With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, I'd thought I write a little about my family and the lovely women that have shaped us all into who were are.  I'm lucky, I got to know both of my grandmothers as I was growing up.  My dad's mother I saw most every weekend and nearly all summer, every summer.  My Mom's mother though, I only saw every few years, and for one special summer in my early tweens.

Both made an impression on me in their own ways.  They didn't lead glamourous lives.  They didn't have fabulous careers.  But they lived, full, rich lives with much to impart on all of us, some of it wise, some of it not.  But, there was something to be learned in all of it.

My Dad's Mom - Edith
At the end of the day, it's your family that matters.
My family isn't overly affectionate, barely at all really.  But, affection and importance aren't the same thing.  That was the big lesson.  Over time they've integrated in our household and we have both.  Hugs are freely given and done so often.

Digging in the dirt is good for your soul.
I still can't grow things, but both grandmas taught me how to plant, weed, mulch, get rid of aphids on your roses and dig holes in the dirt when you're mad.  But remember, if you're in upper Michigan in the middle of the summer, randomly digging holes, near a pond - watch for baby turtles.

There is always someone in need, so do what you can.
Share things.  Volunteer.  Give of your time.  Both volunteered for causes, both made things for others.  I learned to hand sew on a lap quilt that one made for the church and destined for someone's lap.  'We old people get cold', she said as she corrected my wavy stitches for probably the 80th time that day.

Learn to really live.
People go through the motions of life.  Showing up for a job, doing it, going home and going through more motions before turning off their lights and repeating it all the next day.  Figure out where your passions lie and do that.  Paint, explore, be whatever you want to be, but be happy, and have no regrets.

Exercise you body as well as your mind.
Both of the grandmas had their schedules they kept to each day.  The routine was a comfort as well as a way to keep their bodies in motion.  One watched Wheel of Fortune, and she was so good at it, the other read, a lot.  The one summer I spent with my mother's family, I was amazed at how well she knew some poetry.  We were in her vast gardens and as she was explaining the importance of finding your way in life she launched into Do not go gentle into that good night.
To this day, I still Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Take time for yourself.
Get your hair done, paint your nails, get a new pair of shoes.  Maybe that last one was me, but it's true.  You enhance the quality of your life and of those around you by taking a small amount of time for you each day and feeling good.  Chances are you'll make others feel good too.

First Impressions are Important.
It doesn't matter if you're talking about you, your home, or how you speak.  No, you're not supposed to judge people, but we do.  So, says both the grandmas, always be neat and clean.  Keep your home neat and clean.  Watch the words you use, for once spoken they can never be forgotten, only forgiven.
And wear a dress on a first date!
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