My paternal grandparents were hardworking, wise people. I used to love to visit them and see how different their lives were from the one I was living.
Almost everything was homemade – food, furniture and clothing. They canned chicken and vegetables that were then stored in a dirt cellar which was accessed through a trap door in the floor and narrow stairs. One bedroom housed their homemade soap and a cupboard in the porch was where they stored string wound onto a large ball and cleaned butcher paper ready to be reused.
Although my grandparents were retired, they still worked hard in their large garden where they didn’t have hoses but used large watering cans to encourage growth. Rainwater was captured in a drum covered with cheesecloth to keep the bugs out.
And when it came to transportation, they walked everywhere because they never had a car. Even going out of town consisted of hauling luggage to the train station on foot.
For fun, they played Chinese Checkers, read or visited friends. My grandparents laughed often and saw the positive side of life. They acted out their faith.
One of the life lessons that has stayed with me to this day involved a time when grandpa and I were sent on foot to do town chores. Going to the butcher shop for headcheese was one of our tasks. As a young girl, I found it fascinating to stare through the glass of the display case to view different choices of meat.
The butcher wrapped our purchase and we headed home. After we arrived, I said “Grandpa, I think that the butcher charged you the wrong amount”. You paid $1.50 for the headcheese but the sign said $1.00.
With a twinkle in his eye, grandpa replied “We had better go and talk to the butcher then”. So, we walked all the way back to the butcher shop. Grandpa told me that I should tell the butcher about my concern which I did. Over the next few minutes, I was taught about pricing based on weight. Grandpa had asked for a pound and a half of the headcheese, and this is why he was charged the amount that I had questioned.
I am amazed at the patience of my grandpa. He could easily have brushed off my query or given me a quick response. Instead, he taught me how to learn by appropriately asking questions of an expert. He took the time to walk me back to the shop and then encouraged me to assertively ask for information
Over the years, I have often noticed that people don’t question things that confuse them. They don’t know how to properly research or assertively gather knowledge.
This week, think about your lifestyle. Who influenced you over the years and helped you to mature? Are there things that you wish that you knew how to do or ways you would like to improve your character? The good news is that it is never too late to learn things and we live in an amazing world that offers us many resources.
Also, there are wise individuals like my grandpa who would be willing to walk with you so that you can learn more about life! All you need to do is ask.