I was just clicking thru some blogs, and came across one referencing good advice from Grandpa, about life and love, etc. It made me think about my two Grandmas. They had both lived thru the depression, but from the way they talked, you might not have known it was the same one! Gramdma was an only child, her father worked for the railroad, a pretty nice job in the early part of the century. She married the boy next door who also worked for the railroad, and they lived a very comfortable life. The depression was a big slap in the face for them. Father and husband both lost their jobs, both families sold/lost their homes and they ended up moving onto a farm in the country, together. The togetherness wasn't a problem, but my Grandma had never been poor, always lived in a small city, and was used to a certain life style. Her memories were of everyone being very unhappy about the circumstances, although she did used to talk about the fun, home things that they did. She learned to can, and grow a garden, enjoying farm life very much, and they did get by. Grandpa worked again as soon as jobs became available, although he never went back to the railroad. They certainly lived a much simpler life after that, and stayed on the farm until they both passed away. My Grandpa was very bitter about the whole thing, he had a considerable amount of money in the stock market, and lost it all. He was very grouchy when my Mom was growing up, and didn't have much nice to say about anything, it was all "the governments fault" whatever it was. My other Granny was born in the US to immigrant parents, the oldest of 11 children. This country was so much better than what they had left, it was like a holiday! They lived in the South when she was growing up, and all of the kids worked out as soon as they could, and some of the jobs they had! Her Father worked in the coal mines, and they moved a lot, she eventually married an engineer for the mining company. They were still living in the coal camps when the depression hit, Grandpa had grown up on a farm, so they came "up north" and bought a farm. Granny really loved farm life. She always said that it didn't matter if you had a lot of money, the farm would give you everything you need. Food to eat, fuel for the stove, and the means to get whatever else you needed. Granny was the big type A in that relationship, Grandpa kind of floated quietly in the background, doing his thing, but I know that he really loved living on the farm too. Granny talked about work. Her pride and avocation was being a hard worker. She gardened and canned and worked out in the fields when necessary, and talked about how proud she was when she would wash the mens' white T-shirts and they would be out on the clothesline, all bright white and spotless, in a row. She mended things until there was more mend than garment. But they had fun too, taking the carload of kids to the lake on a Wednesday night, the beaches were all free then. So both my Grandmas came from very different places, and the advice they considered important to pass along? Well, surprisingly similar. Always expect to work hard. SAVE YOUR MONEY! Family is important, we all need each other. Don't expect to receive every time you give. Some things you do just because it's the right thing, and don't toot your own horn about it. (the last two are kind of the same) Good advice culled from 80+ years of living (each) who could ask for anything more!
Grandma Knew Best
February 14th, 2010 at 10:49 pm