I’m Not My Mother’s Grandmother…

I’m not even “my” grandmother…

My Grandparents 50th anniversary

My grandparents 50th anniversary

My Grandma is in the middle of the picture above and she is basically the same age as I am right now. Seriously…I know times have changed but I can’t believe looking at this picture that she is the same age as me.

Are we, the Baby Boomers really looking and acting younger than our grandparents or is it just our imagination? Why did they seem so old back then? And why do we seem so much younger now? When I was growing up I can’t remember my grandparents, any of them, ever running and playing ball with us or hiking up a mountain in the summer heat. They did things with us but it was things like baking and reading and watching tv. I do remember Grandpa G telling some awesome stories about his days on the railroad. And I remember my Grandpa F taking me on some very long walks down to the park in their neighborhood.

As for they way they dressed or acted I can’t imagine what they would say if they could see us now. They acted “old”. When we visited with them and they were talking to my parents or other adults I couldn’t relate to anything they were talking about. Most of the time if we were even in the room during these conversations we were told to leave, that they were having an adult conversation, and for us to go play with the other kids. My grandchildren and I do lots of fun things when we are together and we have some great conversations on all kinds of topics, even politics. During one of these conversations they told me, “you sure don’t act or look like a grandma.” I’m hoping that is a compliment. You never know with them, but I’m going to take it as one.

 me...

me…same age as Grandma above

What’s changed? What’s different these days? Why did they seem so old and we look so much younger?  I think we take better care of ourselves now. We exercise. I never saw my grandparents exercise…ever. My oldest grandson and I have plank tournaments…who can hold one the longest. I beat him. The last time I asked if he wanted to have one he said no. When I asked him why he said because you will just beat me again. I am up to a two and a half minute plank. Could you see your grandparents doing a plank? I sure can’t.

Fashion has certainly changed along with the years. These days there are no rules about what you can or can’t wear as a “grandparent”. Thank goodness! My Grandma always wore a dress…always. And usually she had an apron on over it. She was almost always in the kitchen whipping up something wonderful for us kids to eat. My Dad’s mom did if I recall wear a pants suit now and then. I know I was shocked to see this and I’m sure it shocked her friends and neighbors. I remember when she moved to Florida I actually saw her in shorts. Unheard of in those days…she was such a trendsetter.

“Love is the greatest gift one generation can leave another.” ~ Richard Garnett

I often wonder when I look at their photos if I styled my hair the way they did, let it go grey( it may or may not be grey since I haven’t seen my real hair color in years) and wore the same dress if maybe I would look that way too. However it wouldn’t change who I am. I would still be the Grammie hiking up the trails and running around playing ball and jumping on the trampoline with my grands. I can’t even imagine seeing either of my grandmas jumping on a trampoline…just the thought of Grandma in her dress and oh, yes, her nylons — rolled at the knee–and the big thick shoes, which she never took off(I actually thought she wore them to bed) jumping on the trampoline cracks me up.

We are a different generation of grandparent. We are on Facebook and Instagram. We Tweet and Stumble and Tumble. We have lots of interests and hobbies. I have a blog. My grandson told me he was proud of me for starting this blog. It truly warmed my heart to have him say that to me. And that is one thing that doesn’t change from one generation to the next. We want our grandchildren to be proud of us. We want them to remember us when we aren’t here anymore. It doesn’t matter what we look like or how we dress, what matters is what they have learned from us, the times we shared and how they felt when we were together.

What do you remember about your grandparents? What do you hope your grandchildren will remember about you?

“Grandparents are a delightful blend of laughter, caring deeds, wonderful stories and love.” ~ Unknown

24 thoughts on “I’m Not My Mother’s Grandmother…

  1. Having just had one of those milestone birthdays I’ve been talking about age a lot lately too and the comparison I made was that my mother in law wasn’t much older than I am now when I met her but she has always seemed OLD to me. Certainly it’s a generational thing but also an individual thing. Look at Iris Apfel. Some people are always going to want to be young at heart. I hope to never grow “old”.

  2. I did a double take when I looked at your grandmother’s picture…mine looked exactly like yours! The thing that struck me though was that #1 Dental care was not very good and false teeth abounded. #2 Corsets/girdles and sensible shoes were always worn. Housedresses and aprons hung in every closet. Time certainly have changed.

    Even though I am 74, I still remain active my grandchildren. Every visit requires a long walk with a game usually played on the way. However, my grandmother was a true heroine in my world. She ran a grocery store, read me stories when I was sick and set a wonder example of gentleness and kindness. I love her to this day!

