As I was packing my lunch to drive a field trip the other day, I took a cold canned drink out of the fridge and wrapped it in a couple of thicknesses of paper towels, then in a layer of aluminum foil. It struck me that my grandmother used to do exactly the same thing and in fact that is where I learned it from. At times like these I miss my grandmother and feel thankful for all the life lessons she and my other grandparents passed along.
With the economy tanking more every day, it is kind of comforting for me to remember that all of them lived through The Great Depression. It may have been a little easier for them since most of them were farmers and could at least grow their own food. Even after they all left the farm to work in the city, they brought that same sense of independence and self reliance with them.
Their houses weren't fancy, but they were clean, comfortable and paid for. The same went for their cars. They both had a vegetable patch in their backyard for growing tomatoes and strawberries, mostly. One of my grandfathers taught me how to make a compost bin and the other showed me that just because you had open heart surgery doesn't mean you can't play softball at the family reunion.
These weren't lessons they beat me over the head with. Instead, they were spread out like a warm, comfortable quilt, practical, useful and even colorful. It's not that there wasn't any turmoil in their lives, but those times were weathered under that same quilt, with patience and faith in God.
I'm not a grandparent yet, but when I do get the chance, I hope I can pass that same quilt along to my grandchildren.