Category Archives: grandparents

Service with a Smile World War II Style

Service with a Smile throughout life

This Memorial Day finds me a bit more pensive than usual. My dad, a World War II veteran, passed away last month. He rarely talked about his experiences in the war unless he was around his other Navy buddies. Dad always looked forward to what was coming up next. Even during the war, Dad smiled and kept a positive attitude. He gave his service with a smile. Here is a short tribute to an amazing life.

Service with a smile – The Greatest Generation

Dad finally did acquiesce to telling his story. I owe this to my dear friend Jon. He worked with the Library of Congress’s Veterans History project and sparked Dad’s interest in making sure his memories were not forgotten. Dad and a couple of his friends recorded his thoughts. There was about 15 hours of video. I trimmed it down a bit and ended up with an hour and half of Dad’s recollections of World War II.

I know this is due to my grandmother’s influence. She was a strong women. Not in the physical sense, but emotionally and spiritually. Arthritis racked her body from a young age causing her difficulty in many of the tasks others found simple; buttoning a shirt, sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking. Grandma rarely complained. One of her favorite sayings was, “Things fall into two categories, Things you can do something about and things you can’t. The first you just do it and move on. The second, you pray about it, give it to God and move on.” Grandma always gave the family service with a smile.

Things fall into two categories, Things you can do something about and things you can't. The first you just do it and move on. The second, you pray about it, give it to God and move on. Click To Tweet
Service with a Smile in spite of the price.

World War II

Growing up, I got a dose of positive attitude and discipline from them both. No matter what happens, whatever life throws at you, try to give your service with a smile. And remember those that gave you the freedoms you enjoy today.

When forging character gratitude is important Qutoe by Cicero

Gratitude, The Parent of Character


GratitudeGratitude. My grandfather was a coal miner. My grandmother took care of the home, the garden, the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning and the kids. They did not have much in the way that our materialistic society today measures things, but what they did have, they were grateful for it. They had a small garden, a few cows, pigs and chickens. This provided their food. They had great neighbors, friends and family. They had a clear, cold spring for fresh water.

Grandaddy had worked in the coal mines and as a result had black lung disease from breathing all the coal dust. He trouble doing anything without getting out of breath.  Grandma had severe osteoarthritis and had a hard time getting around or using her hands.

Even with all these challenges, they were grateful what they had, plenty of food, water and good family and friends. Simple, but important things. Friends dropping in for a quilting bee. Hanging out at the service station playing checkers. A roof over their heads. Watching the ducks down by the creek. All these simple things were appreciated. For my grandparents, gratitude is the parent of character.

Above all they had gratitude.

Gratitude is the parent of character

What does gratitude have to do with character? When one thinks of character, things like trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness and compassion come to mind. Without a spirit of graciousness, the other traits are greatly diminished.

According to Cicero, gratitude is the parent of all character virtues.

Gratitude is the parent of all character virtues

What are you grateful for?

Being able to appreciate what you have is one the greatest gifts which you can give yourself. I do not mean that you must be satisfied with your current situation. But you must appreciate it and accept it. Do not settle for where you are.

What I am saying is that if you cannot learn happiness  where you are and with you have, you will never be happy.

  • Employment (self or otherwise) which allows us to support our bad habits like eating and sleeping under a roof
  • Customers and clients that make it possible to get paid
  • People that provide our food and water
  • A roof to sleep under

Learning to be grateful is the first step toward improving your life. Are you ready to start? What are you grateful for? We would love to hear your thoughts below.

Do you have time for character?

Do you have time for character?

Do you have time for character?

Sometimes it’s easy to look away, keep walking and ignore the world around us. It takes a bit of personal character, John Wayne would say grit, to stop, notice and act. I’m not saying you should try to stop a bank robbery single-handed, but at least take notice of the surroundings. Take a picture, call 911, stay safe, but do something. Do you have time for character?

Something Simple

Hopefully you will never have to face a situation that requires you to risk your life more than a morning commute in Dallas traffic. While that might be more than some can tolerate, the commute is not really that bad.

Character is displayed in many ways, as can lack of character. How do you react when someone cuts you off in traffic? What is your thought when a stalled car is blocking a lane on the freeway and you are running late? Your responses to simple things like these are important. Do you smile and wave with your whole hand, not just one finger? Do you stop behind the person, turn on your flashers and help them push their car out of the way? Or do you just get angry and accelerate as soon as you are able?

It is natural to be annoyed at things or people who impede your progress in any way. My grandmother was always slow to anger. She made sure that we knew when she was displeased, but never in an angry manner. Her approach was always with love, kindness and compassion. Do you have time for character?

Character starts early

As a child we learn the basics of character. Trust. Kindness. Compassion. Loyalty. These foundations are what we build upon to become the person that we want to be. If we aim high, we keep getting better. Do not become discouraged, but ask yourself “Am I better today than I was yesterday?” Change does not have to be large to have an impact. Have you ever watched a wasp build a nest? It is done one tiny bit at a time. Do you have time for character?

What are your thoughts and experiences on developing character?

Hospitality is important

Down Home Thoughts A-to-Z

Down Home Thoughts A-to-Z Recap

A little wisdom and a great example go a long way towards shaping character. The theme for Down Home Thoughts participation in the April A-to-Z Challenge was “Down Home Thoughts, wisdom and character from Grandma.” You can read my theme reveal here. The challenge was a lot of work and a lot of fun. Thankfully you can write the posts ahead of time and schedule them to go live on the appropriate day. That frees you up to go read and comment on the over

Down Home Thoughts on the 2015 A-to-Z Road Trip

Down Home Thoughts on the 2015 A-to-Z Road Trip

1600 blogs participating. I am jumping in to the 2015 A-to-Z Roadtrip to finish up visiting all of them. Whew! Did I just commit to that? Lots of great blogs out there. You can see some of my favorites in my A-to-Z wrap up. Take a few minutes and traipse around the Blog-O-Sphere to check them out. I got some great advice from Gene’O over at Sourcerer about planning and preparing. He starts 6 months in advance getting ready for the A-to-Z challenge. Diana over at Part-time Monster is also has a plan and they both have great content. Go check them out.

Here are some down home thoughts from Grandma as we recap the April 2015 A-to-Z.

Down Home Thoughts April 2015 A-to-Z Survivor!

Down Home Thoughts April 2015 A-to-Z Survivor!

I hope you enjoyed this little romp down memory lane and Grandma’s down home wisdom and thoughts. I sure would appreciate you leaving a thought or two of your own below. Come on, join the conversation.