school and home, which was about a half hour drive. When I was a kid, my dad would sing “Oh My Darling’” constantly… especially when we used to drive to school with him when he was MY principal. Yup … how awesome is that. No really. I know at the time I didn’t think it was so cool, but it was one of the reasons, I moved back to the small town life after living in the city. I knew my dad would be the kid’s principal and that my parents would be close, so that they could be part of our lives.
What point am I trying to get across here? The fact that our parents and grandparents can offer a whole other dimension to our own kids’ lives, wisdom that only comes from life experience. We should appreciate and cherish it. My kids wouldn’t know how to “Old Time” dance if it wasn’t for my parents, and I wouldn’t know how to dance if it wasn’t for my parents and my own grandparents. Does anyone even know what that is anymore? This came up because as you know, my daughter is getting married this summer. As we sat on the deck last evening at cocktail hour, we started talking about if there would be “real” dancing at the wedding. You know … “old time” dancing. Johnny and his Musical Mates, kind of dancing. “Saturday Barn Dance” kind of dancing. My comment was, “Of Course!” Steph, my daughter, would absolutely have a few classic dances that we can jump onto the dance for as a unit and raise some dust. Yes, Steph, I am adding to the playlist an old time waltz, a classic polka, a Heel Toe, a two-step and a schottische. We are aware of course that the only people on the floor will be the eight of us, but, that’s fantastic, no toes, to step on, nobody to bump into, and lots of laughs to be had. I promise to get some footage for your entertainment!
It’s a dying art, that type of dancing, like many other things that are going by the wayside. As so many say, there is a sweet and simple innocence about life in “the good old days”. Now … everyone is so wrapped up in our “techno millennium lifestyles” that many of these things are getting lost. The great thing about grandparents is that they are must more relaxed with grandchildren then they were as parents, I won’t be any different, I know that already. I’m still learning from my parents. My kids are still learning from their grandparents and what an amazing gift that really is.
Yesterday I helped my mom in the kitchen; we baked the “Vinarterta” (a traditional Icelandic cake) for my daughter’s wedding. (I had it at my wedding and my kid’s, kid’s I’m quite sure, will have it at theirs as well) She is still the CMOV, “Chief Maker of Vinarterta”, because hers is the best. I’m not saying that just because she is my mom, but because it’s true, the layers are the perfect thickness, just enough filling, and it’s moist. I’m telling you right now, it takes talent to pull off one of these cakes! There has only been one other person that made Vinarterta almost as good as my mom and that was my awesome neighbour Joycie B! (Hi Joycie!) So… as I informed her yesterday, it’s still going to be her job until her dying day… that’s just fact, some things just aren’t meant to be messed with. But … that being said, when the torch is passed, I will know what to do, for the many times I’ve played my role as baker, or the “PS” aka Prune Spreader, she has passed along her “Vinarterta Wisdom”. My daughter has also learned the ropes, and my pup, Miss Lily, has stolen the product right off the table so can also attest to its fabulousness.
Today we are doing the other favourite, Icelandic “Ponnokokkur”. That’s another tradition in our family and my mom has made it with all the grandkids, it’s a must at all special functions and they too, are to die for.
So …I’m getting my “GKT” (Grandparent Knowledge Transfer) this weekend and so is my son Kael. My dear ol’ dad, (he refers to himself as the “Old Guy” in his correspondence with the grandkids) is teaching Kael how to carve. How many kids EVER get that opportunity? We are truly blessed with the fact that we all have an artistic slant to us, my dad, is a very talented carver, I’m trying to convince him to let me showcase his works, because they really are amazing. Today, if it stops raining, they are going fishing, what better thing is there but to block the rest of the world out and just enjoy, the outdoors, conversation and just life in general. My oldest son is driving to “the Farm” as well today to partake in the “PGT”, aka Prime Grandparent Time. I brought all of my paints so that we can paint together, my mom is a very talented artist, paints as well, my kids are all artists, and now that I am painting so much, my youngest son has become quite the painter in his own right. This is due to “PKT”, my own Parent Knowledge Transfer. He sees me painting, he appreciates what I create, and it stimulates his own creative abilities to want to learn and create himself. I would say the same thing of my blogging. Kael sees me writing, he reads all of my posts, reads my website and all of a sudden has an interest in writing where none existed before. My own writing has shown him that there are many different styles of writing, it can be fun, enjoyable, it can evoke laughter and tears, and storytelling is a real talent.
Many years ago, I think it was when I was about 16 or 17; I had a summer job that allowed me to write the history of all the aging population of our small community. THAT was a priceless opportunity. I not only got to meet the senior citizens of the community but I was allowed to listen and write down their history. Did I mention what an honour I felt this was? I learned about what life was like for the original settlers of the community as some of the people that I spoke with remembered how hard it was for their parents and themselves as newcomers to a very harsh and economically stunted area. I traveled not only to the seniors in my local community but as far as Loon Straights (in the middle of the lake), therefore only accessible by boat. I saw parts of this end of the world that I had never seen before, like the beauty of Matheson Island. The other things I experienced ... what it was like for these wonderful souls, and how lonesome so many of them were. Their families had moved away, or were just too busy, many times; I was overwhelmed with how I felt so bad for them.
My mother experienced much of the same as a nurse’s aide in a personal care home. Some of those dear old people, just got dropped off, and family NEVER came to visit. We CANNOT really be that busy that we cannot forget all that our parents and grandparents have done for us over the years.
If you find yourself, asking why you don’t see your parents, or your kids seeing their grandparents … ask yourself what effort you have made to make it happen… when was the last time you stopped and made sure that you fit in time for a phone call, a visit or just a quick note.
I’m no angel; there have been times, where my life has taken me away from these things as well. I’m trying to rectify that, I’m trying to make more time for my own kids and to instill the importance of family, I have always done this. My kids are fabulous that way, still in their busy daily lives; they do try to make an effort weekly to fit everyone in.
There is a beautiful wisdom that we can all learn from our parents and grandparents, appreciate the gift that you have been given, learn from them. Teach your children that the knowledge that their grandparents hold is truly priceless and to have the patience to sit and to listen.
This is about spending quality time with each other.
This is about recognizing the brilliance that grandparents have to offer our kids.
This is about appreciating the years of wisdom, love and caring that our parents and grandparents have put into our own lives.
This is about asking yourself what you are doing to make sure that our kids are learning everything that our parent, their grandparents have to offer.
This is about love and kindness.
This is about respect.
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Let me not be judged by what I have and have not accomplished but by the remarkable children I have raised. Mother, Business Consultant, Entrepreneur, Designer, Artist.
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