Monday, July 26, 2010

Doughnuts and Other Sweets

As you can see from my updated photo, I recently had the awesome privilege of having all four of my grandchildren with me. For nine days (yes, I counted) all of my children, sons-in-law and grandchildren were under my roof. Considering that they live on opposite sides of the country, it was remarkable. Day and night we had lots of noise, laughter, food and fun. We had an “unbirthday” party to celebrate the grandchildren’s birthdays with cupcakes and Dollar store gifts, took family photos, had a popcorn and movie night while the adult children went out for an evening and had an overnight to the beach. My three year old grandson Quinn painted a picture for me to hang with the other two who did the same at three. Next year, to keep the tradition, Addy will paint hers and I will have four framed on my wall.

When Kate and Heather made a trip to the supermarket, I received a text saying that they were heading to another store to buy iced angel doughnuts to continue our tradition. Chocolate iced doughnuts filled with white cream (not Bavarian) are one of the foods we ate on special occasions when the girls were growing up. Now, we enjoy the special treat when we are together and carry on the tradition with grandchildren, who by the way, think it is fantastic to eat doughnuts for breakfast.

Some experiences were planned, some were spontaneous. We were together and made memories. It was sweet.

We often think of traditions at holiday or birthday time but James Dobson speaks of the value of traditions:

“The great value of traditions comes as they give a family a sense of identity, belongingness. All of us desperately need to feel that we’re not just a cluster of people living together in a house, but we’re a family that’s conscious of its uniqueness, its personality, character and heritage, and that our special relationships of love and companionship make us a unit with identity and personality.”

As a long distance grandmother, I constantly look for ways to connect and develop a sense of belonging to each other while respecting individual families and despite distance. My doughnuts and paintings are two ways I do that. What about you? What are some of the challenges and successes you have found in developing traditions in your new boomer grandmother season? Is distance a challenge? Is proximity also a challenge? Won’t you share some of your sweet traditions with us?

On a very hot North Carolina day,

Marilyn
www.marilynnutter.com

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summertime Fun vs. Your Concerns

Hopefully, you are enjoying summertime fun and the lazy days of summer, at least occasionally. Marilyn and I chuckle and sometimes grimace, (her from the East Coast, and me from the West Coast) as we try to connect between our hectic schedules.

It's good we're busy, but some of the things we are dealing aren't necessarily pleasant. So, my question for boomer women today is, please tell us what concerns you. What topic would you like us to address in this forum?

Right off the top, my concerns are:

How do we manage our own lives when we need to help out because of restricting chronic health issues with our daughters, the mother of our grandchildren?

With our aging parents, how do we know when to "take charge" and when to "let go?" It is a fine line to walk.

Both questions may have a similar response in how to best deal with these challenging realities.

Those are examples, but let us hear what concerns you, and we'll brainstorm solutions on this site.

Here's to sunshine!
Judy

http://www.judydippel.com