Friday, September 1, 2017
I like to think this is the effect I have on my grandchildren. I know my own grandparents certainly put the magic in my existence. Thoughts of them will find their way into the quiet moments of any random day, memories that float to mind as softly as the butterflies danced in my grandmothers' gardens. They are all welcome and beautiful when they arrive.
Both sets of grandparents were country folk, born and raised — three of German descent, one of English. The latter gave up agriculture for a career in the trades, while his wife, like all women of those times, kept the homefires burning. My paternal grandparents, however, stayed on the farm, giving this townie an opportunity to experience the open air and spaces of the pastoral landscape.
Though very different in personalities, my grandmas and grandpas provided, each in their own way, the calm in the storm. As the youngest child by many years in a family of five I often as a child felt overwhelmed by the presence of adults. They always seemed larger than life. Not to mention, a tad imposing. My naive chatter was typically lost in the swirl of conversation that centred around more grownup topics, such as work and interpersonal relationships.
Oddly, however, that was never the feeling when I was in the company of my grandparents. Despite that fact that hard work and times had made them older than today's typical sexagenarian, they seemed to understand what it meant to be kid better than Mom and Dad, or my teenage brother and sister did. When I spoke, they listened. When I walked, they walked with me, regardless of my pace or how often I stopped.
While work was a principle facet of their lifestyle, they were never too busy to pause when I asked. Grandpa Matthews would take my cousin and I onto his knee for songs, poetry or to draw pictures of his beloved horses for us. There was always time for a snack of cookies and cream soda when we found our way to Grandma's kitchen. At the country grandparents, I trailed behind as we wandered the orchards and gardens, the barns and fields. There were never too many questions asked.
To this day I will be comforted by the fragrance of bread warm from the oven, by the sight of a deep-dish pie, a crocheted afghan, a needlepoint picture. They bring me closer to these still loved, long remembered people whom I was blessed to have in my life for a time.
So it is these kinds of memories I hope my young grandchildren will have some day of their moments spent with my husband and me. I hope they remember two people who guided gently, who listened wholeheartedly, who hug tightly and loved fiercely.
Next Sunday is Grandparents Day. To know them is to love them. To have them is the best. To hold on to them as long as possible is to be truly blessed. We celebrate the love and joy they give and bring to us in these great clipart collections:
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Because one week from today, it's back to reality.
Everywhere you turn these days you'll be seeing promotions for back-to-school. In retail outlets, posters and advertisements are touting that they have everything kids need to get back to the business of learning. This week, then, parents will be rushing out to get the last-minute deals on school supplies and fashions for their exuberant young students.
I used to love those mall outings with my four kids in the dying vacation days before a new school term began. Despite the fact that not all of them were as eager as others.
Feminism aside, the sexes really can be quite different in how they approach things. I never kept my boys from playing with dolls if they wanted, nor did I ever take a truck away from my girls. It was never necessary; their interests were predictable.
It was no surprise then, that the shopping excursions typically involved a lot of grumbling from the males and plenty of enthusiasm from the females. Especially when it came to fashion. The more clothes dumped into the change room for my daughters the better. My requests for them to come out and model each outfit were met with enthusiasm too. When it came to my sons, however, I generally had to take them at their word that things fit.
Even, perusing the aisles for pencils, papers and books The girls typically made a list while the boys had no idea what they needed. A summer filled with freedom had left little room in those heads it seemed for any practical exercise.
What we all enjoyed, however, even in spite of the boys' recalcitrance, was plenty of laughter. There was good-natured teasing and the sharing of inside jokes, often at my expense. The distaste in my mouth over losing the battle on where to have lunch and finding myself at McDonald's, was soothed by the pleasure of watching my kids just enjoy being together.
Spending a day with them, knowing that with every passing year made these times more precious, was lovely. I usually hated to see it end.
Especially since arriving home gave me time to take stock of the economic impact of this shopping extravaganza. While bargain hunting had been the order of the day, it still did cost a lot of money to get the job done. Nothing comes that cheap.
So, as everyone's out spending money in the next few weeks getting their youngsters and teens in fashion-fit condition, seeing that backpacks have all the necessary supplies, and kitchens are stocked with lunchbox essentials, I thought it might be a fun to throw out the word free. Check out these terrific free Photoshop resources:
Free Photoshop Resources from iCLIPART.com's Pinterest Board
15 Free Photoshop Resources for Infographics