You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting a lot for the last week. My grandmother passed away a couple of weeks ago. She was an amazing woman and left behind quite a legacy. I grew up in Massachusetts and lived there until I went off to college in 1996. Then my journey around the country and the world began. The funeral and time spent with my extended family provided an opportunity for me to reflect upon life. I looked at the way my grandmother lived her life and the people she impacted through the Church, 4H, the Grange, and various other organizations. A couple of my cousins reflected on canning fruits and vegetables and making homemade ice cream, about walks in the woods looking for lady slippers and pussy willows. I forgot about those things from my childhood. It is interesting how some people may look upon those memories differently than I am right now. I see a fabulous simplicity in them. I see a life full of family time and togetherness. I see self-sufficiency and hard work. So many things that I feel are slipping away from us in this world. I turned 35 recently which also caused me to reflect on life. In 1953, when my grandmother was 35, the world was a different place. It seems we talk about this more and more—the good ole days. I don’t necessarily want to live in 1953, but how do I bring the good parts of 1953 to 2013? I’m a woman who likes a good list so here is mine:
Ways to bring 1953 to 2013:
- When your kids come home from school, send them outside to play.
- Make dinner from a recipe, avoid the frozen foods and pre-packaged meals.
- Eat dinner around the dinner table together. Turn the cell phones off and hide them out of reach. Ask questions like “How was your day?” and listen to the answers.
- After your kids clear the dinner table, sit down for a family game of cards or other board game. Engage in conversation.
- Grow some of your own food. Start with a small container garden and go from there. This should be a family endeavor.
- Read books instead of turning on the TV. Read to your kids regularly.
- Study the bible. If you aren’t religious, find some inspirational book that brings you peace and read it regularly. I find that going to Church and reading the bible bring me inner peace and re-center me for the week.
- Use the good china for one meal a week. Lay out the table for a special family meal. This would work well on a Sunday evening.
- Go on a walk through the woods at a nearby park or your own backyard if you are fortunate to have that option. Make a list of some plants or flowers to look for. Enjoy nature.
- Make more things around your house yourself. Try homemade dish soap, bath salts, or shampoo. Just try it, you might like it.
Basically, stop and smell the roses. Don’t get so caught up in the latest technology and whether or not you have the latest fashion trend or your kids are in the right activity. Just spend time with them. Be a part of activities that foster family unity. Focus on listening to your kids and your spouse and actually hearing what they’re saying. Ask follow up questions to show you care and are interested. Play outside, get dirty, live life.
What are some things that YOU would do?