I recently visited my grandparents and uncovered a notebook in which my Grandpa wrote “Notes to My Grandchildren.” For those of you who do not know, my Grandpa has TONS of books that he has written in all over his house, however, luckily enough I found this particular one whose sayings really stood out to me. I really value all that my Grandpa has to say — he’s a decorated athlete (winning the 1st ever ACC cross-country championship at N.C. State), a former Army man, a renowned former regional park executive director (traveling all over to speak), and a very, very smart man who is always sharing stories and wisdom with anyone who will listen 🙂
So, I decided to “publish” his notes (I’d love to publish all of his books one day!) and share them with you all, as these aphorisms/bucket list ideas/recipes/tips/etc. provide bits of knowledge I know many can relate to so well. [note: these were all written between August 1997 and September 2000.]
*** Look after your health and then reach for the stars *** A good smile can pay big dividends in every situation *** Read, read, and read to stay ahead in life *** Life is a race so know when to run hard *** Be a good sport and know when the race is over *** It is better to listen than to talk *** Spend at least a few days each month listening to the song birds *** Always leave time in your schedule to daydream *** One must be a strong swimmer so swim against the current *** Always lean forward and one will always make progress *** Build a beautiful gazebo in your garden and watch how friendly neighbors will become *** A porch is good medicine for those who want friends *** Learn to whistle and enjoy arranging any tune *** Happiness is being generous to others *** When planting a garden leave a row for the rabbits *** Plant beautiful wild flowers in your flower garden that will bloom all summer *** Tread water if you only want to stay in the same place *** Treat your body well since it is the only one you will ever have *** Good doctors are like good friends — hard to find *** If one wants to impress someone return a book they have loaned *** Plant at least one tree and watch it grow for many years *** Remember to play all through life *** The only good thing that will survive time is a park with trees *** Providing clean water is necessary for society to survive *** Take time to listen to the rain falling on a tin roof *** Watch the snow fall and then melt *** At the beach, get up early and enjoy the sun peeping up over the water *** Enjoy sunsets since there are only so many in a lifetime *** Enjoy the cool air of mountains some each summer *** Visit the mountains each summer and fall for variety of color *** Visit Yellow Stone Park at least once *** If things get hard in life, take shorter steps *** Never, never, never give up and success will follow *** Travel young since some may not have health or money to travel when old *** There is a place that will bring happiness; find it each day *** Learn to accept criticism and change if it will make one a better person *** Don’t be a complainer of the weather; add clothes if cold; take them off if hot *** Try to smile and never frown when getting a picture made *** Plan for the future by saving each pay period *** Help someone in need to help yourself feel good *** Remember it takes all kinds to make up the world *** A wren house near your house is necessary for happy sounds *** Say something good about someone and it will get back to them many times *** Do it if you have a good idea *** If one thinks he or she can start a business, try it *** Take as many swimming lessons as possible *** Learn to play at least one musical instrument *** Join the band in school *** Write one letter each month to a grandparent *** Exercise some each day *** Walk a lot on the beach in the sand with no shoes *** Never, never lift anything over 20 lbs *** Never push or pull to much *** Take lots of pictures of everything when young *** Collect pictures of as many grandparents and great-grandparents as possible *** Visit Zion National Park at least once *** Lie on your back and watch the sky with stars at night *** Lie on your back in the daytime and watch the clouds float by *** Spend sometime in a canoe *** Drive down Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway every year *** Swim indoors all year long *** Take a swim suit along when traveling *** Send flowers to ones you love *** Develop high esteem in yourself *** Try to be honest and a person one can trust *** Enjoy the success of your associates *** Always be ready to compete but remain a good sport if one wins or loses *** Always keep your parents informed on how to call or reach you *** Keep a calendar of all friends, birthdays, addresses, and phone numbers *** Know how to contact your elected officials *** Learn to enjoy friends’ successes *** Before taking medicine read the label *** Protect your back at “all costs” *** Visit a good dentist every 6 months *** As one grows older, check shoe size since feet will get larger *** Learn to dance *** Learn how to use tools then help one build a cabin or house *** Always use your seat belt *** Enjoy a fresh ear of corn pulled from the stalk immediately cooked in boiled water *** Enjoy being a boy or girl scout *** Collecting something is fun *** Learning bird sounds enables one to take a great hobby with them anywhere *** Try to get yourself trim and lean in your forties; over fifty and it is extremely hard *** Drive a white car since it can be seen easily *** If someone wants a easement over your property, rent it don’t sell it *** Only good friends tell one how to improve *** Get a car you like and take good care of it and drive it 10 years or more *** A sand box for your children makes them happy and content *** Never paint a wooden frame with anything but wood preserver *** The best flowers for your sunny garden is the day lilies *** Dogwood trees like water when dry to survive *** Genes play a big part in your health, so learn all you can about parents and other relatives’ health *** If one wants to excel at anything, usually it can be done by much practice *** Learn early in life the proper way to sit in a chair *** Recipe for banana split: cut one banana into about three slices; add one scoop of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream; scatter walnut on top with chocolate syrup; top it off with whip cream and cherries *** Recipe for chocolate nut sundae: put four scoops of vanilla ice cream in a cup; all walnuts and chocolate syrup; top if off with whip cream and cherry *** Ann’s grandparents and my grandparents had big wooden rail or metal barrels that stayed full of water for fire protection; in corner of house where the water would run off the roof *** Learn to respect the environment *** Have lots of dreams and one will be happy *** Fulfill your dreams and one becomes great *** Try never to correct anyone older than yourself *** After fifty, take good care of your body since it takes time to heal *** If