Tag Archives: grandparents

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.

Family Traditions #SundayBlogShare

A special thanks to @Suzie81Blog and @Sourcerer for the #SundayBlogShare

The holidays are here.  No denying it.  We had many traditions with my family growing up.  Each side of the family a bit different from the other.  Either way, the day usually started with travel.  An hour or two by car, depending on which set of grandparents we were visiting that year.  On my dad’s side, we would usually have ham, unless my uncle had bagged a turkey while hunting.  Mom’s side was usually turkey, although occasionally my papaw wanted ham because he was tired of turkey.  Both families would gather in the kitchen and then spill out into the living room or outside if it wasn’t too cold yet.  Someone would call us all together and we would quiet down for a minute. They would pray and give thanks and then it got noisy again while everyone was getting food and chatting all throughout the meal. The day ended with everyone pitching into clean up, put away the extra chairs, card tables and saying our goodbyes.

Christmas brings another set of traditions.  We would go out into the woods behind my grandparents house and find the perfect cedar tree.  Not too big, just the right size to go in our living room. This happens right after Thanksgiving.  We  cut the tree and tie it to the top of the old Rambler station wagon. Of course as soon as we get it home, it’s got to go in water and get decorated. The ornaments were always an odd assortment including several hand-made ornaments from each child.  The stockings were hung by the chimney with care – sorry couldn’t resist 🙂 Mom would always make gingerbread cookies. We’d go to Christmas Eve service and then the kids could open one present before going to bed. Get up at the crack of dawn or maybe before and wake the parents. Build up the fire and open presents.  Mom would be making bacon and waffles or sometimes blueberry pancakes. If we did not stay home, we went to visit the grandparents.  It was very similar at the grandparents, except they tried to feed you more.

Dad was into photography, so everything had to be photographed. Family gatherings, decorating for Christmas, raking leaves, camping, hiking, you name it, he photographed it.  I’ll get around to digitizing some of those old pictures.  Hmm, that’s probably a couple of hundred blog entries right there.  And maybe a therapy session or two 🙂

What are your family traditions?  I would love to hear yours, so please leave a comment below.

Are You Prepared?

It’s the day before Thanksgiving.  Are you prepared?  Getting the food, cooking, cleaning the house, and all the sundry tasks included in readiness.  Life is always throwing in a curve ball, change-up, a wrench in the works, a sticky wicket, a spanner in the works, or whatever your colloquial phrase might be.  As I was leaving work yesterday, my brother calls and informs me that dad going to the hospital.  He’s almost 92 and has been going downhill since we lost mom a few years ago. They enjoyed over 50 years of marriage. He was awake and alert when the ambulance picked him up, but was having trouble breathing.  Turns out he has blood clots in both lungs.  The docs put him on blood thinners and are watching him in ICU.  He may spend Thanksgiving in the hospital. Both he and my grandmother always told me that things fall into two categories.  Things you can do something about and things you can’t.  If you can do something about it, do it and move on.  If you can’t do anything about, pray about give it to God and move on.  Their example has helped me to live a mostly stress free life.  That’s not say I don’t worry about things ever, but it’s usually very short-lived.  I’m not here to pound you into submission and make you believe in God, Allah, Buddha, Ganesha, Vishnu or anything else.  That is a very personal choice.  All I can do is be the example my parents and grandparents set for me. Whatever this Thanksgiving holds, I will be thankful. Whatever your beliefs or non-belief, are you prepared?

Fire, FIRE! #SundayBlogShare

Fire, FIRE! A friend recently had a grease fire in her kitchen whilst preparing breakfast and came to the quick realization that she had no fire extinguisher. This got me to thinking about some of the kitchen safety tips that my mom and grandmothers shared over the years. Since we in the US have our Thanksgiving day holiday coming up this week, I thought I would share some tips. Before it was common to have a fire extinguisher in the house, my grandmothers used flour or baking soda to put out grease fires if putting a lid on the pan didn’t work. You don’t ever want to use water as this cause the grease fire to expand rapidly. Another obvious safety tip, especially if you have a Boy Scout around, is don’t cut toward yourself. The results of doing so will soon be painfully obvious. Just don’t do it. Another good one is keep dish towel, rags and oven mitts away from the stove. While designed to handle hot things, most oven mitts will catch on fire and burn if they come in contact with a hot stove burner. One of my favorites, is don’t chop wood in the kitchen. Okay this probably doesn’t apply to very many of you, but one of my grandmothers had a wood burning stove. Another really good one, especially if you have little ones or pets that can reach the stove, is keep the handles turned away from the front. Along with this, don’t leave pots and pans on the stove unattended. The list goes on and on. That said, just use a little common sense. I know we all get in rush, but take a few minutes and think about your kitchen safety precautions before somethings happens, you’ll be glad that you did. Have an #AWEsome holiday.