It’s Cold Outside!

I usually keep the heat off until we absolutely have to turn it on, usually mid-November.  This year we had to turn it on late-October.  Not fun.  I keep the heat off because of one reason, the utility bill.  Yep.  I’m cheap.  I admit it.  My answer to those I live with, “You have socks.  You have sweatshirts.  This is why I buy comfy throws.”  

What is your ‘go to’ for keeping warm when the miser in your home refuses to turn on the heat?  Mine is flannel pajama pants, super thick socks, a turtleneck, and a sweatshirt.  I love dressing warm.  It’s my favorite outfit!  Even if its leggings, thick socks, boots, long skirt, turtleneck and a sweater, topped off with a scarf.  It’s my favorite outfit.  

Warm clothes are the best!  They are the cutest!  I saw a sweatshirt today at Torrid that was a soft pale pink/brown with yellow and coral roses on it.  I don’t even like roses, but I loved that sweatshirt, a lot.  (It might end up in my wardrobe before the season it over.  I’ll let you know if it does.)  Another favorite of mine is the fleece sweaters by Bryn Walker.  They are the warmest!  There are times when I will put my blue one and I can’t leave it on!  However, that blue one has come in handy walking around Chicago in October.  I wore it continually on our Carnival Alaskan cruise.  It was perfect for walking around on deck.  

Knee socks, nice and thick and warm…and fun!  Unfortunately, I don’t have too many ‘fun’ knee socks.  I have a couple of fun regular socks (you have to check out John’s Crazy Socks!).  Boots are the next reason to love cold weather.  I live in boots in cold weather.  I have suede brown boots I happened onto at Sears one day.  I have blue suede boots by Stuart Weitzman, they are amazing sooooo warm.  I love my brown lace up boots I got at DSW.  And, my black boots are also Stuart Weitzman.  Knee socks and boots, is there anything else more wonderful!

To steal a phrase, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”


Seriously, Designers, We Want a Higher Neckline

Have you ever been so frustrated trying to find a shirt or blouse that isn’t cut so low that your bra shows. I just took someone shopping this last week and she loved the blouses but they were all cut so low that she had to get a shirt for under the blouse.  And, of course, there was not even a camisole in that particular store.  Ok, so there was one, but it was a shapewear item.  It had spandex in it so strong that the XL size looked like an XS!

Now, for Fall and Winter that is not that big of a deal.  But, for Spring and Summer, who wants to wear two shirts?!  And the warm weather blouses are soooooo revealing.  I actually had someone ask me about that this week, too!  So, what’s a person to do?!

Unfortunately, a second shirt is about all one can do.  Now, there are some half shirts.  I do like them, very much.  I have found that the largest selection of styles and colors come from Halftee.com .  I like that they have short sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, and long sleeve.  The short sleeve and the 3/4 sleeve is good for women who just don’t want to have their arms exposed.  (You will understand when you reach 60-ish.)  

Two other companies have layering tees, Down East Basic and Sweet Salt, however, there are more choices at Halftee.com.

So, when you see the lady or girl wearing a spaghetti strap sun dress and a layering tee underneath; don’t scoff or say she has ruined the look.  That is simply what she is comfortable wearing.  The lady or girl that wears the sheer top and obviously has a layering tee underneath; don’t scoff or say she has ruined the look.  The lady or girl that wears a low cut blouse and has a layering tee underneath; don’t scoff or say she has ruined the look.  The lady or girl that wears the shirt that is cut open along the sides and has a layering tee underneath; don’t scoff or say she has ruined the look.

Do we see a pattern?  Seriously, don’t be the sales associate that says, “You can wear the low cut, it’s not a problem,” while rolling her eyes.  Yes.  This was a true scenario that one of my clients had to endure.  I quickly replied, “That is what she wants, don’t bully her into something else.”  The sales associate looked shocked.  

