SP Premium
BROOKLYN_BORN
100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 125,406
SparkPoints
 

An old lady’s advice – the view from the far side

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My grandmother was 65 when I was born. She seemed old to me from my earliest memory. Now I’m 65 and I have 6 grandchildren ages 11-18. I wonder if I look old to them.

She arrived in the USA in 1900 alone at age 17 on a ship that still had sails along with an engine. I saw a picture of it at Ellis Island. Today I can see photos of outer space provided by astronauts on the International Space Station. “Baba” and I led different lives. “Baba” literally means “old woman” in Slovak – kind of loses something in translation, doesn’t it?

Widowed twice with 6 children, she worked “outside the home” as a cleaning lady – long hours, low pay. No wonder she never really learned to speak English. There was little time to “improve” herself. She did the best she could until her death at age 93 still living in her own home (rented), cooking on a coal stove which also provided the only heat.

I had it easier. However, my demanding job, 3 children and their activities, plus a stressful daily commute didn’t leave much free time either. I thought I did the best I could.

Looking back there were things I could have done better. I’ve written about some of them previously. 50 years ago Baba was warning me to avoid the new stuff they were putting in food. She didn’t know the word “processed” but she knew food was changing.

I spent summers with her as a child since my parents wanted me to get out of “the city” as much as possible. I walked with her to “town” everyday and to nearby “blueberry hill” to get the main ingredient of her pies. If you know northeastern PA, those “hills” are steep! We always picked more than we needed so we would sell the rest to a man from “the city” who bought them for commercial bakeries. 25 cents a QUART! I had $300 in my bank account by age 12. That’s a lot of blueberries!

When I was upset about something, she would tell me “nebudz taka” – don’t be like that. She didn’t mean I should just accept the situation, but I shouldn’t let it get the best of me. “Don’t stress your heart”

I have more time now to follow Baba’s advice. I regret that I didn’t make more of an effort to do it sooner. I well know how hard it is with competing demands on your time.

I hope all you young women (and men) will make a healthy lifestyle a priority. It’s not perfection we’re seeking, but each day to be better than we were. These years count too.

Related blog: Grandma said: “always get a fresh chicken”.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
ge_public_journal_individu
al.asp?blog_id=5069977
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ROOSTER72
    Grandmothers have so much to offer - if only we would listen.
    Nice blog, thanks.

    2575 days ago
  • MNNICE
    I so agree that when we are busy with our jobs, children, husbands, homes, and all that goes along with it, we do NOT take time for ourselves. I see many young women in their 30s gaining weight, and I can totally understand why because I made the same misteakes with eating what was quickest and easiest and not taking time to exercise. It always makes me glad to see the young women on here realizing that their own health is important and finding the time to fit "themselves" into their busy schedules. I certainly wish I hadn't waited until i was almost 50 to take care of me!
    2575 days ago
  • SUZYMOBILE
    I think there's no doubt that 65 today isn't the 65 that we remember! And the good thing is, your kids and grandkids probably don't see you as old either. Just last night, Bill's oldest daughter said, "Sue sure doesn't look 65!" so she's still operating under the old perception that 65 is "old lady" status. Someday, though, that will change, and as they say, 75 will become the new 65.

    (And this is the kind of blog I was talking about.)
    2575 days ago
  • CELIAMINER
    You really do write well! You could write a book from your blogs. Thanks!
    2575 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    Great blog, I wish I paid more attention to my grands growing up! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2575 days ago
  • COCK-ROBIN
    Wonderful! And you're right. They have a lot to teach us if we'll listen.
    2575 days ago
  • TWEETYKC00
    Our elders do have the knowledge and their own unique ways that speak of their own years of struggle and it always seems that we take too long to listen to the wisdom they try to share. Better late than never, though.
    2575 days ago
  • IDAHOFLOWER
    It is nice to remember those wonderful times.
    Keep sparking.
    2575 days ago
  • SWEDE_SU
    thank you for sharing! your grandma was a wise lady.
    2575 days ago
  • MISCHAKEO
    Lovel blog. What wonderful memories of your gtrandmother and summers.
    Good advice for the young people to live a healthy life now!
    2575 days ago
  • MAGGIE101857
    Don't you sometimes wish you could turn back the clock! When we are young, we think the wise words of our elders are "fool's talk" - now we know better!!!! She sounds like she was an amazing woman!!!

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful memories!!!
    2575 days ago
  • WONDERWOMAN
    Just beautiful.
    2575 days ago
  • JODNEX
    What beautiful memories!
    2575 days ago
  • SAGELADY2
    Thanks for the reminders we forget about. Grandama's are always special, no matter what the decade they come in.
    2575 days ago
  • GOPINTOS
    Loved this blog! Thank you for sharing!
    2575 days ago
  • BOILHAM
    What wonderful memories of your Baba. How much younger we are today than our peers of 50 years ago. I love your blogs!
    2575 days ago
  • WILSONWR
    Great story. We do learn a lot from our "elders" - hopefully we can pass that knowlege down to the youth of today.
    2575 days ago
  • ONMYMEDS
    I so hope you never stop blogging. Thank you, once again for starting my day with a good feeling.
    2575 days ago
  • STORMIWEATHER
    Enjoyed your blog.
    The processing of our food these days has really taken away the healthiness of food and the taste. My mom always said "you can not make a good pan of Dressing if you can not make a good pan of cornbread" Well with the ingredients tthey put in cornmeal (or rather take out) leaves the wonderful taste of cornbread only a fond memory. We use to eat it like it was cake. And with a pat of butter , it was devine. Jiffy meal don't measure up.

    The things our ancestors could teach us....
    2575 days ago
  • DAWN14163
    What words of wisdom - from Baba and you! "It's not perfection we're seeking, but each day to be better than we were"......how very true.
    2575 days ago
  • GHOSTFLAMES
    YOUR AS YOUNG AS YOU FEEL. ONE DAY AND ONE STEP AT A TIME WE WILL DO THIS WE ARE WORTH IT.
    REMEMBER TO TRACK DAILY YOUR FOOD AND FITNESS TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.
    WE ARE ALL HERE FOR YOU IF YOU NEED ANYTHING AT ALL JUST ASK. TAKE CARE AND GOOD LUCK ON YOUR SPARK JOURNEY.
    2575 days ago
  • FITFOODIE806
    So glad I have found you on spark! Thanks for this great blg this morning. It sounds like ou have many good memories of a cool lady :)
    2575 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment


    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.