Wisdom of our Grandfathers

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by duanet, Nov 14, 2006.


  1. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    Well I am 68 and when I was growing up, I spent most of my time with my Grandfather. Dad worked 60 hours a week on the farm and a job out, and mom helped. So Grandfather, who was born in 1873 and homesteaded in North Dakota, was stuck as babysitter and keep the kids busy. I will never forget a lot of the things he told me about his life experiences and I bet most of you older people have similar bits of wisdom passed down from the days when your ancesters lived in a time and place when you had to have a rifle and the US caverly came around ever third day to make sure that you hadn't been killed by people who were off the reservation. Here are some I rember.

    It OK to be without money, but don't ever be without potatoes.

    Its funny, but when the banks closed in 1933, all of my life savings and my checking account were gone, but all of my loans and my mortages were still good.

    There is one thing to rember about war, there is no right side or wrong side, moral right or wrong, just don't ever be on the losing side.

    I hate picking potatoe bugs, but if you are going to , pick the one parent, not the 10,000 grandchildern.

    The worst day of fishing is better than the best day at work.

    Don't use the guest bedroom,or it towells or the sheets or pillow cases and don't play in it.

    Never say anything bad about your neighbor. It will get back to him and you have to keep living and working with them.

    Good fences make good neighbors.

    Walk the fence lines with you neighbor on New Years day and settle all your disagreements on the walk and not in court. It a good day and to blame cold to argue too much about where the line should be.

    Each of these sayings could take a dozen pages to fully develop, but give a quick summary of what was important enough to remember 20 years later.

    duanet
     
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    My grandad was a carpenter, self sufficient by temperment as well as by necessity. Although he wasn't a man of means, he kept his money in his pocket rather than in banks so, in 1929, when others faced ruin, he bought land, and libraries, and even once, a jewelry store that was going out of business. He built a home on the land and moved his family, my grandmother, my mother, and her brother, to this rural area with a dirt road, a farm up the road and no electricity. The farm is still a working farm owned by the same family albeit a different generation.

    When my mother and dad married in 1938, my granddad built them a house on the land as well and that is where I now live. The house is constructed entirely from native timber that came down during the hurricane of '38. He did everything himself, from hauling the the felled trees to setting up his own sawmill to prepare the lumber. Being New England, there was an abundance of stone for the foundation, chimneys, and fireplaces. Although I sometimes think it would be nice to live in a new house without the problems that come from an old house, I do have a sense of continuity living here. I still have the land and it's like an old friend, familiar but ever changing. Trees fall, new ones grow, the stream still rages during storms and merely trickles during late August. Wildlife abounds.

    I was going to tell you about some of the living tools my granddad had which are in my garage (like a slag pot and ladle, shoemakers forms, and handmade tools) but I got caught up in the appreciation for what my grandparents began for our family. I'll save the rest for another day.
     
  3. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    The knowledge of our Grandfathers and their times is rapidly being lost. Not many people rember the reason for a guest bedroom, towells, sheets ets. They had very few effrective treatments for TB, social diseases, skin diseases, flu etc and the "guest" items were used as and were intended to be a form of quarintine. With bird flu, sars, aids and only the Lord knows what is next, it might be a good idea again. NPR was telling this AM on the radio about the SARS cases in Canada a few years ago. A person went to the emergency room with pnohmonia and was kept in the ER for 10 of more hours waiting a bed. I turned out he had SARS and the two patients next to him both died of SARS and most of the staff caught it. Maybe or elders distrust of "sick people in hospitals" before the modern medicines was not all irrational. The New York Times said today that several times as many people in the US die of hospital infections as do of aids. Many of the things our elders did do not require a huge investment in time or money, but instead a change of attitude.
     
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Most of my summers growing up were spent on the ranch with my grandparents. So much was taught, so little was learned. ;) I remember once out in the pasture working livestock by horseback, I was about nine and my cousin was about eight. Pa Pa started cussing and yelling as the livestock was heading in the wrong direction and I looked over at my cousin Russell and said "is he yelling at us or the dog?" foosed :eek: My Pa Pa taught me how to mend fence, work livestock, castrate cattle, and most importantly how to skip rocks. I had a very rich childhood. I only hope my grandchildren are as lucky. He is a wonderful man.
     
  5. Jolly Roger

    Jolly Roger Patriotic Pirate

    I always loved my paternal grandparents, who are in their mid-seventies now, because they knew so much neat stuff! From my grandma, I have learned how to cook from scratch, make my own bread and noodles, pies, you name it. From my grandpa, I have learned how to hunt, fish, tell one tree from another, and know which one to use for what, grow crops, run a business, and be a good man and neighbor. But I never learned one single thing about them that made me respect them more than these two.

    My grandma told me that when my father was a boy(one of five), she had supper planned before breakfast was started, or the day was lost. That is a woman, fellas.

    My grandpa and I were driving past a field where I have hunted many times in my life, and he told me that in '53, he cleared that 80 acres from raw timber with my great-grandfather(his FIL), and a team of mules. They used crosscut saws. And he mentioned that it was one of the hottest summers he has seen, with high temps at 104 degrees! That is a man!

    Lack of respect for our elders is lacking in this society, and many miss so much by not paying attention to the old ones among us. Some day, it will come back to bite us, and indeed, already is. I love to talk to older people, as they have so many useful bits of information tucked away, free for the asking. I have learned so much from them, and feel a great indebtedness to them.[respect]
     
  6. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    [applaud]Good for you!! My dad and grandadas are gone...appreciate them while you have them
     
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Get a tape recorder and get them talking, mine the data banks. Your kids will thank you, even if they don't yet know it.
     
  8. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My grandmother raised me...and I thank God, and her, every day for it...
    She's been gone since 1977....way too early.

    I had to laugh reading this ...so many of what you wrote, I heard her say...and have to add...

    "When you're having a party? Always invite your neighbors....that way , no one calls the police"... [LMAO]

    She was a nurse. Head OR nurse, 6 months after graduation, and as she used to say "You don't get that for buttons, Buster!"
    But she relied on home remedies and tried and tested methods forever...She told me in the 6th grade, when I developed ulcers from meds they gave me for my asthma? "Don't drink Milk! It makes it worse, and I don't give a D*** what the doctors say!".....and gee, that turned out to be right.....40 yrs later.....[applaud]

    She was raised on a farm in a little town in SC...Oswego...but moved to the city to go to nursing school....made her own way and didn't have children until she was 30...

    Tough lady...both her parents died before she was 5....saw her only sibling die when she was 6, and was shipped to her Aunt and Uncle on the farm....

    She taught me sooooo much...and so many things about , well, life...

    I have the chance now to spend a lot of time with my dad, who is almost 84, and it has been challenging at times, but I have learned so much...and am taping a lot of his conversations....He was a P51 pilot in WWII, and top engineer on the 1st Polaris Missile...and worked on the Space Program with the moon shots...Very interesting stuff....


    Thanks for this thread...nice memories, and great to revisit what they taught us...
     
  9. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    One thing I've always remembered from my grandmother.

    She grew up in a large farm family in the 19teens/early 20's, and they were so poor, that the girls were not allowed to eat eggs they collected for breakfast as the boys needed the protein energy for working the fields.
     
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