In an effort to keep my goal of making family a priority, my dad and I have been doing our best to spend a day together every week. Dad is 88 and he is such a great guy. He is always interested. He never bores of tales told twice. He remembers and confirms those memories I have of growing up. He fills in the blanks. We usually drive to Orillia's Mariposa Market and enjoy what dad describes as "the-very-best-chocolate-donut-in-the-whole-world"...and a cup of their fair trade coffee. I am never disappointed in a day spent with my dad.
His mother, my nana, was also a great influence in my life. Nana taught me to never waste, and to make-do and be happy with all that we have. Nana produced no garbage...no waste. She could not afford to. She lived through a depression and growing up in a large family taught her many survival skills
I can remember grandpa wore flannel shirts most of the time. When they became worn at the elbow, they were cut down to become a short-sleeved shirt, and when they had become threadbare, they were put in the rag bag... but not before every pocket was cut off to be used as a patch, and every button was cut off and put in her button jar. Aprons covered and protected every one of the few dresses she owned. What we ate came from her kitchen. She made the best cookies and currant squares. There was no wasteful packaging, and certainly never a scrap made its way to the garbage when my brother and I were around.
At night, when we visited, we shared a pot of tea, and what I remember as a HUGE stack of toast and peanut butter. We played "snap" with her and grandpa until we could barely keep our eyes open. What I remember most about those times was that we were always welcome, and that we were loved unconditionally. We were greeted as a special guests and made to feel valued. This is the legacy I want to leave my grandchildren.... unconditional love, and a feeling of being valued. What greater gift is there?
Quick Pickled Balsamic Strawberries - Today’s guest post comes to us from Erin Urquhart, blogger at Putting Up With Erin. She’s stopped by to share her recipe for Quick Pickled Balsamic Strawbe...