My grandparents taught me….

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grandparents day
We want to know what you learned from your grandparents!

Grandparents play a major role in most of our lives. We gave our readers a chance to share with us the most important thing they learned from their grandparents by finishing the sentence: “My grandparent(s) taught me…”

Here are some of the special memories and amazing stories you shared about your grandparents:

D.L. Arnold, grandfather

My Grandfather Arnold, my dad’s father, was a self-made man in an era where a lot of young men started early. He started working for a living at 12 making a life for himself as a saw dust boy in the lumber yards and then moved up to grading lumber, and eventually into sales. For more than 60 years this was his business from West Virginia into the Pittsburgh area and then into the general Ohio area. He operated D.L. Arnold Lumber Sates Co. in Rootstown for 20 years. Along the way, he married my grandmother Rose, who taught in a one-room schoolhouse. They raised six children who all went on to successful careers in business or teaching. The family he helped build and found is an old-fashioned family, which we so vitally need in our world today. This example of “can do” went from children to grandchildren and showed us that you, yourself, are the destiny which you seek.

— Patricia Roosa, Ravenna, Ohio

Ludwig Whiteleather, grandfather

My grandfather and I share the same May 7 birthday, so that began our close ties we shared for 11 years before his passing. I started learning at an early age to be a great farmer as I rode with him in the haybine at 1 years old.
Some of the things I have learned:
  • respect your animals, give them the best, bred to a high-quality bull, and the cow will in return produce for you.strong work ethics, enjoy your work
  • strong work ethics, enjoy your work
  • one doesn’t always need the newest or biggest equipment, but take care of what you have
  • don’t spend $2 when you only make $1
  • unconditional love for children
  • sometimes one needs to reverse roles to make the little boy feel great.

— Wesley Johnson, Minerva, Ohio

Rose B. Pugh, grandmother

My grandmother taught me to never complain about two things: a sink full of dirty dishes and an empty mailbox. Too many times her cupboard was empty and her mailbox was overflowing with bills.

— Kathleen Bollinger, Tarentum, Pa.

Roy and Arlene Helms, grandparents

My grandparents taught me many things. I would not be the person I am today without them. They were bookends, perfectly complementing each other. Two examples of this revolve around food. My grandfather taught me how to catch and clean fish, while my grandmother taught me how to bread them and fry them up “better than the Elks Club.” My grandfather taught me how to shuck corn by parting the silk in the middle as if I were “putting his hair in ponytails” and then pull straight down both sides. My grandma taught me how to “help it along” by putting a little sugar in the water when I boil it! The picture may be faded and worn, but the memories are still bright and clear. Not a day goes by when I don’t think of them and miss them. My grandpa also taught me how to whistle, he didn’t care that I was a girl and it was “unseemly”!

— Teresa Alspach, Akron

Lorina Peters Hann, grandmother

My Grandma Hann taught me how to plant a garden. Three corn seeds and two bean seeds in every hill was her method. Learning to count came with the garden lesson.

— Joyce Hann, Glen Allen, Virginia

Grandpa Freddy

Grampa Freddy did not talk much.  He could go through an entire day’s worth of chores, meals, and visits from us grandkids without ever saying a word. At first, I assumed that it might have had something to do with his parents having immigrated to America from England, what with English people having a reputation for getting things done quietly and without complaint. He was also a busy farmer, with 100 or so acres to tend.

One day, while he was taking apart a gas-powered engine on his work-bench, I asked him outright why he didn’t seem to have much to say. He stopped, stood ramrod straight, looked me square in the eye, and said, “Cuz talkin’ ain’t doin.’”

Then he got back to repairing his engine. “Talkin’ ain’t doin’” seems to have a lot in common with Aesop’s maxim, “After all is said and done, more’s been said than done.”
My Grampa knew that most folks can do only one of two things — they can either talk about doing something, or they can just go ahead and do it without talking. “Talkin’ Ain’t Doin’” has become the core of my work ethic, and a handmade sign stating this claim now hangs above my own work bench.

— M. Barner, Anaheim, Calif.

Isador and Helen Grigorowicz, grandparents

They taught me family is important and to celebrate together.

— Helen Pratt, Maple Heights, Ohio

Melvin and Eleanor Horst, grandparents

What’s important by living a godly example. They love the Lord, the church and each other. Grandpa reads newspapers (including Farm and Dairy) and storybooks to Grandma by the hour because she can’t see.

