Isn't it amazing how looking through a pantry to make a grocery list can results in a flood of memories.
The summer of 1985 I lived with my mom's parents while our family made the move from Texas to Oregon. During that time my grandparents taught me a lot during that summer. My grandfather let me tinker in his shop, where I learned how to use a hammer and a saw. He let me use all of his scrap wood, which I proudly made shoe racks for their garage, among other things. My grandmother educated me on the 'birds and the bees' after my mother had scared me to death of attempting to have the conversation earlier that year, using our dogs and their puppies as the focus of the conversation.
Grandma also taught me about cooking, recycling, and 'being green'. She made her own soap and laundry detergent, she canned her own fruits and vegetables, and during that summer she eliminated the need of garbage service completely.
That summer I learned how to make many things and I have fond memories of that summer. My grandmother taught me tatting, to knit, sew, patch torn items, and she re-taught me how to crotchet, which she previously taught me when I was about 8 years old during one of her visits. She also taught me how to make my own pasta, can fruits and vegetables, make my own grape juice, and many many more other things.
When my grandparents decided to move out of their house and move into a retirement complex, they sold most of their personal items that they would no longer need. Unfortunately, all of the items I would have loved to have kept such as grandma's pasta maker, I was unable to. Thankfully, I am able to keep the memories and the skills my grandparents taught me.
I am independent...I can fix my own stuff, with the exception of some things on a car - which I will now jokingly blame my dad for not letting me take auto mechanics in high school, I make my own food thanks to my grandmother and NOT my mother (sorry mom!) and I love how my kids and step-kids brag to others of the things I make, I am not afraid to try things and although I don't like failing I am not afraid to learn from failure, I know everything happens for a reason even though we may not like it or know why at the time why failure occurred, I am stubborn just like my grandmother, I am a perfectionist but over the years I have learned to let some things go, I enjoy every moment I can because I know my happiness in life depends only on me, I have regrets but wouldn't change them if I could because I have learned so much from them, and I am blessed to have such an amazing family!