And, then there was the time that we were looking for dress for prom for my daughter who is a plus size.  The sales associate was showing her items when I walked in.  My daughter had ‘that look’ on her face, the one of ‘get me out of here!’  She then said, “Is there anything that has sleeves?!?”  The sales associate looked at me, then at my daughter, ‘It’s okay, you can wear these styles,” as she pointed to the spaghetti strap, the sleeveless, and the strapless dresses.  And my daughter looked her right in the eye and said firmly, “No.  I don’t WANT to!”  And my daughter walked out of the store, with me following and not saying a word.  Oh, I got an earful in the car, she was so angry at that sales associate for being so condescending to what her style and what she wanted.

So, designers, and sales associates…not everyone wants to wear low cut, sleeveless, strapless, or spaghetti strap dresses.  Deal with it, and listen to them.  And, be nice.

What Happens When Life Happens, Courage to Endure

It’s been a month since I posted the last blog to encourage all to set a goal and work towards it and we would do it together!  Then, life happened.  My daughter became sick.  Then she got sicker.  Then she ended up in the hospital and gall bladder surgery, but she was so sick that they couldn’t do the surgery!  So, she was in the hospital 8 days!  Our trip to New York City was put on hold, and thank you to Delta for giving us credits to purchase tickets at another time.

Then, a horrible situation reached an apex; and I quit my job.  On the spot.  I never thought I would do that.  But, as a dear friend said today, “There is no time in life for toxic people.”  As she shared with me that she had also quit her job a while ago!

Then, my Father passed away.  Unexpected.  And, we moved my Mom into our home.

Now, I think I have hit all of the stressors that is supposed to send someone spiraling into depression.  However, I’m not there.

Why?  I had to think about that.  First, my daughter’s surgery was actually a relief.  She has had problems for several years and it was not diagnosed.  So, it was a relief to have a solution to her problems.  Next, the toxic situation has completely fallen off of my shoulders.  I turned it all over to Heavenly Father and Christ, and I am just fine.  I have faith that all will work out.  I just can’t explain the calm that I feel.  And, for the last two, my Dad has always said he never wanted to be ill for a lengthy time, he wanted to just wake up dead.  And, that is what happened.  For my Mom, seeing her safe from their condo that was in an area that was continually getting worse is a relief, too.  So, all of the stressors were actually the items previous to the situations!

However, I do know that we have to turn our stress over to Christ.  This is what Gethsemane was all about.  Courage to let go of stress and put it on the shoulders of Christ is not always an easy thing to do; but it is how we can move forward.

Now, to get back on that goal setting and choose the book to read!  I’ll be back in touch…..


I Like My Style; So, Back Off!

IMG_20181105_095035‘frumpy’.  Sweater sets.  Jeans that come to the waist. Athletic shoes worn as everyday shoes.  Anything modest.  Anything that isn’t the writer or editor’s personality.

Personality.  That is what it really comes down to, different tastes in clothing.  Notice I didn’t say fashion, I said clothes.  A Natural personality could care less about fashion.  That is the person that wants functionality.  They wear clothes because it’s too cold to be naked; or it’s warm enough to be naked, but one would get arrested.  A Classic personality will wear sweater sets and straight skirts.  A Polo type shirt and a pair of jeans to their waste or a pair of Khakis will do them just fine.  A Romantic personality will wear the latest fashion, and add a ruffle or costume jewelry.  A Dramatic personality pleases all of the fashionistas, in fact, most of them are Dramatic personalities.  So, we have Dramatic personalities dictating to all the rest of us (obviously the majority) what we should wear.  Why do we do this?  Why do we allow that to happen?  Because we have been conditioned to think they are the experts and we know nothing, so therefore we do as they bid each season.

Unless, you have enough gumption within you to say, “Back off.  I’ll wear what looks good on me and is comfy.”  Sadly, in my image consultant years I have not met many of the ‘Back off’ people.  I have tried to teach them to say ‘Back off’ and I think some have actually applied that in their lives.

