In 1978, President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be national Grandparents Day; this year it falls on September 10th. It’s a day for grandchildren to show their love and appreciation to those with whom they hold a special bond.
That bond can last a long time. Decades after my grandparents passed, I still miss them.
My paternal grandmother was my “fun” grandma. When I was 10, she gave me my first and last corset. It was red and came with a matching petticoat. She said it would make me stand up straight. I didn’t care about that, I just thought it made me look like Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke. Apparently, so did my mother. It mysteriously disappeared a few days later. Yes, we were very close, especially during those pre-teen years, when the enemy of my mother was my friend.
My only grandfather who was alive when I was born told some of the best stories, giving me precious insight into what it was like in the early 20th century. Steeped inside his messages were values like the importance of family and a good education.
He taught me how to drive, and when I accidentally pushed too hard on the gas pedal and rammed his new blue Ford pickup into the corner of the barn, he taught me about unconditional love.
If you are lucky enough to have grandchildren, make sure to spend as much time as you can with them now. They will likely remember what you taught them and how much you loved them for the rest of their lives.
Today’s technology makes it easy to keep in touch even if you live far away. Someone suggested recently that one should buy grandchildren their own domain name. Then, through the years, you can keep an online scrapbook together, documenting events, milestones and accomplishments. When they are a little older you can share recipes, jokes, and family stories. It will be a lovely legacy.
I’d like to introduce our new president of Lifestyles After 50, Ed Graves. Most recently, he was the Senior Group Publisher for 12 Gate House Media newspapers in Eastern Arkansas. Previous to that, he spent 28 years with the Gannett media company including USA Weekend magazine. He’s lived in Pensacola, Melbourne and Palm Coast and says he’s glad to back in Florida.
We also welcome some writers to this edition. Reader Michael Wright has won a couple of our Literary Corner contests and we enjoyed his work so much, we asked him to join our Lifestyles family. Susan Goldfein will be sharing her unfiltered wit and wisdom as she enters a second career as a blogger, author and speaker. Teresa Kindred’s lighthearted humor can be enjoyed in her piece, “Ten Ways to Be a Super Cool Nana.”
September is a great month for travel because the rates are off-season and the families are in the back-to-school routine. With this in mind, we thought it’s time for a trip to a Florida beach – pet pal and all. We’ve created a list of pet-friendly beachfront escapes where you and Fido can walk out the door and be right at the shore. And while you’re at it, take a photo of your favorite pet (of any species) and enter our website’s Cutest Pet Contest.
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Terri Reeves, Editor