Written By Susan Good, Gramma Good
Last night a friend asked me, “Rumor has it you are selling your home.” My answer was, “ Not today, but who knows about tomorrow.” And that is the story of life. Time will tell what 2014 will have in store for me.
There are two health regimes on my agenda for 2014. I am going to juice daily and I am going to take a course in meditation. I will take up unknown challenges that excite me or scare me. I may participate in the upcoming political elections because I follow politics and would enjoy being involved. I may finally take out my beautiful purple bike that I bought two years ago and takes rides by myself. I want to plan a trip to Rwanda and see the Silverback Gorillas and go to the North Pole to see the Polar Bears with my husband.I feel enthusiastic about the following:
Will all of these activities pan out? They will if I put my mind to it. That is what’s wonderful about life. And who knows what may pop up, out of nowhere, that will take me on another adventure. I will keep you posted.
The best activity for all of us is to have an open mind. Ride the wave, grammas! And tell your children and grandchildren to ride theirs.
DO Something GOOD Today: Make your goals for 2014!
New York! New York! It’s wonderful town…especially at Christmas with your husband and members of your family.
New York at Christmas is the hustle and bustle of taxis and New Yorkers; The Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall; Times Square that attracts more visitors than any other tourist attraction in the world; the outdoor skating rink at Rockefeller Center and last but not least an energy of spirit that you cannot find any where else in the entire world. And much is free to the public.
My favorite Christmas in New York was with 3 of our grandsons. Shelly and I lived New York through their eyes on their first trip to the Big Apple. We ice skated at Rockefeller Center, we saw the Rockettes at Radio Music Hall, we even took a family carriage ride through Central Park singing songs, laughing and snuggled up in blankets to fight the chilly holiday air. They saw their first Broadway play, the Lion King, had corn beef sandwiches bigger than they were, potato pancakes so greasy they slid off the plate topped off with a giant dill pickle and coleslaw all at the famous Carnegie Deli! When we asked them what they wanted for desert they all said in unison, “nothing, thank you, Honey and Papa”! We took them to the New York Stock Exchange; The Empire State building and a boat ride out to the Statue of Liberty, where I told them the story of the French gifting America our Lady Liberty, the most beautiful woman in the world in their grammas eyes.
We took them to the Apple Store, (one of this gramma’s favorite stops) where we bought them each a holiday present.
After our three- day trip, we boarded our American Airlines flight back to Chicago, our home. As we flew into O’Hare, I looked over at my wonderful husband and my three exhausted grandsons and a wave of love passed through me for these three little boys and the man who made it all possible…my husband, Shelly.
I recently flew home from California with my husband, Shelly, and my dog, Orchid, to share the holidays with our family. My suitcase is filled with loving gifts that I have selected for our grandchildren and my mind is filled with an abundance of happiness knowing that everyone in our family is in a wonderful frame of mind (which is not always the case in large blended families such are ours, or any family for that matter!).
In our family this Thanksgiving Hanukah we are celebrating a third event of important significance. The engagement of my first- born grandson! How special is that!!
I started to wonder about the history of the diamond because of the engagement ring that my grandson gave to his wife-to-be. The ring belonged to his great-great grandmother – my gramma.
The age of the ring made me wonder about the history of the diamond. I did some research and here is what I found:
The name diamond is derived from the ancient Greek αδάμας (adámas), meaning “unbreakable.” Diamonds are thought to have been first recognized and mined in India. They have been treasured as gemstones since their use as religious icons. Their usage as engraving tools also dates to early human history. The popularity of diamonds has risen since the 19th century for many reasons. Increased supply, improved techniques, and successful advertising campaigns (“A diamond is forever”) helped launch the diamond into a new tradition of use in engagement and wedding rings.
Diamonds are treasured for their purity and permanence, but also for their history. A diamond ring passed down from generations has a personal significance that store-bought rings cannot replace. I think of how happy my grandmother must have been when she received that ring, just as my grandson’s new fiancé must have felt when it was presented to her.
Do Something GOOD Today: Explore the history of an heirloom in your family.
During the holidays, I am reminded of how my daughter expressed her wishes during the holiday season when she was 10 years old. This is the story of my daughter’s determination–and of how her parents handled it.
We lived in a wonderful home in Honolulu. We celebrated Hanukkah. We lit the Menorah for eight nights. We did not have a Christmas tree. My daughter was heartbroken. She wanted a tree, like her friends up and down the street. We explained why there would be no tree and we taught her the story of Hanukkah. We did not give in.
But this darling daughter of mine did not give in either! She was determined. The first year she took family pictures of us out of family albums and taped them on the wall on our porch in the shape of a Christmas tree. That night we lit the Hanukkah candles. We told our daughters stories and sang Hanukkah songs and passed around little gifts while the Christmas-shaped family collage loomed over our shoulders! We allowed her to leave her creative tree taped to the wall.
The next year, I drove into our driveway and noticed through our windows twinkling lights in red and green and white blinking on and off, on and off! Walking into our home I saw that this daughter of mine had lit up our large trees in the living room with Christmas lights! I smiled to myself and thought my how my daughter’s determination and spunk are still at play… great qualities if channeled properly.
What did her father and I say? What would you say? Again, we went through the tradition of lighting our Menorah, telling stories and passing out little presents–adding there would be no Christmas tree–but allowing the tree lights to twinkle.
The third year I noticed nothing at the holidays until I went upstairs to tuck her into bed and kiss her good night. And what did I see? A tiny, live Ch
ristmas tree on her nightstand, all lit up and aglow! I smiled to myself. This daughter of mine would get through life with her determination. I sat down and again stressed the importance of our tradition and the pride she should feel for her religion and family history. I left her room with her little tree next to her side, never asking her to remove it from its special place. The next year there was no tree!
My determination as her mother was to be her teacher in a positive manner. Through positive reinforcement of her religion, she would eventually choose her path. Her determination, which was a great part of her being, was not dampened. She is now the mother of five and the Menorah is lit at Hanukkah.
Grammas, it is far better to use sugar rather than vinegar when stressing important points to our grandchildren!! That is a great value.
Do something GOOD today: Keep your own faith while respecting others.