Better Than Grandmas?

What's better than Grandmas? GREAT-Grandmas! 

If we are lucky enough, we will have the privilege of achieving this status some day!
All five of my grandchildren have known their great-grandmothers. I recently posted about losing my mom Donna, and shared photos of my grandkids sitting with her. The twins were almost 3 when she died, so they have recollections of that lady's lap they sat upon. The older kids remember visits to her house, talking with her on the phone and the money tucked in a card on holidays!

Sadly, my son-in-law recently lost his grandmother; the Littles' other great-grandma. Francis also lived out of state, but kept a presence in their lives with Christmas and Birthdays cards, phone calls and visits when they came to town. She was such an elegant lady; always standing straight and proud. I always envied her posture!

The older girls are lucky........they still have their great-grandma whom they call Nanny! She lives cross country from them, but they keep in touch by phone and email and have visited her several times. Louise (yes, they all have 'real' names as the kiddos say) recently added a new title....great-great- grandmother! Can you imagine????  She is able to hold the child of her eldest grandson! Fannnnnntabulous!

Once upon a time, these women were young moms. Eventually, they became grandmas to some very special men and women.....who, as time and fate would have it....helped to grow and enrich MY family! This is the miracle of growing along! These are the threads that create ancestral trees and family stories. Knowing their great grandparents is a child's first link to history and the cycle of life. 

These women had careers, skills and talents. Donna was a big city girl, working in clothing and home good stores for years and eventually becoming a department manager. My kids love to recall how she'd teach them and their cousins to play cards when they stayed over!

Francis and Louise were raised in the country, and helped oversee farm communities after marriage. Francis was a homemaker, acquiring self-sustaining skills long before sustainability became the in word! Her two grandsons fondly remember how she loved to play and fish with them, and she never missed their basketball and baseball games! Louise helped with harvesting and feeding the farm hands.....and guess what?....she also found time to become a nurse! My daughter-in-law had the best of times running and playing in the mud on the farm and listening to Nanny's funny stories.

All three not only shared a love of reading.....but  managed to pass it down through every generation! I see it on display every day as each of my grandkids devour book after book as soon as the magic combination of letters + sounds = words kicks in! Long before the days of journaling and book clubs, these great-grandmas encouraged their grandchildren to write about what they read.  And as those kids grew older, they'd discuss the classics with grandma!

Donna and Francis lived for 88 years! What a wonderful life they had; what wonderful treasures of the heart they left for their children and grandchildren.
Louise is 85 and still going strong. She loves card games and parties; and recently moved to another house to be closer to that new great-great-grandbaby!

I always say I'm a good grandma because I learned from my grandmothers....and my two great-grandmas as well! They both passed away by the time I was ten, but I remember my grandmas telling me stories about them and having their pictures in frames on the China cabinet. This is my job now, mine and my two co-grandmas. We need to keep these rich legacies alive and fresh and important to our beautiful grandsons and granddaughters; and some day, God willing, we too will become great-grandmothers!

I know my fab five will do the same for me! I hope they'll recall how I enjoy growing each day as I learn from them; how, instead of growing old, I say I'm just growing along

Let this be a Mother's Day tribute of sorts because....."so much of who we are is based on where we come from." Let's remember and honor great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers everywhere!

This post has also been published on MORE Magazine's Online blog under "Blogger of the Moment."

Dirty Work is Fun

No school today = playing in the dirt with Grandma!

Loved having my grandson help me get started on the garden work! While I was gathering the tools and gloves from the garage, he grabbed the lacrosse sticks and I figured he'd be lost in play.

As soon as he saw the shovel, his eyes lit up....dig in the dirt? Can I dig with my hands too? He took over the weeding, digging and planting; reminding me that planting was good for the earth right now since it was Earth Day on Monday. He was okay with work gloves.....but that dirt on his knees and clothes made him proud!


Great start for my Gardenyardigans to get the yard in shape! I'm going to let him help touch up the yard decorations with spray paint next visit.



     Soon the twins will be planting annuals and finding the first Daisies to pick! When my big girls get here...they'll help with pruning the shrubs and harvesting the first strawberries!

And watering...sprinklers provide fun, laughs, exercise and a game of my-turn-to-move-the sprinkler! So yes; lots of watering and lots of dirt!


This is being linked to Say It Saturday at

Boston Days

An old article from my days as a contributing writer for the Salem Evening News in MA.This was our home state for eight years in the 80's......and recent events in Boston bring back memories of exploring the streets and landmarks of this biggest of small towns!