    Be well and keep these stories coming.

    b+

    http://www.retireinstyleblog.com

    1. Thank you Barbara for the kind words. I think a lot of our grandmothers looked alike. They didn’t have much going in the fashion world and surely didn’t color their hair. Sounds like your grandmother and you are great ones! and I sure remember the false teeth in the glass beside her bed…I was in awe of them.

  3. My father’s mother lived with his brother and his family; my mother’s mother lived with a sister and her family. They didn’t take a particular interest in me–they were more involved with my cousins. What I remember most about my mother’s mother is that she spoke 8 languages and taught me to count to ten in German. Both grandma’s looked “old”–dressed in housedress types of clothes. When they became grandmothers, my mother and my husband’s mother were much more vibrant and attuned somewhat to the culture. I think we’ve moved the needle even more.

    1. Wow, Penelope, your Grandmother spoke 8 languages…that is awesome! and you are right, we sure have moved that needle…

    1. Thanks for commenting Rena! I think about it when I see photos and go, OMG, she is the same age as me…freaks me out..

  4. My mother’s parents danced polkas at every wedding I went to as a child. Grandma was an avid gardener and great storyteller. Grandpa was an inventor. My father’s father died before I was born. Mom said, grandma suffered from a broken heart, that she was so much fun before Grandpa died.
    Yes, we are in better shape, but we also have better medical care, better nutrition, and haven’t been through as much strife as our grandparents.

    1. I agree that our grandparents went through a lot…but I have been too and I just keep trying and enjoying doing things with my grandchildren…we also have better fashion choices these days though so that is a good thing…

  5. I only had one GrandMother alive growing up which says something of the times as well. She danced at weddings and events and was a big swimmer. I wonder if she danced by herself to practice? I will dance but don’t ask me to get in a swim suit, I am all about rocking the surfer shorts for a swim! I wonder what they will say about that?

    1. I’m guessing our grands don’t care what we wear…they care about the time we spend with them..swim suit or no swim suit..Thanks for commenting Haralee!

  6. I guess my experience with my grandmother is unusual because she was both young (48 when I was born) and youthful. She was so much fun and I absolutely loved her – plus she was gorgeous! But I think, for the most part, you are correct – we are doing much more to take care of ourselves and look our best than perhaps our grandmothers did.

    1. Sharon, yes, 48 is very young for a grandmother. And we do take better care of ourselves and there are better options as far as our clothing choices….

  7. I wrote a post about a similar thought a few months ago – looking at my grandmother holding me when I was a baby, compared to me holding my new grandbaby – so different – different hair, different lifestyles, different attitudes (and she was a pretty groovy grandmother – but still with the short hair etc) I love that we can be whatever we want to and age is virtually irrelevant!

  8. I didn’t know my grandparents as all but my grandpa Bupp died before I was borne. And I only remember sitting on my grandpa’s knee and rubbing and kissing his bald head….how I loved his bald head. Unfortunately none of my grandchildren will know their grandfather but I want them to remember me as a fun person and giving them kisses whether needed or not, wiping away their tears and going to get an ice cream cone or pony ride to forget what made them cry in the first place. I’d like to think I will be around long enough to see them all grow up to be wonderful loving people but who knows what lies ahead for me. In the meantime I hope to build memories as much as I can for them so when I’m gone they will say “We miss you and will love you always Grandma”.

  9. Mine only played board games with us. They were always in dresses. I remember wonderful food. There were so many grandchildren that playing with them out side on the swing was active as we got. I did love spending time with them, but wish I had learned more family history from them.

  10. I never knew my grandparents, they all passed when I was a baby or before I was born, except for one grandpa on my dad’s side. He lived with my aunt who was a spinster until she finally married after he passed away and she was like 60 some years old, I was like 13 I guess. So if I look back at her and her style of clothing, etc. I can kinda relate to what you’re saying. 60 was OLD to us and here we are now, fast approaching 70 (well I am) lol. Times have changed, fashions have changed and hopefully our grands and great grands will remember US the way we are today and years from now will say “My Nana was a HOOT” lolol.

  11. I remember spending time with my grandma swimming in her pool, watching TV all night, and of course shopping! We used to just sit on the porch and talk about anything and everything…good memories! I too loved listening to Grandpa G tell stories about the railroad! He used to save pennies for me too! I can’t wait to create my own special memories with my grand kids someday! Thanks mom for doing that for my boys!

    1. I am glad you have good memories of spending time with Grandma Heather! And I love making special memories with the boys!

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