Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bailout & Baloney

This year's election campaign is really starting to irritate me. I generally don't get too involved in politics & am still undecided on how to vote. Earlier this week, I got so fed up with both Barack Obama & John McCain continuing with their campaigns instead of helping to resolve the bailout issue. After all, they are still US Senators and one of them will have to live with whatever deal is implemented. Hmmm, actually, we will ALL have to live with it.

The economy seems to be the most critical issue this year, so my hopes were raised when McCain said he was going to put his campaign on hold & go to Washington to work on the financial crisis. Good for him! Obama still wants to debate instead of helping, but who is right?

So now both candidates have been to Washington and still nothing has been resolved. Too bad. There has to be a way to get all the politicians to work together for a change - I hope!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Introduction to New Granny Book

Why kids need to write their stories

I decided to write Granny's Guide to FUN & FABULOUS Family Stories so that other people could learn from the mistakes I have made repeatedly in my life. I spent considerable time with my maternal grandparents while I was growing up and again later as a young adult. My regret is that I never asked them the questions that really mattered. I have the same regrets regarding my parents and although it may be too late for me, it is not for you!

If I can help a single person understand the importance of recording their personal or family stories, or those of their ancestors and loved ones, then my omissions will not have been in vain. Even better, if I can make the process of gathering those stories both fun and painless, then that is icing on the cake.

In a relatively short period, I have seen the incredible impact this process can have on children. Best of all, they actually have a chance to get to know their family members, especially the elderly ones. Instead of thinking of their elders as just “old people,” children will have a chance to relate to them.

Everyone has an interesting story to share. Anyone can write their own stories when given a little guidance and help. Some people may not have family members around, but they may have close friends with whom they have spent wonderful times together. All of these stories are important to record and to share with other people.

As a grandmother myself, my goal is to make that process fun and fabulous!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Memories of 9/11

I was working for a large corporation from home on 9/11 and part of my job after the attacks was to contact some 75 employees to verify their safety. Remarkably, several of them were scheduled to be in one of the Towers that day, but they had stopped for coffee & a preliminary meeting before going in to the customer's office.

I'll never forget the sound of the anguish in the voices of the families who hadn't heard from their loved ones yet, nor the happy tears when they were later discovered safe. What was most compelling was how everyone joined together to do whatever they could to help others.

What a wonderful world it would be if we could sustain that sense of fellowship and teamwork after the crisis is over and never forget all the people who were lost or irrevocably changed.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Rain on a Tin Roof

Today I had a powerful and pleasant reminder of my childhood. We have a three-season room on the back of our house and it has a tin roof. I was enjoying a nice cup of tea out there when we started getting a lovely, gentle rain.

For some reason, the pitter-patter of the raindrops was especially soothing. The odd thing is that when I was a kid, we didn't have any metal roofs on the house, but we did on the tool shed. So I guess that is where the memories come from.

I love the sound and plan to enjoy it whenever and wherever I can. Life is too short to pass up simple pleasures.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cleaning Out the Dust Bunnies

I started a little project yesterday that required getting out my sewing machine. I hadn't used it for several months and for some reason the thread kept breaking. Finally, I broke down and dug out the owner's manual for some help.

Hmmm, when was the last time I had cleaned and oiled the machinery? Apparently, if I couldn't remember, then it had been way too long. As I started to disassemble each component, I made mental note to be able to put it all back together - hopefully without any parts left over.

I have never seen so many fuzzy dust bunnies in such a small confined space. I grabbed my trusty old toothbrush (one that had been replaced recently) and brushed out all the lint I could find. Next, I dug out the good old 3-in-1 oil can to lubricate all the neglected moving parts.

Amazingly, it was immediately easier to manually run the sewing machine thru its paces. Using my photographic memory (and a few grumbling words to help), I reassembled the machine and closed the covers for each compartment. Uh oh, where did that spring come from? I retraced my steps and consulted the manual for the umpteenth time to find the location missing one itty bitty spring.

As I worked thru the process using the manual as well as trial and error, I thought of how my Mother regularly serviced her machines. I recalled how she always kept a very small can of machine oil strictly for that purpose, whereas I had to borrow my husband's.

I also thought with pride about how she never had to take her sewing machine in for service. She knew that machine inside and out and could tell by the sound and feel when something needed attention. Sort of like she did with our family. She seemed to hone in on someone who needed a bit of TLC before we were even aware of it.

As I considered her legacy, I resolved to be more attentive to my equipment and to the people in my life who matter. I felt contentment as I finally started my sewing project and enjoyed my newly smooth-running sewing machine.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Memories

We were delighted over the Labor Day weekend to have our son from South Carolina and our two grandchildren home for a visit. The kids are three and four years old, so they are at a wonderful age to express their amazement and joy at simple little things. The kids barely make it in the front door before they both make a beeline to the toy box in the family room that we keep just for them.

Apparently, the four-year-old chattered for miles about getting Cheerios at Grandma’s house. His Dad was confused, because Cheerios are not favored at their home. The mystery was solved once they dragged out the Cheerios storybook where the reader fills in missing buttons, wheels and eyeglasses with – you guessed it – Cheerios. To make it more educational, we count the number of missing circles on each page together.

Building memories like these are so simple, yet so important as children grow up. Fortunately, it is often the small things like a favorite book, game or puzzle that children will remember and look forward to. So keep that in mind the next time you prepare for the pitter-patter of little feet.