The Best Stories

Today our family spent the day at my in-laws.  It was a great day! Great food, great weather, and great fellowship.  In the afternoon we all piled into our van and headed to a few cemeteries to leave flowers on the graves of loved ones.

It’s something my wife and mother-in-law remember doing when they were younger.  I hope my daughters will always remember this afternoon too.  For a couple of hours they we’re unplugged from technology listening as their Grandparents shared stories.

Stories of Great Grandparents and family members my kids never knew.  Stories about what things were like when my in-laws were younger.

We saw the headstones of distant relatives and learned a little bit about each one.  We drove by different houses and places of interest. Each one with their own story.

This afternoon I realized that the best stories aren’t found in books. The best stories come from loved ones sharing about the people, places, and times that were special to them.

You can learn a lot if you take the time to listen to those a generation or two ahead of you.  I wish I could go back in time and hear a few more stories from my Grandparents.

What’s your favorite story you remember hearing from a Grandparent?

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Skip The Shortcuts

Mowing the lawn is not one of my most favorite things to do.  It’s only made tolerable by listening to some of my favorite podcasts.  So when it’s time to mow I usually like to get right at it to get it done and over with.

Today I was tempted to fire up the mower and go but knew the blade needed to be sharpened and the underneath cleaned out.  I wanted to take a shortcut and skip the maintenance but decided to do it anyway.

I’m glad I skipped the shortcut.  It only took ten minutes to sharpen the blade and clean the mower.   Spending those few minutes no doubt saved me the frustration of having to go slower because of a dull blade and clogged mower.  Plus, a sharp blade is better for the grass and makes the yard look better.

It was a reminder to me that shortcuts don’t always save time.  In fact, they could end up costing time in the long run and don’t produce as good of results.

We live in a “gotta have everything now can’t be made to wait” society… but sometimes slowing down and spending a little extra time to do things the right way is worth it in the end.

Ever have a shortcut end up taking more time or produce lack luster results?

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Frosting Memories

It’s my birthday week.  Getting another year older isn’t something that really excites me but I love my birthday.  It’s mostly because every year my wife makes me a homemade carrot cake.

We’re talking making it from scratch from the tea room recipe her Mom gave her.  The kind where you grate the carrots by hand.  The only box involved in this recipe  is the one the raisins come out of. Yes, I like raisins in my carrot cake.

There are two things I love most about my birthday cake. The effort and love my wife puts into making it each year and the fact that it reminds me of my Grandma.

It’s not so much the cake that reminds me of Grandma.  It’s the cream cheese frosting.  That frosting always takes me back to my Grandma’s kitchen.

I think that’s because my Grandma always had a dessert in the house. Not some package of store bought cookies.  Real desserts.  A cake, cookies, or pan of bars could always be found at Grandma’s house. You considered yourself especially lucky if you dropped by when there were applesauce bars on the table.

While some may dread getting another year older I actually look forward to it because it means for a few days I’ll spend some time enjoying carrot cake and remembering my Grandma.

What’s the one food that reminds you of your Grandma?

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