This was written in December 2017, with an addition in April 2018
This weekend we continued an important tradition in our family.
When I stayed with my grandmother I felt special and so blessed to have her to myself. I remember a couple of times Grandma would drive her old DeSoto with the push button shift into the small town where she lived and take me to coffee at a local Swedish restaurant. It was not a big fancy place, just a local coffee shop with a friendly welcome to all who came. I remember the waitress treating my grandmother with respect and kindness. My visits to my grandmother’s home were precious to me because she loved me and made me feel precious.
My grandmother was older when I was born, but in her youth she traveled. My grandmother saw places and things that broadened her horizons. My own mother had the same desire to broaden horizons. Maybe her mother instilled this into all her children.
My mother took great pleasure in taking her grandchildren on adventures. My daughter and son were blessed to live in the area and so they benefited by having adventures with Grandma. We have often joked that we could write a book!
My mother purchased season passes to the community swimming pool near her home. She bought bicycles at the Police Auction so that my kids had bikes to ride to the pool.
Mom and I made many excursions into the City to take the kids to the zoos, the museums, the Art Institute, and so much more. During several Christmas seasons my mother bought tickets for The Nutcracker Suite for my children. And the day after Thanksgiving was an annual train ride into the City to see the store windows and have lunch in the Walnut Room.
We even went on Road Trips, just the four of us. Wonderful memories were made.
My mother made her trips to see her out of state grandchildren as memorable as possible. And when they came to her home she stepped up her game to widen their horizons while she had time with them.
My Dad enjoyed sharing many things with their grandchildren as well. Grandfathers share different experiences than grandmothers do, but they are equally important.
My husband and I have enjoyed sharing adventures with our grandchildren. We have taken them to places near and far to share experiences. Most of our group outings include antique tractors and outdoor fun. We are blessed with four boys and a girl.
I have taken the two older boys to the City several times. We even were able to make one trip into the City with my mother while she could still take part. Shopping, Sightseeing, Museums, Zoos, and more. As the younger two boys are growing we are looking for ways to seek adventure with them.
Our granddaughter and I have enjoyed many plays and musicals in local theaters around our area. We are blessed to have a generous family member who shares her tickets to Broadway in Chicago productions. Last year we were given tickets to “Aladdin” and this year we were blessed with tickets to “Wicked”.
My granddaughter and I spent two days in the City for our special weekend. We had the tickets to see the musical, and we planned to stay overnight at a nice hotel. Usually, my trips to the City included either driving or taking the train to Union Station. Then we either walked or caught a cab to our location.
This time I took the time to learn about the bus routes around the City. I called the hotel and spoke to the Concierge; I talked to my friend who lives in the City, I checked the internet. This Suburban grandmother was going to jump into public transportation with both feet! Now, that may not seem like a big deal to you, but it was a very big deal to me because I felt so responsible for my granddaughter. And the funny thing is that by the end of our City Adventure my girl was showing responsibility for me!
It is so important to me to be sure my grandchildren know how precious they are to me. I want to show them as much of Life and Joy in the world as I can. I want to show them how to give and share. I want them to know how blessed they are and then to share their blessings with others.
Addition: In March 2018 we were blessed with a visit from our daughter and second grandson who live in Nebraska. We spent a day with the farm cousins in my mother’s hometown. We saw our remaining aunt and as many cousins as possible. We told stories, laughed a lot, and made new memories. On another day we took our granddaughter along and spent the day in the City to visit the Art Institute. I look forward to more days in the City this summer, with the younger grandsons as well.
This brings me back to my original thought: TRADITION!
It is our Family Tradition to love, and share, and give.
It is our Family Tradition to look for the Adventure and GO FOR IT!
It is our Family Tradition to build into other people, lift them up.
Make a place better than it was when you found it!
What legacy are you building in your family?
What Traditions are you handing down?