Stand up for yourself.  Stand up for your style.  My style is Natural Romantic.  We are all a mixture of two of the above personalities.  Natural me wants to spend 5 minutes getting ready for my day.  Romantic me gives Natural me about 10 minutes more to get my hair and makeup done.  Natural me wants to be comfortable.  Romantic me will be comfortable for a little while, but then I tire of being uncomfortable.  And the older I get less time it takes to tire of being uncomfortable.  Natural me is done with heels.  Romantic me agrees, but they have to be cute flats.  Natural me needs to not be constricted.  Romantic me finds super cute tops that will not confine, and sweaters that don’t restrict.  Natural me prefers pants.  Romantic me chooses dress lengths that I can sit on the floor and not let everyone in the room know the color of my underwear.  So.  Natural me will wear jeans to my waist, longer skirts, and unstructured tops and dresses.  Natural me would be ‘frumpy’.  Romantic me says, “Back off, I’m in my style and I love it.”  Natural me would be intimidated.  Romantic says, “You wear those 4 inch stiletto’s and skirt cut high thigh, and I’ll let you take the last seat in the room because I can sit on the floor without any problem.”

What’s your style?  Can you say, “Back off, I’m in my style and I love it” or do you say, “Back off, I’m in my style and I hate it.”  If it’s the latter, message me and we will find your style!

Courage to be Nice

Have you worked in retail, food service, or any other business that requires working with the public?  If you do, then you have met the nicest people around….and…well…the least nicest people around.

Why do we take out our frustrations on the person that is trying to help us?  Why does someone railroad the sales associate that (after looking and looking for the right product) because their store doesn’t carry what is requested?  Why does one tear the waitress apart because the food isn’t prepared the way it has been prepared in the past?

In some cases this is a ruse to get something for free, which is an entirely different blog post.  However in most cases it is simply someone who feels inferior to the world, so to increase their own self-worth, they degrade anyone they can to feel superior.  So, why does one feel inferior to the world?  Why act out in such a way?  Failure to know what nice can accomplish perhaps?  Failure to even know how to act in a nice way, perhaps?

I have seen people who had no clue how to be ‘nice’.  Their family life was lacking in the practice within the family unit; so, therefore, it carried over to their public life.  Some people have been verbally degraded by others in their life to the point that they truly do not have a tiny bit of self-worth and therefore, their self-worth is developed by putting others down.
So, how do we correct this in our society?  It’s a difficult situation.  But first, we can start by being nice; simply being nice.  Be nice to the people at work.  Be nice to the people one encounters throughout the day.

Nice, what does that mean?  Does it mean allowing everyone to ‘run over’ you?  No, that is being a door mat.  Being nice is standing to the side of the line at the store while your order that is three weeks old and not fulfilled and when the solution has been found and admittedly that a mistake has happened and the items were not ordered; yet, one smiles and says ‘Thank you for taking care of the situation for me, and personally making sure that all of my order will now be fulfilled.’

The above is a true story, as opposed to the person who brings in a return, without a receipt and the product is opened and unsalable, yet, scream at the sales associate for not taking the item back and giving them cash for it.  Or, screaming at the sales associate when first thing in the morning you and your friend expect to receive change from a $100 for purchases of $10; the rage ensuing when the associate informs the two friends (who BOTH have $100 bills) that the store doesn’t start the day with that much cash.  Screaming at the sales associate and throwing the items on the counter out of the basket is not being nice.  (Granted some say that the $100 bills were probably counterfeit, but that would have soon been found out with a special pen.)

Why have we lost our ‘nice’?  Why have we lost our being nice to each other?  How do we regain being nice?

This post goes very closely to the previous one on ‘Respect’.  We have to have respect and gratitude to be nice.  How did you do last month on your Respect goals?  Are you ready to proceed with some harder goals?

Choose to be nice.

  1. Even when confronted with a bad situation, smile and say ‘Thank you for your help.”
  2. Write down how many times a day you encountered an ‘not nice’ situation and what you would have done in the situation if it were you.
  3. Write down how many times during the day you know you could have been nicer, or handled a situation a little different.

Courage to Respect

umpires-1571563_1920Why did respect become a bad word?  Why did respect become something that is so casual that many don’t even notice anymore?  When did respect fall away?

