Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Over the Mountain.

Photo Credit
This past President's Day, I drove two states over to visit my grandmother. Why on a Monday? Because my 82 year old grandmother has a flea market spot and works Saturday and Sunday.

Yes - works.

Does she need to do it? Not really, but chooses to do it because she's healthy enough to do so.  Her mind is still faster than a caculator and it gives her something to do once a week that's out of the house.  The only problem is when her grandchildren try to visit her, we have to find a non-weekend day to do so which is hard. Kudos to Federal holidays.

So on Monday morning, I got up and drove over the mountains to take my grandmother out to lunch at Cracker Barrel. I have no idea why Cracker Barrel has become the place to go but she likes it and that's all that matters. As we order the same thing {chicken and dumplings, fried okra and hashbrown good but oh the calories}, we talked about a gamet of things.  The main topic of converstaion was how her geneartion survived the Great Depression.  Born in 1928, she was young when the country went into finanical meltdown but she still remembers it. As a twin, she and my aunt Vivian were the youngest of five. My grandfather worked on the railroad system and was killed when they were two, leaving my grandmother to raise all the children on her own.  They lived in the "city" so they didn't have really any land to farm leaving them without the ability to support themeselves without grocery stores or merchants.  Basically...they were poorer than poor.

It's not a pretty table topic to discuss but one that I can learn from. My grandmother learned at a very early age the difference between a want and a need, something that I don't think I learned until I graduated college.  She learned how to stretch a dollar, not always buy new and to not to take a dollar for granted.  It was my grandmother who taught me to watch the computer at the cash register because humans make mistakes and things to ring up wrong. The list goes on and on.

The trip wasn't the cheapest to take {thanks rising gas prices} but one that I'm thankful to make.  I'm blessed that my grandmother is still around to keep teaching me things over the years as I'm always open to her advice. As the "Great Generation" slowly comes to past, I wish that there was a way to capture all of their finance advice as I'm sure it could help all future generations.


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