Life in small town America

What we learn from our grandparents

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   I was thinking about my grandmother this morning. She was a very strong woman. I talked to her about many of life’s trials and about world history. She even wrote some of our family’s history. I love that I still have her voice on audio recording.
   Most of those times we were talking, she was teaching me how to plant a garden, put up wallpaper, paint woodwork, sew on her treadle machine, crochet, bake pies and load wood into her wood stove and how to drive her tractor. I am so grateful for all of those lessons today because she taught me that we can be self-sufficient, but that we still need people.
   We talked about how her sister, my great Aunt Fay, took her to the train station in 1914 (she was 9) to see the soldiers heading off to war. She told me that she could still hear the sound of their boots on the wooden platform at the train station. What a startling memory.
   One thing she never told me was how her family survived the Spanish flu pandemic. She was 13 during that time. I wonder how they survived. I wonder what she would say now I know my great grandfather had a huge garden and was an excellent carpenter. He worked for the US Post Office as a mail carrier, so I know they were okay. My great grandmother was a germophobe and passed that tradition down to me. Funny how things like that keep appearing in families.
   My grandmother lived through WWI, WWII, Korean War, Viet Nam War, and 9/11. She was never afraid to talk about these things or what she saw during those times.
   How blessed we are to have known her for so many decades. She was just short of 99 years old when she died in 2005. Oh, what I would give to talk to her today. I have learned so much from you, Gram.

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