My Grandma Hanson could entertain, teach and discipline without actually disciplining the children in the family. Peeling a potato with a peeler – feeling the skin, the water you washed it in, why we should eat that potato or whatever fruit or vegetable we were preparing — were always part of her teachings.
Children learned what measuring was all about and were able to observe and help her as she prepared oh so many meals.
The grandchildren liked to do dishes when they could squish the soap suds, felt big when they could pick up the dirt from the floor by sweeping, could mix things together and wear an apron like hers.
Picking up sticks or pulling weeds or dandelions could be a counting game, as were climbing the stairs and counting the steps.
My sister, Kaye, also taught a form of “Grandma School.” She was great at teaching her boys to be watchful when she was driving, identifying cars, the shapes and colors of signs and what they meant. She also explained why we have rules of the road and the value of side vison so one didn’t get caught unaware of dangers along the road.
Her boys still observe and identify makes and models of cars and, of course, license plates.
I’ve always enjoyed watching “Smarter than a 5th-grader” though it should be renamed, “Smarter than a kid.” Children do have natural abilities. Adults don’t always squish them.
Mrs. Zeman, who raised her family east of Geneva back when I was growing up, would bring her children into the town restaurant, not necessarily for the food, but to read the menu, as well as learn how they should behave when in a restaurant. She also taught them how to order their meals, etc. so when the real opportunity would come up they knew how to act, order a meal, and so on.
Another type of Grandma, or Mother School in this case.
The natural and the obvious of childhood intelligence is often overlooked. It is time we realize it.
I see by the Mankato paper that condolences need to be extended to Dan Dorman of Albert Lea.
Dan’s 75-year-old bus driving father-in-law walked across the road to pick up his mail and was killed by a lady who was texting a message on her phone to her daughter as she was driving down the road. The lady didn’t realize where she was until she saw the blaze of orange from what the victim was wearing.
A high price to pay for distracted driving. The memory of the tragedy will linger for longer than the few minutes it would have taken to stop her vehicle and relay the message if it was really that important.
Cell phones are a convenience and a blessing, but what did we do before they hit the market? It is not the phone, like guns, that is the problem. It is the misuse of the equipment that matters.
Today is the oldest you’ve ever been and also the youngest you’ll ever be again. Make the most of it. Let’s make this day worthwhile.
Smile and know God is watching you. I know because I asked him to!
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Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, April 7th: Janye Villarreal, Janice Jensen Skovera, Lou Hanson-Vu, Katie Lembke, Michael & Kari Ingvaldson, Gary & Sonya Peterson
• Friday, April 8th: Ivy Obermoller, Dick Tracy, Nick Vreeman, Tim Stollard, Mark Hemingway, Sherri Carlson, Karen O'Byrne, Bob Donovan, David Pitcock, Dale & Vivian Dulas, Paul & Karissa Dolan
• Saturday, April 9th: Becky Larson, Justin Tufte, June Lageson, Abby Paige Christopherson, Raianna Thomas, Jim Kaplan, Kiersten Knudson, Mike Nechanicky, Larry Sarver, Clarice McGrath, Tiffany Chrz, Joe & Mandy Moon
• Sunday, April 10th: Kimberly Luhring, Sara Bergerson, Sarah Skroch, Sophia Rose Christensen, Luke David Olson, Daniel Gould, Liz Reichl, Harold Pitcock, Arlen & Coleen Brekke, Lawrence & Dorothy Sprankle
• Monday, April 11th: Barb Marcus, Ruth Benson, Lori Dobberstein Sodeman, Jessica Dobberstein, Jacob Alan Reynolds, Dan Nelson, Darrin Thostenson, Theresa Bartsch, James Thompson
• Tuesday, April 12th: Tiegen Kay Richards, her 8th; Rory Ann Bickler, Guy Cromwell, Charise Oland, Cheryl Thompson, Deb Wilking, Allen & Betty Brandt, Roger & Reta Draayer
• Wednesday, April 13th: Victor Mrotz, Jamie Johnson, Andrea Casteron Malo, Ava Raye Chapman, her 7th; David Clausen, Margie Nesdahl, Pat O'Conner, Jason Sullivan, Roxie Ritz Simmons, Megan Benson, Charlotte Miller, Curtis Klecker, Shannon & Jason Peterson, their 11th
• Thursday, April 14th: Dakota Clark, Anna Elizabeth Bailey, Tina Hagen, Jason Vogt, Rachel Oswald, Marcia Hemingway Jensen, David Jensen, Ron Huber, Butch & Gail Ottesen8; Terry Jensen, Barry Troe, James Benson, Sarah Christine George, Cayla Conroy
It is your special day - take a break and celebrate!