The most simple respect began to diminish when ‘anything goes’ happened at church.  Remember ‘Sunday Best’?  Now it’s ‘Sunday whatever I wear when I’m relaxing.’  The pastor at the church I was attending in high school said, “I don’t care what you wear, just come.”  An amazing thing happened, and the evolution was a learning experience for me.  First Sunday, torn up jeans and tee shirt.  A few Sundays later, torn up jeans and collared shirt.  A few Sundays later, torn up jeans, a collared shirt, and a tie.  A few Sundays later, nice pants, a collared shirt, and a tie.  It was a wonderful thing to see as a transformation and respect for our Father in Heaven grew.  But, then something else happened.  The others at church began to dress down to ‘Sunday Sort of Best’; then to ‘Sunday Whatever’.  They missed the entire point of what was going on.

Media and societal changes then bombarded us with reasons why respect was a negative trait. Respect is a positive trait, it breeds respect.  There is nothing wrong with respect.  Let’s set a goal to have the courage to show respect.  Set a goal for three simple signs of respect:

  1.  Say ‘please’ and ‘thank-you’ to the sales associate in all stores you visit this month.
  2.  Hang up clothes that you try on, and put them away, for the next month.
  3.  Make a point to not throw trash out the window of your car, or drop trash on the ground, or leave your plates on the tables of a restaurant or mall that has trash cans in which to toss your trash. Do this for a month.

Now, on the dash of your car, or a check list on your phone, make a check mark for each time you do one of these things.  Then, in your prayers each night, express gratitude for the people that you showed respect to during the day.

Once you have done this for a month, it will have become a habit.  So, now look where you need to make three more goals to show respect and do them for a month; keeping a record in the same way so that you are reminded to express gratitude for the people you showed respect that day.

It doesn’t take much to change the world, it really doesn’t.  Imagine if everyone did this exercise?

Your True Colours

blue leggings
LulaRoe leggings and Cassie skirt are so comfortable I don’t even change into my pajamas when I get home.

Once again we are going through changes.  It has taken a lot of soul-searching and prayer.  I had kind of bowed out of the ‘fashion’ business.  It had worn me down.  The hype.  The hatefulness.  The ‘one-upmanship’.  The bullying.  I just couldn’t take it anymore and that is when we moved toward inner image.  I just couldn’t handle the ‘outer’ image business anymore.

Then, an ‘itching’ in the back of my mind that just couldn’t go away, I finally listened to and have decided I need to go back and stay in the business after all.  Why?  Because of the bullying.  I can’t handle the bullying anymore.

“How can you wear that?!”

“The most atrocious patterns put together to create a bag lady look.”

“Why are women falling for the baggy clothes look?”

And the comments go on and on and on and on….and they are all basically the same, “That isn’t something that I would wear so therefore it is awful and YOU should not wear it.”

Dear Commenter who feels you must tear someone else down to uplift yourself, “Your taste is not my taste.  Your style is not my style.  Your body is not my body.  Your coloring is not my coloring.  Your budget is not my budget.  So, therefore, smile and go on with your day because the old adage ‘If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing’ still applies.”

So, in celebration of all of the commenters that will HATE what I am going to say and tell me all the reasons why I shouldn’t wear this item of clothing, here it is:

blue leggings
LulaRoe leggings and Cassie skirt are so comfortable I don’t even change into my pajamas when I get home.

My life is devoid of jeans.  I do still have some, but I wear them about long enough to change into something else.  (I have heard rumor that LulaRoe is going to carry jeans, this may be a game changer.)

LulaRoe is probably the most bullied line of clothing out there right now.  All of the ‘experts’ say this is a fad that will go away and the cheap clothes just won’t stand the test of time.  So…you haven’t tried on a pair of those leggings have YOU?  I am in the process of throwing out all of the leggings that I have purchased at Dillard’s and Macy’s, and the one from Cato (because it took ONE pair bought at Wal-Mart to know that those leggings for short, super, skinny people even in xxl).  Now, one problem is that LulaRoe rarely has solids, but I am getting there.  (Rare ones are called ‘Unicorns’.)