you have trouble swallowing certain foods, then they may not be good for your body *** Keep a positive attitude and everyone will enjoy your company *** If you buy cleared land, plant trees immediately for beauty and profit *** Learn the names of as many trees as possible *** Learn all one can about stocks, bonds, and investment opportunities *** Try to always keep your conversation interesting *** Call an aunt or uncle often *** Remember health comes first always *** Learn to relax and sleep restful *** A smart dog for children is a border terrier because it can’t injure children like a large one *** Never let your car get over half empty *** In a heavy rain storm, head for a safe place to get off the road *** Practice driving in all kinds of situations to develop good safe habits *** Never rush in a car; better to be safe than sorry *** Learn good manners and people will really appreciate it *** Remember good manners should be used at home and then they become natural everywhere *** Learn how to eat the proper food to stay healthy and happy *** Get a first edition boy scout manual for fun reading *** Take at least one train trip *** Put more emphasis on a great house to live in before acquiring a big, expensive car *** Remember doctors practice medicine but they are needed *** The hardest thing in life to deal with is never ending pain, so thank God every day that you don’t experience it *** Enjoy a good friend every day because tomorrow they might be gone *** It seems we are all much alike but yet so different *** Give slack to children and grandchildren *** When it starts getting dry, start watering immediately *** When I visited Waves, NC they got all of their water from the rain on roofs (in 1952) *** Start an IRA account early in life *** Remember only those living make mistakes *** Learn stretching exercises; you will use these all your life *** It is very difficult to be happy and have poor health *** Get advice from many people then move forward with your decision *** Never forget how to enjoy a rainbow *** Eat about six small meals a day *** Be especially good to parents; they are the only ones you will ever have *** If one treats his/her mate with care, only one will ever be needed *** Remember what is fun for one person can be work for others *** Never buy a brown or tan car *** Pray some every day regardless of what one believes in *** Be happy if you win a few games or races in life that will show one has tried *** It is easier to give advice than to take it *** Every scary sound is a cat fight in the middle of the night under a house with no underpinning *** The hardest decisions in life will be about your health treatment *** Friends will change many times in life *** Some will get all they can out of a “friend” and they drop them and move on *** Learn to enjoy good music and art *** Try to associate with positive thinking people to keep yourself “positive thinking” *** If one eats in the same places, tip extra for special services *** Learn many and all of the words one can as early in life as possible *** When building a house, a good architect with your taste for design is essential *** After college, find an indoor pool and swim at least three times per week *** If one lives long, one will realize how short life is to everyone *** Drive with courtesy and it may spread *** There is nothing one can take from the world but one can leave a lot *** Leave a good education to your children; this is something one can’t “buy” *** Enjoy the beach more by visiting early spring or early fall *** The best investment for your children is education of good quality from grade school through college *** Do as much as possible when young *** Purchase plants and trees when they are small and watch them grow and save lots of money *** Don’t waste time on people if in your opinion they produce bad vibes *** My mother always said there would always be wars and rumors of war according to her Bible *** Try always to think positive and enjoy the happiness it will bring *** A general contractor must have good subs to do a good job and perfect “glue” to make the project “sound” *** A person is like a tree; the proper blend of all the environment makes one healthy and happy *** If one has health and happiness, don’t “screw it up” by doing something stupid *** Work very hard to stay happy and healthy *** Don’t give children too much or they will not appreciate it *** Don’t waste time by being prejudice against any person *** Try never to be jealous of anyone *** Remember children are influenced by their family and friends *** Planning is good but at some point action is needed *** When one knows what one wants to do, be prepared to make like a “polished thunderbolt” *** Learn how to eat properly as soon as possible; it will make one happy later in life *** If one wants to be a great athlete, be prepared for injuries *** Swimming is the best exercise for the whole body *** Education is the number one thing to leave children *** Life is like a race from birth to death, so learn how to best run it early in life *** Be careful of those who do not put a deal in clear written language *** The more one helps the more others are jealous, but don’t quit helping *** A good time to buy plants, such as azaleas, is during Labor Day sales *** The best time to seed one’s yard in Northern VA is after August 15th and before October 1st *** My dad always said an onion a day keeps the doctor away. He had one every day he could and died at 86 without ever being very sick *** Learn to travel “light” with small bags rather than one heavy bag *** If one has children, have at least one litter of puppies for them to enjoy *** Never do tomorrow what one can do today *** “Run” hard and fast as long as possible *** If one hasn’t ever been in the “race,” there will be no memories *** Pray to be around good people; they will leave one with answers to problems *** Be sure to talk to at least three people who have been completely satisfied with a builder before signing a contract *** Life is very short *** Everyone wants and needs recognition, so help others by giving it *** If one felt one has problems, look around; everyone has them *** Learn to plan your traveling when there isn’t much traffic *** Learn to ride a horse early in life *** Learn to love all seasons and weather since it will contribute to helping one to be happy *** If you think it is a “good deal,” go with it since it may not happen again *** Smile today because you may not be able tomorrow *** Some people need time and space alone, so give it to them *** Enjoy children and grandchildren while they are babies; they grow fast *** Develop a great smile if you want people to remember you forever *** Some people get away with doing unpleasant, devious things, but they never fool those closest to them *** Use lots of sunscreen and take a straw hat when in the sun *** Be nice to others; some will be nice in return.
The point? Hidden knowledge is all around us. We just have to listen!