Walking the path of life with grandma by my side

Sharing moments with our grandparents is a unique and fulfilling experience. We always learn so much from them. It almost feels like they dwell in a special, almost magical, place where we rediscover the world. We, as grandchildren, see our grandparents in a much different way than our parents saw them, and they feel the same way about us, that is why the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren is very special.

1.- Listening to their stories

Our grandparents will always have great and exciting stories to tell. For example, my grandma was born during the Mexican Revolution and hearing about the struggle of my family running away from this conflict was better than any history class. She also told creepy stories about witches that flew across the ranches looking for children and mischievous dwarves that kept the fire to themselves so they could trade them for corn with the local people. She told her stories with such confidence that even now I check the night sky twice while traveling by car through the woods.

2.- Seeing the world through their eyes
No matter how hard we try, we will always get older, and the things we love will soon be old fashioned. This happened to our grandparents too, but they’ve already embraced it enough to have certain criteria. They might live in our modern world, but they will never enjoy it as much as their old times. It is always interesting to ask them about those times and why they still love them. In this way, we will discover amazing things like recipes, books, places and customs that maybe we labeled as “non-cool.”

My grandma enjoyed that old cowboy and flicks because they always featured her favorite things like horses and bank robbers. Those flicks took her back home at that Mexican Revolution era where she grew up. I learned to appreciate these films thanks to her. She also loved to prepare delicious salsa with a traditional Mexican cuisine artifact called “molcajete” that is basically a big volcanic stone shaped like a bowl. There she mashed the ingredients using a smaller volcanic stone. This technique gave the salsa a unique flavor and texture that I still miss today. She used to do this early in the morning and late at night while baking some tortillas. Remembering the smell and taste of my grandma’s tacos still makes me hungry (even while writing this!).

3.- Discovering together
I had the great chance of growing up with my grandma. Thanks to this, I was able to experience for the first time many things by her side. She constructed for me my first swing on a tree. My family says she made and gave me my first taco and my first spoonful of ice cream too. I already knew the ocean when she traveled with us to Cancun, but discovering with her the unique white flourish sand of Cancun was beautiful. She smiled like a child that wouldn’t leave, all she wanted was to keep playing with the sand while the sea waves splashed her wrinkled feet. She never liked or fully understood how modern technology works, but she really enjoyed watching Youtube videos about horses and bulls.

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4.- Exploring the past through their antiques
Grandparents always keep mysterious and strange treasures for us. Exploring their stuff is always a great adventure that they enjoy too because it’s a way to know more about their history. I remember finding a sweet pair of large vintage headphones, motorcycle helmets and even cool old uniforms in my grandma’s stuff. One day we found this huge old movie projector that had an animated film reel without sound. It was such a fun experience to make it work. We had already seen this movie with sound on the TV, but we decided to see it again using the projector just to celebrate our successful repair.

5.- Learning from their experience
An excellent advice has no time or place. Our grandparents might be old fashioned, but their experience is a great source of knowledge that we must appreciate. Maybe today we wouldn’t believe that a herbal tea with orange leaves could help healing a stomach ache or that organic royal honey might end that horrible coughing, but these home recipes are still helpful thanks to our grandparents. Now I know that it wasn’t magic, it was my grandma’s experience that made her know what to give me to ease my pain or at least to sweeten my experience with that awful medicine that I hated.

Today my grandma is no more, but since she loved to travel without notice, I like to think she is in one of her long trips. Today there is no salsa or baked tortilla that comes near the delicious ones that my grandma cooked.But I still have fond and awesome memories fo her, mainly funny things that always make me smile. What about your grandparents? Share your stories with us!

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