So, when you see me in leggings and a dress which is probably a LulaRoe Carly or a Bryn Walker, or really, really long Bryn Walker tunic, or a pencil skirt which is probably a LulaRoe Cassie; I am really in jeans.  Those are my jeans now.  And, each of my posts will feature the leggings of the day.  Yes, those atrocious designs that look like a bag lady; I will feature them with EACH post no matter the content of the post.  Feel free to share your atrocious designed leggings, too.  It will be fun!!

The second most bullied line is Bryn Walker.  Talk about comfort, well, it has a higher price point and it is probably more durable than LulaRoe; but that is okay.  We have our fun clothes and we have our staple clothes.  Bryn Walker’s pants are billowy.  They aren’t a second skin with the waist just above one’s tailbone.  They are like wearing pajamas all day.  They are classy and stand out.  Their tunics are the most flattering tops I’ve seen to go with leggings.  And, they are washable.  As in, I put them in my washing machine and then I put them in my dryer.  Then, I can iron them or I can wear them as is; most are linen and it just depends on my mood as to whether or not I will iron them.

So…what’s your favorite clothes that are bullied?  (Please don’t say pajama bottoms, I am totally fine with them.  I love them.  However, I just don’t have the nerve to wear them out to the store.  I have worn them when we went to gas for the car at night and I didn’t get out of the car because I have a wonderful husband that is filling it up for me.  But, I just can’t get out of the car…I can go to the mailbox, that you will see.)

So…that’s it.  We are going to have various types of posts.  Some will be about products and some will be about clothes.  If you have a line you want me to check out, email me!  If you know of a product or line that you want me to check out, email me!  Like me on Facebook and share this blog!  Let’s get the word out….WE AREN’T GOING TO TAKE FASHION BULLYING ANYMORE!!

Top 10 Reasons to No Longer Be Frustrated with Style

Maker:S,Date:2017-9-25,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y

We are held under a microscope every time we walk out the door…or so the fashion editor wants you to think.  But, seriously, unless you are on the page ‘People of Walmart’, they really don’t pay attention.  Now, if you are standing before a group and presenting, how you dress can affect how they pay attention…wearing black will get no responses, because black is authoratative; or, wearing a navy jacket and khaki slacks they will never make eye contact with you because one’s eye goes to the lightest point and you sent your audience’s eye to your legs.  So, there are some dynamics as far as color and how we react to that.  However, for the most part we walk around unnoticed as far as someone saying, “Oh my, she (or he) didn’t read the latest issue of Vogue (or GQ).”  So, with that in mind, here is how to regain one’s sanity after being immersed in what is the latest and greatest style and we must ALL wear it.

10.  Throw away all fashion magazines you have in your house and vow right now to never buy another one.  Realize that what is the latest and greatest in fashion magazines is actually PAID ads.  Yes, the latest and greatest pays to be the latest and greatest.

9.  Do not watch music videos.  They are selling ‘sex’, regardless of what they try to say, ‘sex’ sells and they sell it very well in music videos.  No realistic clothing is usually used in music videos.

8.  Do not shop with friends.  They have their style and they will try to push it on you…not on purpose.  Just, be aware when you ask someone their opinion, it is their opinion, which translates to “I don’t like that, it isn’t my style and I wouldn’t wear it.”  Because it’s easier to say, “Ewwww.”

7.  If the sales associate hovers and tries to sell you everything on the shelf, don’t trust their judgement.  I have ONE sales associate in my town that will actually say, “Oh no, Ms. Smith, that is not you.  You will not like that.”  Or, “Ms. Jones, that just didn’t translate well when you put it on, let’s keep looking for the right thing for you.”  That is RARE.  Most, even in HIGH END stores/boutiques are there simply for the commission.  They are paid ‘Yes men’.

6.  Throw away all fashion magazines.  (Becuase I know you didn’t.)

5.  Stop watching any makeover shows.  I was asked to do a makeover show, as an image consultant.  And then I was asked to do the makeover column in the newspaper.  The reason, because both the reporter and fashion editor knew that I would keep the person in their color, body line, and personality.  One of my ‘go to’ hair colorist’s was also asked to be on a national makeover show.  Mind you, he is the BEST in the entire South (according to Vogue, an opinion of one of the editors); but they wanted him to PAY $10,000 to be on the show.  He declined.

