Friday, October 24, 2008

Simple Lives

George and I have been visiting in Lake Tahoe, California this past week. It is the third anniversary of my mom’s passing, and we came to the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains to visit her grave and celebrate the goodness of her life.

Along with my sister, who still lives in Tahoe, we bought pale lilac colored gladiolas (my mom’s favorite color and flower) and drove over to the Happy Homes Cemetery to place them on her grave. We stood by the graveside in the beautiful Tahoe sunshine and talked and laughed and remembered. My sister remembered how our summer days at the Lake were filled with people visiting from near and far, picnics on the beach, hikes into the mountains, and making room for lots of extra guests. We were awed by how Mom was always jovial and welcoming when the hordes descended.

We also chuckled about how she saved aluminum foil, and rubber bands, and plastic bags—not because she grew up in the age of recycling, but because she grew up in the age of the Great Depression. Both Mom and Dad were good at saving, paying cash for a big ticket items, doing without, and not caring what the “Jones’s” possessed. I have a little Christmas book coming out entitled, “Christmas for a Dollar” which tells of an actual Christmas my father had when he was a boy during the depression, and how he and his family made a joyful celebration out of very little. Retelling the story has made me reevaluate how I approach the season. It’s also made me very grateful for parents who lived such frugal and good lives.

Both my parents are gone now, but I never think of them with sadness. I think of the fun, charmed, and adventurous life they provided while I was growing up, and for the legacy of hard work and simplicity they taught. All the lessons have served me well.


Jeri Gilchrist said...

Gale, what a sweet post. I enjoyed reading the tender thoughts of your parents. They sound like they were such good people.
I couldn't help but stop and think of my own parents and the wonderful legacy they too have left for us. My father is still living and what an example he is for our family. My mother has passed away and her lessons are ones I have cherished.
I look forward to reading your Christmas book. I love the cover!

Jennie said...

I'm anxious to see your Christmas book too. I hope to be able to feature Christmas books in my November Meridian column. My parents are gone now too and I'm grateful for so many good memories. It's funny how even the hard times carry more pleasure than pain.

Cheri J. Crane said...

Wonderful post, Gale, and a reminder to all of us of what is really important. ;)

Michele Ashman Bell said...

I got such a warm, nostalgic feeling as I read your post. Thank you for sharing a special part of your heart with us. I'm already making a list of all the people I will giving your book to for Christmas. I can't wait!

Kerry Blair said...

What a marvelous post, Gale! Like Michele, I am ordering your book for everybody I know for Christmas. What a gift your parents gave us all!