Sunday, January 13, 2008

Things we learned from our Grandparents

I wrote this last Fall and it was published today by the Modesto Bee in remembrance of my grandparents:

Never let a day get by without giving your partner a kiss and telling them that you love them. Be sure to kiss them like you mean it.

Love unconditionally. Life is indeed short.

Live without regrets. If you want to be a chemist or to learn how to dance or play the violin, then do so. The only thing stopping you is you.

Live simply. Just because you can afford a Bentley doesn't mean you need one.

Repurpose. You never know what useful tool you can make out of a perfectly good motor in that busted electric can opener.

Save. Someone in your family may need a little extra financial help someday.

Be patient, especially with the elderly. That old geezer driving 40 mph in a 50 mph zone may be doing so for no other reason than to keep his wife's nerves calm. It's a much faster world now than when they were growing up.

Write thank-you letters.

Travel, travel, travel!

Take pictures. When your memories start to fade, those photos may be all you have left to remind yourself of what a fulfilling and happy life you've lived.

Create. Learn how to make stuff with your own two hands. Whether it be the most amazing cookies in the world or a table that will be handed down generation after generation.

Be organized. Don't waste.

Grow and nurture a citrus tree in your yard. You'll be amazed at what that tree will remind you, year after year, about the seasons that flew by as you hardly noticed.

Stay active. Your heart and mind will thank you for it when you're in your 90s.

Do crossword puzzles and play Scrabble with your kids and grandkids. Word games keep the mind sharp.

When you get down to the bottom of the potato chip bag, cut off the top portion of the bag.

Never stop learning. Keep asking questions.

Stay up on politics and the environment. Not all progressives are us young whippersnappers.

Listen. Take care of your hearing.

Share stories over and over and over to ensure that they are not easily forgotten.

Take the time to visit old friends and to make new ones regardless of your age. Or theirs.

Help your friends and family when they need a hand.

Take the time to get to know your neighbors.

Keep a to-do list and NEVER stop doing.

Finish projects that you start.

Know when it's time to hire someone to clear out the rain gutters for you.

Be generous with your love, money and wisdom.

Master 'the' handshake. Your grandkids can always use a few extra bucks for gas.


  1. That's a great list to follow! As for myself, I am now a converted potato chip bag lopper opper.

  2. What a great idea! We should all take stock of the things we've learned from those who've gone before us and have a lot more wisdom.


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