4.  If the department store makeup associate puts 20 products on your face, do not buy any of them.  Sad to say many beauty products are simply up-sells.

3.  Be comfortable in your skin.  Do not let anyone dictate that only certain sizes are appropriate.  Our genetics dictate what we look like.  Some of us have sensitivities to foods that mess up our system.  Some of us have hormone issues.  Some of us have situations where we don’t ‘burn’ calories no matter what we do.  Some of us were skinny, and then woke up one day not skinny and changed nothing in our daily life except age.  You know if you are healthy, that snide remark or smirk from the high fashion world…smile back, it will drive them crazy!!!

2.  Be comfortable with your coloring and your personality.  Hot pink may be the ‘in’ color, but if you put it on and all of a sudden you have circles under your eyes, then Pantone can get over themselves!!  If your team’s biggest foe’s colors are bright orange and it is the ‘in’ color, then Pantone can get over themselves!!  (Both of those examples are real stories.)

1.  Smile.  Smile, because you threw out fashion magazines and now rule your own closet.  But, most important, you are on your way thinking for yourself.

Your True Colours

Once again we are going through changes.  It has taken a lot of soul-searching and prayer.  I had kind of bowed out of the ‘fashion’ business.  It had worn me down.  The hype.  The hatefulness.  The ‘one-upmanship’.  The bullying.  I just couldn’t take it anymore and that is when we moved toward inner image.  I just couldn’t handle the ‘outer’ image business anymore.

Then, an ‘itching’ in the back of my mind that just couldn’t go away, I finally listened to and have decided I need to go back and stay in the business after all.  Why?  Because of the bullying.  I can’t handle the bullying anymore.

“How can you wear that?!”

“The most atrocious patterns put together to create a bag lady look.”

“Why are women falling for the baggy clothes look?”

And the comments go on and on and on and on….and they are all basically the same, “That isn’t something that I would wear so therefore it is awful and YOU should not wear it.”

Dear Commenter who feels you must tear someone else down to uplift yourself, “Your taste is not my taste.  Your style is not my style.  Your body is not my body.  Your coloring is not my coloring.  Your budget is not my budget.  So, therefore, smile and go on with your day because the old adage ‘If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing’ still applies.”

So, in celebration of all of the commenters that will HATE what I am going to say and tell me all the reasons why I shouldn’t wear this item of clothing, here it is:

blue leggings
LulaRoe leggings and Cassie skirt are so comfortable I don’t even change into my pajamas when I get home.

My life is devoid of jeans.  I do still have some, but I wear them about long enough to change into something else.  (I have heard rumor that LulaRoe is going to carry jeans, this may be a game changer.)

LulaRoe is probably the most bullied line of clothing out there right now.  All of the ‘experts’ say this is a fad that will go away and the cheap clothes just won’t stand the test of time.  So…you haven’t tried on a pair of those leggings have YOU?  I am in the process of throwing out all of the leggings that I have purchased at Dillard’s and Macy’s, and the one from Cato (because it took ONE pair bought at Wal-Mart to know that those leggings for short, super, skinny people even in xxl).  Now, one problem is that LulaRoe rarely has solids, but I am getting there.  (Rare ones are called ‘Unicorns’.)

So, when you see me in leggings and a dress which is probably a LulaRoe Carly or a Bryn Walker, or really, really long Bryn Walker tunic, or a pencil skirt which is probably a LulaRoe Cassie; I am really in jeans.  Those are my jeans now.  And, each of my posts will feature the leggings of the day.  Yes, those atrocious designs that look like a bag lady; I will feature them with EACH post no matter the content of the post.  Feel free to share your atrocious designed leggings, too.  It will be fun!!

