Growing up, at least every other month, we would load up the minivan and make the long drive to Grandma’s house. Inevitably, the song “Sweet Child of Mine” would come on the radio and during the part that said, “Where do we go now?” my brothers and I would always sing “to Grandma’s house.” Little did I know the lessons in life that I would learn visiting Grandma. That is why I believe in trips to Grandma’s house.
My grandmother lived way out in the country in southern Kentucky. She lived in a little town that had one grocery store, one gas station, and the nearest fast food restaurant was a thirty minute drive. That was a big change for a girl who was used to eating out a lot. I would arrive at her house to hugs, kisses, and, something sweet to eat.
Going to my grandma’s house was like stepping back in time. She had one television in the family room that received its signal from an antenna on a pole in the back yard. She received four channels that were fuzzy even on a good day. I looked at my grandma one and inquired, “You don’t have cable! What are we supposed to do?” She just smiled knowingly and replied, “You’ll think of something.” Little did I know that she was teaching me my first lesson. She was teaching me to entertain myself.
One of my favorite aspects of the visit was the family dinner. As everyone arrived, the house got so full, it was bursting at the seams. When everything was prepared, everyone would gather around an enormous table.
Then the stories would begin. Through those stories, I learned a lot about my relatives. When dinner was over, the women of the family would begin to clean up the kitchen. Being the only girl grandchild for a long time, this was a treat. The conversation drifted to “women talk” as Grandma would call it, and it made me feel a connection with my female relatives that was unparalleled. In looking back, I realize that she was teaching me the importance of knowing and spending time with your family.
For nineteen years of my life, my parents have preached to always respect your elders. “They’ll teach you life lessons, you just have to watch,” said my father one day. Of course, me being the little prissy girl I was at the time didn’t listen. I never realized how right he was until I decided to write this paper. I have learned so much from my Grandma without her even saying a word, and you can too from your grandparents. Our elders have come from a time we haven’t experienced, and the wisdom they share with us is priceless. If there is one gift I know that I will give to my own children, it is in the time-honored tradition of taking trips to Grandma’s house. That is why I believe in trips to Grandma’s house.
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