My grandmothers lived through some amazing times from economic depression, to a world war. From segregation to integration and a realization that people are all human and more alike in the end. These events, as well as where they lived, taught them skills that aren’t really needed the same way today.
My paternal grandmother became an expert seamstress and learned how to make lace. She did what it took to make ends meet and then some. She canned, she pickled, and she wasn’t afraid to haggle for a “proper price”.
My matter so grandmother understood the value of relationships and trading what you had for something that you needed or wanted. She knew how to take economical food items and turn them into a feast. She pickled, she canned, she salted and she preserved.
Neither of these ladies let a thing go to waste. Nor were they afraid to experiment with what they had to try and create what they wanted. They didn’t apologise for anything either. My maternal grandmother had an out of friends, the United Nations a of sorts. Color, belief, gender and such didn’t matter at all to her. The only thing she demanded was that people were honest and good. Her definition of good of course! 😉 My paternal grandmother had friends that came from where she came from. They helped each other, borrowing pantry and kitchen as needed. She demanded fairness and honesty.
these ladies taught me some cooking skills, the importance of visiting over coffee or tea. They taught me that you can no make something quickly and haven it just so for company. They taught me that less is more with some things, fresh flowers from your own garden are always sweeter than those from a shop.
they also taught me you can still be a female and hold your own.
They didn’t teach me how to can or pickle because both ladies were adamant that we would never fall on those hard times again. I have rudimentary sewing skills at best, again both ladies felt there was almost no need to for this skill. Both ladies felt it was more important to work on things like equality, human rights and staying strong. These skills, they both agreed, were transferable regardless of the economy or political systems at work in the world. These are the lessons my grandmothers taught me.