This has been linked to Say it Saturday at and to Tuesday Trivia at memoriesbythe

C'mon Body...Cooperate!


I tried a new Zumba instructor last night. It was hard to follow her.....lots of hip hop/rap and pop songs with hard-to-follow rhythms. I'm used to the latin/salsa beats and can usually work up a good sweat for the whole hour.
Stiff and sore today....bad knee even when I wear a brace. My sister was there too; reminding me maybe I shouldn't keep lifting my arms above my head.....increased heart rate not good for older women yada yada yada.
I always put my arms into it.....feels good for my left shoulder especially with it's arthritic, limited range of motion.

Try to work out/dance and do weights every other day. And remember I roller skated on my birthday; won a 5K medal for finishing first in my age group.....the only entrant!
I park far away in parking lots so I HAVE to walk further! I open the house each morning with yoga stretches and bends and sun salutes.
I want to keep doing more and more; yet this darn knee is bugging me; and lately I've had to wear my glasses to class to follow the new moves. Glasses are sure annoying when you're sweating! I'm standing as I type at my desk.....don't want to get 'sitting disease!' But, yes.....I do sit too long at times. So balancing it each day with a walk or class soon as this pollen heads yard and garden work! That's another love for me.....lots of bending, lifting, hauling, raking! Such a great feeling when I work my butt off anywhere!!!

I'm going to keep up this standing while I work! I've discovered using my laptop on the kitchen island is the perfect height for doing leg lifts and swings, squats, and with the right music....good ol' shaking and wiggling my the Littles call it!

I'm weepy and wondering why I'm tired, stiff, no oomph this Monday morning?!? Don't want to give in to discomfort, difficulty, denial!!! I want to always keep my vim and vigor, zest and eagerness to try new things.

When the big girls come this summer, we may try zip lining, tree climbing and rope bridges; I only ever take them places where I WILL DO whatever they do!!!
With the three young grandkids that live nearby, I going to become better prepared. Filling up my car with the hula hoop, jump rope, frisbee and  the soccer ball for our visits to parks and playgrounds will mean I'll have to participate too! NOT going to sit on the bench and watch just because they don't need their swings pushed anymore. Kicking and dashing for the soccer ball and jumping rope I can do......and it sounds waaaaay more exciting than when they say "chase me, Grandma!"

If I take care of my knee, I can ride my bike more often. I have an old cruiser (two actually...keep one at the beach community in CA where the older kids live.) My excuse here at home?  We live in a cul de sac, and it's difficult to reach the end of the street as it continuously rises to the stop sign! BUT....if I make it, oh the possibilities!

So.....strengthening my quads'll be nice,
In the meantime, heat and ice!
Proper shoe support will highly rate,
My knees will definitely appreciate!

Want to keep stretching and reaching for more,
One more paddleboard along the shore!
Going to cross every finish line...
Can't stop ME number sixty-nine!

This post has been linked to the Grand Social at and has been featured on; The Voices of Midlife

Growing Along...My Life in a Nutshell

Jim and I will celebrate 47 years in August. We've lived lots of places (together and apart) but settled here in Alpharetta, GA over 20 years. Spent a year in KY after leaving the lake in our beloved Michigan, 8 years in MA where our kids grew up playing hockey; back to MI for a few more years.....always following writing and editing jobs for Jim. I've worked as a teacher or a principal wherever we lived.......but stayed put here when he worked for a few years in Aruba and then PA. I'd had enough moving! We traveled back and forth to be together.......I taught at the Int. school in Aruba in the summers and we all celebrated holidays together in those places. Great times and memories!
Our kids stayed in MI after college but moved here to Georgia after their marriages and grkids were on the way! Eight years ago, Treg and his family moved to the beach in CA for his job with Honda. Now we spend two months a year in Ventura in a rented beach house to be near the girls......ages 11 and 15. We keep bikes and storage tubs there and love being part of that commuity!
I retired six years ago when Tracy.....who had a 2yo boy....announced she was having twins! It's been a grand ride ever since! She has loads of degrees and loves being a career woman so I help with the kiddos whenever I can. Drew is 8 and Paige and Lane are 5!
Jim is retired as well....but now doing free lance work. His schedule is flexible, so we have lots of time to play and babysit and do fun stuff! Hardly time to notice we are over 65 and on Medicare! Yikes.......can you believe it? My mom passed away a couple years ago....but I learned from her how to age with grace and continual joy! We are all happy and healthy and blessed. Doesn't get any better than that!
Now tell us a story about you!
This has been linked to Grandparents Say It Saturday at