It Pays to Start Early

It Pays to Start Early

Today it’s not so much a “View” as it is “News”. on Wednesday, April 30, I became a GREAT GRANDMOTHER And not just any great grandmother – but TWO. Yes, TWINS – a boy and a girl. That is doubly exciting for me because so far I have only been presented with BOYS! Five of them. Finally, I can enjoy looking at frilly little dresses and bonnets. Don’t worry, Charlie, I won’t go overboard.

As I was patting myself on the back and thinking of all the joy those five boys have brought me, I realized that at my advanced age of 76, I won’t be able to do a lot of the things I did with the previous generation. I’m not so naive that think we can have over-nights and week-long visits, go sight-seeing and on picnics, to concerts, etc.

My next thought was why is being a GREAT grandparent so special? Perhaps it’s just that four generation families are somewhat of a novelty. I was partially raised by my maternal grandparents and occasionally visited their parents (my great grandparents). But they were “old” and they passed on before I became a teenager.

After pondering all of this, I reached the conclusion that, sadly, if young couples continue the trend of not starting their families until they are nearly 40, they most likely will not ever reach the “great”grandparent status. I think it is sad for the potential great grandparents and sad for the children who will never know them. I want my great grandchildren to remember me – even if it’s only that I sat in a wheel chair and worked on quilts or listened to strange “ancient” music.

So my advice to young couples is not necessarily to get married younger – just don’t put off starting a family too long if you want to experience what I am today by those two little bundles of joy, Brently and Mackenzie.

Three Quarters of a Century – WOW!

All my life I’ve marked my age by the decade or quarter century. The first Quarter was pretty exciting. I was a working mother and life was good. But when I reached the Third Decade, I suddenly felt I had somehow left “Young” behind me. By the Fourth Decade, I was a stay-at-home Mom with three kids – busy but not much excitement.
Then came the Half Century. A single Mom, a new career, a college degree and a grandchild. Life was still good but the body was beginning to show the wear and tear and required some tune-ups.
The next two decades were filled with good and bad events. Happiness and sadness. Lost my father and a son, but gained a daughter-in-law and more grandchildren. Enjoyed some traveling in the U.S. and Europe and entered into retirement and a second marriage and some miscellaneous post-retirement jobs. Also acquired a new son-i n-law. A new cycle of life began when I took on the role of parent to my mother and moved to the Shenandoah Valley.
I love the Valley – the pace of life is slower and the people are genuine – once they decide to accept you. Also, the Valley is so full of history, especially of the Civil War and I have become interested in reading about it. It’s so much easier to understand when you can identify places with the facts.
The Seventh Decade brought the beginning of a steady decline in health, requiring many repairs – 1 ear surgery, 5 eye surgeries, and 2 back surgeries. My pace of life became much slower. Now as I have completed the Third Quarter Century, I am finally beginning to feel more like my original self. I am looking forward to a more active decade. My body is slowly regenerating and my mind is racing ahead. Many dreams, many projects.
First on the agenda will be to complete the crib quilts before the birth of my first great grandchildren – yes, twins! I can’t begin to predict what will follow, but I feel I am ready for it. There’s painting to do in the house; there’s more landscaping to do outside; the church’s thrift store has expanded and requires lots of attention and there’s always the opportunity to volunteer at the local Library and meet many interesting people.
Keeping up with the family is almost a full-time occupation: one grandson is on the police force in Warrenton, Virginia and about to be the father of the twins; another grandson is an honor student (a junior) at Shenandoah University; another grandson is employed by Fairfax County Public Works, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather; two more grandsons are excelling in sports (baseball and football).
My daughter and son have become mature, responsible adults and I am proud of family.
In my leisure, which is not abundant, I still enjoy reading, quilting, gardening and now, writing. Gardening is a bit of a challenge and I have to pay to have some of it done at my direction.
So three quarters of a century is not bad. Look out eighties, here I come!