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I’ve been thinking about traditional values a lot. Specifically, I’ve been thinking about the values that my grandparents taught me.

  1.  Work hard.  My grandfather graduated with a degree in mining engineering as many mines across the US were starting to play out.  Yes, he worked as a mining engineer but he also managed a gas station, custom painted cars and maintained the city parks.
  2. Get creative.  Because they kept chickens, my grandmother saved the print fabric feed bags.  She used the prettiest prints to make dresses for the girls.  She used the geometrics for the boys.  The rest became underwear.  That has never been lost on me.  She made their underwear.
  3. Be generous.  They didn’t have a lot but what they had, they shared.  There were never only 5 plates at the table for Sunday dinner.  Everyone who was there got a chair and a plate and there were always friends and neighbors present.
  4. Laugh.   My maternal grandparents loved to laugh.  Most of the photos I have of them include one if not both of them with a big grin.  Laughter is essential.
  5. Have Faith.  All four of my grandparents were faithful.  We prayed when times were hard.  We read scripture.  And we learned to give people the space for their own beliefs.  Granted, in my Protestant family, this often meant no more than giving people the space to be Catholic but I’ve chosen to apply this a bit more broadly.

Hard work. Creativity. Generosity. Laughter.  Faith.  These are the family values I experienced as a child.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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