Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanks Given - Day Twenty Four

It's a good thing I'm not getting graded on the timeliness of these posts. I'm falling behind and trying to catch up! I posted yesterday, but it was for the previous day. Tonight, I need to do two to catch up. We'll see if that happens. Here is yesterday's post...

Today, I am thankful for previous generations and the wisdom they are able to share.

We went to dinner with Tom's parents and his grandmother, Grammy, to celebrate her 88th birthday tonight. We ate at the Chop House in Newark, which used to be the Natoma when we were still in town. So many fun nights were spent there. Even when Tom and I were just dating in high school, Grammy and Grandpa took us out to dinner there every other month or so. Then, as the family grew up, we would all go out on special occasions. It was very fun to sit and reminisce in the place that has such meaning to the Joyner's (me included).

With a big extended family, and our own three little noise makers, we don't get to just sit and talk to Grammy very much. Between Tom and I, she is our only living grandparent. So, we talked a lot last night about her childhood and her family. (Side Note: Tessa's middle name is Coad, which is Grammy's maiden name and still the name of the family potato farm in Utica.) We heard such a rich history, one that revolved around taking care of family members, being generous and trusting in God.

Grammy remembered that once her mother didn't have a nickel to give her for a pencil for first grade. And, bananas were a special treat and didn't come along very often. Although, as a farmer, they did have access to milk, butter, grains and meat, which was not as common. She said she never felt poor but knew they didn't have any money.

The night was also reminded me of my Grandpa Paul, who also grew up on a farm during the Great Depression. I know Grandpa, and likely my Grandma Elnora (mom's mother), grew up much the same. My Grandpa Chuck grew up a coal miner's son which I can imagine was not the lap of luxury. Unfortunately, I don't know much about Grandma Jeannie's childhood but I do believe she grew up in the city and I'm sure had a story to tell there too.

Our generation has come so far. And, I'm not just talking about in my family history. But, really, as a society. We have advanced past the point of living off the land. To decide to live a life like that again would likely get us committed. In fact, just today, I read an article about a family in West Virginia that did that and they really did seem a bit nutty.

I am thankful for their generation and that they have given us the stories of their past so that we do not forget from where we came. I tried to savor much of last night's conversations, and the ones of my grandparents, and commit it to memory. I hope that one day, I can be a spry, 88 year old passing down the wisdom of my generation to my children, grand children and great-grandchildren.

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