Lesson 5: Be grateful for the simple things

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I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas yesterday! We are halfway through the 10 lessons learned from our grandparents! While the holiday season brings about a busyness and hustle, this year has been a slower pace for our family. One reason is our family is spread out across the country and we’re all staying safe at home. Another reason is the first holidays after you lose a loved one are tough. With all of the craziness of 2020, I’ve really tapped into enjoying and practicing gratitude for the simplest things. Right down to enjoying a quiet Christmas at home with less of a crowd and more downtime. Christmas has usually been cooking and entertaining 8-12 people in my home, but last year my husband and I said we were going to take a break for a while from that. Thanks coronavirus for helping with that one! Haha 

Simple things are probably different for everyone, depending on your position in life. The simple things our grandparents enjoyed during their lifetime are things we don’t always think about. And as our technology gets increasingly more sophisticated, it’s important to think about the MOST simple things that make our modern lives easier and more comfortable. 

Imagine what life would be like without indoor plumbing, running water, and refrigerators. In the 1920’s, when Bop was a young boy his home on Wood Street in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania had no electricity or indoor plumbing. However, they did have a telephone. Not a Smart phone like we have today, but a telephone with a crank that had to be turned to get power to make a connection with an operator who would make the call for you. Bop’s family had to have a telephone for his father’s job with the railroad. The phone was not used for anything but his father’s work. Nowadays our phones are used for EVERYTHING.

By the time Bop’s family moved into their third home, they had electricity, but still no indoor plumbing.  I can’t imagine. So when I think of this, I say a little word of gratitude to our commode! Try not complaining next time you have to clean the bathrooms!

In December of 1925 when Bop’s parents split up, he went to live with his maternal grandparents.  Christmas always was a big to do for Bop as he grew up and had his own children because he wanted to give them what he didn’t have. As parents we want our children to have it better than we did. Yesterday, my daughter was able to open her gifts and spread them out in the family room, playing all day without much thought about getting out of her PJs, or tidying up for company. As much as I love getting together with our family, this brought us SO much JOY!

Grandparents are special people, because they have experience with life, and grandparents give you simple love.  

When I think of my grandmother, I think of simple meals she prepared, like Coke Chicken in the crockpot. (My sister and I wouldn’t eat that nowadays) She didn’t fuss much when we came over, she just wanted to spend time with us and have fun.  That’s what grandparents do. My older sister and I spent many weekends with our grandparents, and just Gram after my grandfather passed. We usually had dinner or lunch, and then she would take us to a movie or take us shopping. When she took us shopping she didn’t buy us everything, she only bought 1 or 2 things for us and that was enough. I can remember as a child Gram would ask us for our Christmas lists and she would look at them and say, “What are all these name brands? Why does it have to be this brand?” I think that still happens today, especially for teenagers, however as we’ve aged, become wiser, Gram was right, it doesn’t really matter.

Time is a simple thing and yet so complex. This year I’m even more grateful for the gift of time. I’m grateful for the time I had with my mom before she passed in September. I’m grateful for the time to rest, relax, and stay home to enjoy more simple aspects of life. What simple things are you grateful for?

Thank you for reading!


Author: Kristen Hahn

Creative and passionate realist. Daughter, Sister, Wife, and Mom. I believe in the power of our mindsets, education, and being the change we wish to see in the world. We do better and find more joy when we embrace our imperfections and speak up about what we want to change.

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