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Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Grandparents Day by Kaye Spencer #prairierosepubs #grandparentsday #westernromance

This Sunday, September 13th is National Grandparents Day in the U.S.

 The first Sunday after Labor Day was set aside as National Grandparents Day by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Going backward in time, it was in 1969 when a nine-year-old boy named Russell Capper wrote a letter to President Richard Nixon requesting a special day for grandparents. The origin of this day comes from 1956 and is attributed to the work of a woman named Marian McQuade.

These links, HERE and HERE, have more information about Grandparents Day in the U.S. and other countries.

I have three children and six grandchildren. This picture is from June of this year. This is me and my oldest son and one of his girls. They live in California. I live in Colorado. That is entirely too far away in my grandmotherly opinion.

 I am fortunate that I had a close relationship with my maternal grandfather and my paternal grandmother. My maternal grandmother died before I was two, and my paternal grandfather died before I was born.

 I often wonder if part of the discord and disharmony in society nowadays is due to the reality that we live in a mobile society, and that several generations of children have grown up too far from their grandparents to enjoy the benefits of a grandchild/grandparent relationship and the guidance that grandparents offer. It’s sad to me when children don’t have the gift of ‘readily accessible’ grandparents in their growing up years. It’s equally lamentable when parents don’t have their parents nearby to help them during their children’s growing up years.

Yes, I realize I’m over-generalizing, but you get what I mean.

 In my stories and books, published and yet-to-be-published, I either include grandparents as important characters in the stories, or I mention that grandparents exist. Since I write predominantly in historical settings, it is common to have multi-generational families living in close proximity, and I take full advantage of that.

Here are grandparent/grandchildren teaser excerpts from two of my novelettes. (Blogger isn’t playing nicely with these images. I apologize for the inferior quality of the text. Click to enlarge, and they will be sharp and clear.)


Until next time,
Kaye Spencer


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  1. Kaye, my mom talked a LOT about her grandparents. I only met one of them--her mother's mother, and didn't know her well, but she was a HUGE part of my mom's life. I think that is really sad, too, that people mean so much to us, but our children and their children will sometimes never know them, and certainly will not know them in the way that we did.

    I don't have any grandchildren, BUT my BFF just had her first grandchild and she is over the moon. I'm enjoying her thrill just through the pictures she shares and her joy.

    1. My six grandchildren have a 19-year span from oldest to youngest (24 to 5). Four girls and two boys. They are fortunate in that they've had the experience of having several generations of grandmas and grandpas in their lives.

  2. Kaye, you may be correct about having adults who help with rearing and nuturing children and helping parents. Even in the past when grandparents weren' around, community stepped in and helped out.

    By the way, I love both of the stories you highlight. Doris

    1. Doris, You're absolutely right about community (village??) helping with child-rearing. Sadly, even in my small community, so many families struggle without that extended support. Communities just are as closely-knit as they used to me.

  3. I had my grandmother until I became a mother myself. She was only 4'10" but a little fireball of energy. My toddler loved to tease her by trying to snatch her little lunch box that she used to hold her crochet wool and needles. He'd take off and she'd chase after him, both of them laughing. That is my favorite memory of her...that and loving to sleep in her big featherbed. I have four boys but only one is married and he has only one child. They live three hours away so I/we don't see him often enough. I wish they lived here in town, next door. I enjoyed reading your excerpts, Kaye.

    1. Elizabeth,
      My kid's best memories of my mom, who is still living and almost 88 years old and a 5' fireball *wink*, is that she took them fishing when they were young. My two oldest my grandchildren - sibling girls - live a few blocks away from me (well, the oldest is out of college and on her own). The sibling grandboys live an hour away, and I see them frequently. My other two grandchildren, girls, live in California. I see them once a year, which isn't nearly enough. But I'll take what I can get. Facetime has been a poor, but better-than-nothing, way to stay close to them.

  4. It is sad that families get split up by modern life. One of the few good things to come out of the pandemic in the UK is that it has made many people reassess their work/life balance, I hope that means that people take more time to simply be with one another.

    1. C.A., Yes it is sad that families are often so distant from each other. I agree that the changes in our lifestyles and priorities in light of how the pandemic has readjusted our lives is not all bad.

  5. There are many children today who are raised by their grandparents. They certainly deserve a day to be remembered and honored. My sister and I spent some summers with our maternal grandmother and we have some great memories from those visits. My maternal grandfather was light a ray of sunshine, funny stories and a smile on his face. I never knew my paternal grandmother because she died before I was born, but I've heard some good things about her like her participation in women's suffrage and how she could graft roses. My paternal grandfather was a post Civil War baby and in his eighties when I came along. He came from a family of scholars, but it was his wisdom and gentleness I remember most. I wish I could have know him longer.
    This was such a sweet article, Kaye. I'm so glad you posted it.

  6. Sarah,
    Sadly, yes, there are many children raised by their grandparents. I say sadly, not because its grandparents raising them, because there is benefit to that, but because of the age difference. It's hard as a 60-something grandparent to shift gears and become a parent to an under 18 child. The energy is just not there anymore, and the 'generation gap', to use a cliche, is tough to navigate.

    You should write down the stories you've heard about your grandparents. You could blog about them on your blog *hint hint* and draw readers who would love to read those historical tidbits.