The second most bullied line is Bryn Walker.  Talk about comfort, well, it has a higher price point and it is probably more durable than LulaRoe; but that is okay.  We have our fun clothes and we have our staple clothes.  Bryn Walker’s pants are billowy.  They aren’t a second skin with the waist just above one’s tailbone.  They are like wearing pajamas all day.  They are classy and stand out.  Their tunics are the most flattering tops I’ve seen to go with leggings.  And, they are washable.  As in, I put them in my washing machine and then I put them in my dryer.  Then, I can iron them or I can wear them as is; most are linen and it just depends on my mood as to whether or not I will iron them.

So…what’s your favorite clothes that are bullied?  (Please don’t say pajama bottoms, I am totally fine with them.  I love them.  However, I just don’t have the nerve to wear them out to the store.  I have worn them when we went to gas for the car at night and I didn’t get out of the car because I have a wonderful husband that is filling it up for me.  But, I just can’t get out of the car…I can go to the mailbox, that you will see.)

So…that’s it.  We are going to have various types of posts.  Some will be about products and some will be about clothes.  If you have a line you want me to check out, email me!  If you know of a product or line that you want me to check out, email me!  Like me on Facebook and share this blog!  Let’s get the word out….WE AREN’T GOING TO TAKE FASHION BULLYING ANYMORE!!

 

Family and Traditions, It All Goes Together.

Rappahannock Railroad Museum
Grandpa stopping traffic and his Grandson is at the controls of the little work car train at Rappahannock Railroad Museum. Photo from Rappahannock Railroad Museum Facebook page.

We attended a family wedding in Fredericksburg, Virginia.  While there we did some exploring of the area.  That exploring led us to the Rappahannock Railroad Museum.  It really isn’t that much, just two cabooses and a box car to walk through and see some cool old stuff.  It is manned by volunteers, and is only open from 9am – noon on Saturdays.  They give free rides on a work car.  As we were waiting on the work car, there was a young man working around it, and then he said something that started with ‘Grandpa…’  That just warmed my heart immediately.  Here was a young man, maybe a senior in high school, or a recent graduate, definitely not much older, and he was spending his Saturday morning with his Grandpa volunteering at a railroad museum.  The young man ended up being our ‘driver’; and his Grandpa sat with him on the lead car, and was our ‘guide’ for the quick trip along the tracks.  We later learned that mother/daughter was working the museum, too.  Three generations working together as volunteers at the railroad museum.  That is what family is all about.

The young man and his Grandpa were talking between each other while the cars were loading.  The young man was not there because he was being forced, he had a relationship with his Grandpa.  There were discussing train whistles, specifically that the grandson had found a train whistle for his truck on ebay, and it was only $1,000.  Two different worlds meeting with a common interest.  This young man respected his Grandpa; and Grandpa respected this young man.

We need Grandma’s and Grandpa’s in children’s lives.  We need uncles and aunts; great uncles and great aunts; cousins; and of course, mom and dad and brothers and sisters.  The family unit is sacred.  Multi-generations used to live in the same home, that is rare in today’s society.  Children may barely know one parent, or aunts or uncles, and may never meet a grandparent.  Step beyond bad feelings of wrongs done in the past (unless it is abuse, sexual or physical, true abuse not discipline), step beyond the fact maybe your friends are closer to you than your family, step beyond the miles and bring your parents into your children’s lives.
The Young Women in our church ‘adopted’ grandma’s one year.  It was so awesome.  There were several older ladies that had family out of state.  They did a luncheon with the ladies and the young women were soaking in their stories.  I remember sitting and just listening to my Great-Grandmother tell stories of people I had never even met.  I was mesmerized when she spoke.  My daughter recently shocked many when she told a group of young women that she was an adviser to that she loved sitting and listening to her grandparents talk about family stories.  The other adults that were her age had told everyone that youth today do not want to hear about old stories.  And, she told them not to assume that.  They still didn’t believe her.  That was a sad state of the youngest generations today; all of those old stories will fade away.  This can’t happen.  Sit down and interview the older family members.  If they live far away, make it a family time and use technology to introduce your children to older relatives that live far away.  The children WILL make sure that it happens, they will surprise you.

Children learn from older generations.  It adds a part of their growth process that can’t be replaced.