— The Klippenstein children, Columbiana, Ohio

Jay R. Clark, grandfather

My grandfather taught me fitting and cultivating a garden beginning at 1 year. He also taught me about work (planting, harvesting etc.). Digging carrots in the winter was my least favorite job while “fitting” riding a horse was a favorite.

— John Armstrong, Williamsfield, Ohio

Anna Novotny, grandmother

My grandmother taught me how to know good bread. My grandmother, Anna Novotny, of Maple Heights, Ohio, emigrated from Central Europe in 1904. One day, with her bread supply running low, she asked me if I’d go and buy some. I went to the nearby Lawson’s and returned with a loaf of white.

“Let me show you something,” she said as she took two slices and crushed them in her hand.

When her hand opened the bread remained in a ball. “This is not good bread,” she said.
“Good bread comes back!”

I still use her advice to this day.

— Glenn R. Novotny, Hudson, Ohio

Ed and Bertha Lachmayer, grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression

To save and make do and to help one another.

— Marianne Friers

Buster and Minnie Lindsay, grandparents

The value of working hard for what you want and to not quit until you reach your goals. They also taught me that family is No. 1 and to always stand up for what is right. My list could go on and on.

— Justin Curtis, North Benton, Ohio

Catherine Davis, grandma

My grandma taught me how to cook and bake through her recipes. Some of our favorites — lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, beef stroganoff, peanut butter cookies.

— Aimee Tenzek, Lisbon, Ohio

Betty Glenn, grandmother

My grandma taught me how to bake. She not only showed me how to make delicious from scratch pies, but she has also has shown me how much joy can come from baking alongside your family and friends. I can’t wait to pass on this great tradition to my own children!

— Ashley Babick, Ellwood City, Pennsylvania

Eugene and Loretta Higgins, grandparents

My grandfather, Grandpop, taught me to love and respect all parts of the land and how to graft fruit trees. My grandmother taught me how to read when everyone else failed. She taught me sight reading before anyone knew what dyslexia was. My grandparents, Eugene and Loretta Higgins, raised me on a 130-acre organic orchard and truck farm outside of Flintstone, Maryland.

— Nan McBurney, Woodsfield, Ohio

Irene Dunlap, grandma

My grandmother taught me to have fun and enjoy life. She passed away in July at 99, but even in her 90s, she enjoyed life to its fullest. She loved festivals and community events, everyone there would flock around her infectious smile and zest for life. She had an incredible talent for turning a simple trip to town for errands into an adventure worthy of a tale to tell later. She was ornery, sharp minded, happy, and just an overall amazing woman. Lucky for me, she was my grandma, her life lessons will carry on in my heart forever.

— Claire Murral, Freeport, Ohio

Theodor Puder, granddaddy

My memories of the only grandparent who was living during my early life was my granddaddy, Papa Theodor Puder. He came to America from Germany at 43 with his family (my mom was 9). The earliest recollections I have in life are my mom teaching me a bedtime German Prayer: “Ich bin klein, Mein Herz  ist rein, Soll niemand drin wohnen, als Jesus allein.”

I remember saying that prayer and then adding for the Lord to bless my granddaddy.
As I became older, I got to know my granddaddy and the most accurate words to best describe him are pious, a man of very deep Christian faith and a person of wise, wholesome words to share.

I remember once when my granddaddy was staying at our house. He had already gone to bed 20 minutes or so before. I next left to head to rest for the night and as I passed by him in bed, I could quietly hear him praying, listing family members and asking for the Lord’s protection over them. These words clearly paint a clear picture of the man I so proudly called my granddaddy.

— Stuart Walent, Copley, Ohio

Mark Duplaga, grandpa

My grandpa taught me how to work a nail gun. I went to Florida with my dad and when my sister and I got to my mom’s there was a big purple and green playhouse. My mom said it was not done so Pa (my grandpa) was coming over tomorrow to put the rest of the trim on. So when Pa came over the next morning and I was wanting to help him, he let me hold up the trim. Then when we were to the fourth piece he said I could do the nailing so I did all of the pieces except the top pieces because I could not reach it. I had lots of fun learning how to use the nail gun!

— Grace Denes, Wellington, Ohio

Other responses

To always be prepared for company and that they should eat well when they arrive.

— Rich Cisney, Greensboro, North Carolina

Respect and courtesy!

— Jeff Mason

Never give up!

— Linda Stapleton

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