First of many

It happened at Twin Rivers Community Park yesterday at 4:00 p.m.  I arrived at the Park with my lawn chair, hat and camera in tow.  As I came around field #2, I heard my daughter yell, “Nanni.”  I turned and saw my daughter and her two small sons eagerly awaiting my granddaughter’s first t-ball game.

first of many
First game! (photo by slc)

We secured our spot just to the right of the first base dugout in the shade of a small tree.  The boys were busy digging in the dirt with a stick they had found.  My granddaughter, donned in a bright yellow ball cap, was sitting patiently on the bench in the dugout with her 11 member “Atlanta Braves” team.  In an effort to organize the little ball players, her dad assisted the coach by getting batting helmets on the players and a bat in hand.  The 4-5 year olds now looked like small bobble-head dolls as they walked out to the plate barely able to see under the helmet.

Weeks before the game, her mom told me it took awhile for Jovie (age 5) to pick out a pink and black ball glove.  You see, Jovie is left-handed therefore she bats left-handed, but she throws right-handed.

At the game, she was a natural.  She focused on her throwing, fielding, running and batting.  We were all so very proud.

first of many
Brother Waving to Sis on the Field (photo by slc)

Jovie’s mom and dad played t-ball as youngsters and it is great fun watching this new generation grow up with sports in their lives.  Playing sports brings families together and creates wonderful memories.

I am truly a blessed “Nanni” (grandma) and I treasure the memory of being at the first of many games to come.

Planting seeds and memories

Planting memories

Spring has sprung and so have seeds and memories.  My daughter wanted to start some seeds inside with her five-year-old daughter this spring.  She asked if I would help.  Being an avid gardener since my 4-H days on the farm and loving to spend time with my family, I was delighted to assist.

I bought a 36-count box of the refill Jiffy Peat Pellets, found one of the trays my daughter and I used to start seeds in when she was a girl and I headed over to their house.  My three grandkids, my daughter and I piled into her vehicle (it had the three car seats) and headed to Lowe’s for some seeds.  We carefully selected marigolds, cosmos, cucumbers, sweet peas, cilantro, and sweet peppers.

Planting memories

Once the boys were down for their afternoon naps, we got busy planting seeds.  First, my granddaughter, Jovie, and I placed all the peat pellets in the tray.  Next, my daughter added warm water  and we all watched as the peat pellets expanded as they absorbed the water.  Then we made little indentations in the top of each pellet.  Jovie’s slender little fingers were just the right size to gently place two or three seeds in each one.  She carefully pinched the peat over the top of the precious seeds and now the tray of peat pellets was ready to be covered and placed in a sunny window. Lastly, we placed a heating pad under the tray and turned it on for an hour or so.

Planting memories
March 24, 2017 (slc)

Driving away from their home that day I felt very blessed to have such a loving family and to be able to share my passion for gardening with them.  Planting seeds and memories.

Two days later, I received a phone call from Jovie who excitedly told me some of the marigold seeds had sprouted.  It was supposed to take at least 7-14 days for most of the seeds to come up but the heating pad accelerated that timing.  I told Jovie that she had a “green thumb.” She did not know what that meant so I had the pleasure of explaining it to her.  A new generation of gardeners has sprung. Planting memories.

planting memories

Questing–Transform your retirement


The Search for Significance

We have found in our research that all individuals feel the most satisfied with their life when they are on a search for significance, whether they acknowledge it or not.  Americans need to know that their lives have meaning and purpose: we are not just passing time and taking up space.  The success of Pastor Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life (it has sold 25 million copies and is the best-selling hardcover book in American history), speaks to our hunger for significance.  The most mentally healthy retirees are those who have found ways to satisfy their search for significance.

In seeking to understand and flesh out this important concept, we developed a comparison we call adventure vs. quest.  As adventure is an activity that benefits the person, such as playing tennis or traveling.  Adventures are an important part of health living and are what most individuals look forward to when they think about retirement.  However, an adventure has no sustainable significance.

In contrast, a quest involves one or more participants lending themselves to a greater cause.  A quest transforms a poor or average retirement into a mind-blowing, all-fulfilling, energized retirement journey.  The possibilities are endless and only limited by our unwillingness to expand our horizons. Examples of possible quests include:

  • Regularly scheduled volunteering (individual or organizing a group)
  • Mentoring someone younger than yourself (adult or child)
  • Teaching classes to adults or children or
  • Catastrophe relief efforts

Read moreQuesting–Transform your retirement

Three generations play with Etch A Sketch and Twister…

Most people I know love babysitting grandchildren at least once in awhile.  Saturday night I was scheduled to babysit my three adorable grandbabies, so I gathered up a couple of my daughter’s old toys to take to their home for entertainment.  I chose her Etch A Sketch and the game Twister.  They both became instant hits with the grandkids.

Of course, the two older children (ages three and nearly five) fought EtchASketch10-23-2004.jpgover the Etch A Sketch.  I set a timer so they could both have their time exploring how it worked.  I guess fearing the game would not be working when her time came, the oldest, Jovie, asked me where the batteries go.  She didn’t quite understand the concept of it not needing batteries or a plug to make it work.  Both kids were fascinated by the fact that they could draw with it and then erase what they drew by shaking it.  Oh, the simple things in life!

The biggest thrill, at least for Jovie and I, was playing Twister.  She knows her colors and she had a great time learning which was her right and left hand and foot.  The boys liked the spinner.  I even took a turn on the plastic mat.  Of course the first two or three color/hand/foot combinations left me spread clear across it.  I held on for as long as I could but the boys decided to climb on my back, so we all collapsed in a pile of laughs!  Even the little guy (14 months) mimicked his big sister and placed his hands and feet on the brightly colored dots.  The game was a hit!  In this fast paced world of electronic games which make all sorts of noises and have flashy lights, it was nice to see some of the classic old games still entertain my young grandchildren.


A little history on these two old-time favorites from my childhood, as well as my daughter’s:

Read moreThree generations play with Etch A Sketch and Twister…

I love my grandchildren but do I spoil them too much?

I am blessed with three wonderful grandchildren.  Being a grandmother is the best role in the world, but it sometimes can be a balancing act when it comes to spoiling grandchildren.  The following article from Healthy Living Made Simple speaks to that balance:

Offering Sweet Without the SourMagazine November/December 2016

Establishing boundaries for spoiling grandchildren

by Dr. David Elkind

“The adage, ‘The more things change the more they remain the same,’ is as true for grandparenting as it is for so many facets of family life.  Despite societal changes and advances in healthcare and technology that are allowing grandparents to take a more active role in the lives of their grandchildren, some facets remain the same.  A prime example is the tendency for grandparents to spoil their grandchildren.

There are a variety of ways to spoil.  Perhaps the most common is for grandparents to be a bit more lenient with their grandchildren than parents are.  While this is usually harmless, a more risky form of spoiling is to give grandchildren more toys, more clothes or more devices than they may need or want.  This tendency is understandable, but can stem from a number of different underlying motives, acting alone or in concert.”

Read more

David Elkind, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of Child Development at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

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