Wisdom of the Ages: Grandparents

Happy Summer! ~ I wrote this post last summer and I’m just now posting it. So I’m happy to report that my hydrangeas are having their best year ever despite the heat and last year’s questionable guidance from the garden store. Perhaps, I, myself, have become an old wise person figuring out my hydrangea woes without any reliable help. Wouldn’t that be something?! 

Anyway, this post isn’t really about hydrangeas or even being older. It’s about how much we matter to each other. I felt this most keenly from my grandparents. Maybe you feel it from a spouse or close friend, and ideally, we all feel it in our relationship with God. 

Still, I would like to acknowledge the unique role grandparents play in our lives. My own grandparents left an indelible mark on the parts of me that I like the best. And, as a mother who has watched her children grow up in the light of their own grandparents, I will be forever grateful for their love and influence. So for all you wonderful grandparents, pretend like I’m giving you some freshly cut hydrangeas from my yard. After all, it’s the thought that counts and I know your grandbabies think the world of you. I also know how right they are. ~ Love, Lara

I have always liked old people. They were nice to me. They knew stuff and never made me feel bad for all the things I didn’t know. Sometimes they would give me candy or money or tell stories that felt like a comparable treasure.

Grandparents were the ultimate old people. They were this magical mix of love and wisdom that assured me that the world was good and that I was too. I haven’t had a grandparent in decades.  The last time I did, the internet didn’t exist. If we wanted to know something we had to go to the library or ask an old person. I preferred the latter. This summer, my treasured hydrangeas that once boasted showy blooms and giant emerald leaves became stunted and deformed dappled by the powdery mildew of fungal disease and rust-colored spots.

I searched the internet and read until I was thoroughly confused by the array of diagnoses and conflicting remedies. For the sake of clarity, I went to the garden store fanning my sampling of diseased leaves like a bad hand of dealt cards similar to the one Kenny Rogers cautioned about in his song, The Gambler, “you got to know when to hold ‘em; know when to fold ‘em.” I told the sad story of disfigurement as if I were writing my own country song. All the while, the garden store employee hmmed and hawed making twisty faces with her mouth at all the right parts of my lamentation as if she understood both my plight and the solution that would cure it. When I finished, she pulled out her cell phone to do her own internet search.

I left dubious with a $20 fungicide and a deep longing for old people. I grew up when music television was the rage and neon clothes the norm so I hardly feel nostalgic for anything old-fashioned. But my longing isn’t so much for the good old days (whatever they were) but for grandparents. In these days of information overload, I miss the simplicity of the plain way that old people spoke that could tell you whatever you needed to know in less than a sentence. There was comfort in their knowing. Read more