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Recollections 3

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Release Date: 02/15/2020

The Power of Story, Part 3 show art The Power of Story, Part 3

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Emily wraps up the third episode on "the power of stories" with a chat with an executive from Scholastic, Inc.--the source of all those books sold to grade-school students from newsletters and book fairs. Their conversation took place just before World Read-Aloud Day, which framed their talk about grandparents reading aloud to their grands. THE STRETCH IT TAKES (Emily's Essay): The Genetics of Reading   When I visited the home of my maternal grandparents, I don’t remember seeing a book in any room of the house. It was a stark contrast to our own house with books in each room and a...

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The Power of Story, Part 2 show art The Power of Story, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Continuing the theme from last episode, Emily speaks with a 93-year-old grandfather, author, and active advocate of capturing and then "unleashing" grandparent stories. His creative partner in their website adds helpful details about a program that helps grands become powerful and prolific story-makers. SHOW NOTES Jerry and Deanna's website is grandparentsunleashed.com, and  Jerry's book is The Grandest Love, available .

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The Power of Story, Part 1 show art The Power of Story, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

How well do your grands know your story? Emily travels (virtually) to Trinidad to speak with Felicia Chang, a professional in the area of capturing the personal stories of our families, with a special emphasis our elders. Your story has worth and power...and is of priceless value to your grands. EPISODE NOTES Felicia Chang's TEDx Talk about how the stories of our loved ones connect us all is . Her business has a and a . This is Felicia with her dear grandmother, the subject of her movie and the inspiration of her view on capturing stories.

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Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 2 show art Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Continuing last episode's theme, this time Emily talks with a grandparent in the US and a parent in France whose extended relationships span oceans, languages, and cultures. Adventure seasoned with selflessness is the recipe. THE STRETCH IT TAKES (Emily's essay)   “We’re moving to Brussels.” Those words shocked me even though I was twenty-one, living in my own apartment and working on my graduate degree. My parents called from NH to inform me that my dad had taken a job in Belgium. “Where is that?” was my immediate reply. (I was in grad school for English Lit, and obviously...

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Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 1 show art Distance/Global Grandparenting, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Back in Season 2, we did an episode on Long-Distance Grandparenting which proved to be a popular subject. When the distances are really long--international--you'd think it would be harder. The pandemic has made distance less of a factor that it once was, so experienced global grandparents can teach lessons almost all of us can apply. EPISODE SHOW NOTES Learn more about Emily's guest, author Helen Ellis, at https://www.distancefamilies.com. Her book will be out in April, 2021. 

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Grandparent Educators, Part 2 show art Grandparent Educators, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Some grandparents have the time, talent, and access to become directly involved with their grands' education. Emily talks with two grandparents and a teacher who have done or seen this firsthand, which may give you ideas on how to approach this in your extended family. SHOW NOTE Learn more about Emily's third guest, Sandra Williams, from her and her book, .  

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Grandparent Educators, Part 1 show art Grandparent Educators, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Grandparents can play a range of roles in their grands' education. In Part 1 on this topic, Emily talks with a retired teacher whose journey through racial segregation in the 1950s shaped her commitment to supporting the schooling of her descendants. Emily's essay is a revealing self-portrait of a third grader, a pen pal, and a missed opportunity Emily's guest Kaaren Rodman provides details on her family's scholarship: "Our family has set up a scholarship that is awarded through the Indianapolis Urban League. Mike and I did smaller grants for several years in the 90's, one for each set of...

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Grandparent Love, Part 2 show art Grandparent Love, Part 2

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

The centerpiece of this episode is Emily's interview with best-selling author Barbara Graham, who has written about the collected experiences of gifted and famous grandmothers. There are lessons to be learned from her work... and from Emily's essay about loving our grands well with the time we find. Learn more about Emily's guest and her work at .    The Stretch It Takes: Competing With Time (Emily's Essay)   If there’s one thing that this pandemic has taught me, it’s that time looks and feels different to different people, depending on their age and their...

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Grandparent Love, Part 1 show art Grandparent Love, Part 1

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

To begin Season 4, Emily talks with two members of her network on how to put our love for our grands into action--with purpose, and intentionality, and clever ideas.  The payoff is a richer relationship, even when it's largely a long-distance one. To learn more about our two guests visit and .         

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Spotlight on Emily show art Spotlight on Emily

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

While we take a break between seasons of The Grand Life Podcast, we're inviting host Emily Morgan to the guest's chair for a change. With husband and producer Mike, she covers choosing content, finding guests, and balancing the living of The Grand Life with her podcasting about it.

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More Episodes

Emily presents an encore from guests in Season 2 sharing memories of food they learned about, or shared with, their own grandparents. Plus, we visit the brand-new Test Kitchen in our town, where a Korean chef is sharing his grandmother's recipes with his new Midwestern clientele.

SHOW NOTES

The cover photo this week shows Mike's Grandmother's Yeast Rolls, which are featured in Emily's essay about food memories.

Our interview with Korave Korean BBQ was recorded at The Test Kitchen at The Yard at Fishers District (near Indianapolis).

THE STRETCH IT TAKES (Emily's essay): Food, Smells, and Memory

  On a recent visit to our house,my granddaughter opened our front door, took a deep breath and ran into the kitchen. She placed her nose just inches away from the hot- out -of- the- oven 13 by 9 pan, and said “Pita!” I love pita...I could eat the whole pan of pita all by myself.”  

  Now for many of you, the word Pita means pita bread, defined as a family of yeast-leavened round flatbreads baked from wheat flour, common in the Mediterranean and the  Middle East. Maybe you dip it in hummus, or fill it with grilled meat and veggies. 

  For our family, pita is short for Tiropita, a Greek pastry made with layers of buttered phyllo and filled with a cheese-egg mixture. Many times it is served in the shape of a triangle or a pie-shape. When my grandmother came over from Greece as a young child, I’m pretty sure that’s how it was presented. But as time would have it, traditions morph and so the triangles have become squares cut from a rectangular pan and the name shortened to pita. No matter the name or the shape...to our family, it has always just meant delicious. 

  When I prepare that recipe for our grands, I know that their taste buds have been groomed to enjoy it. They have eaten it as young children, warm from the oven or cold on family picnics. They love the taste of the feta cheese and the pungent smell of it doesn’t seem to bother them. 

  That’s the way things are with food. Smells become memories. Think of your own memories related to food. The cooking smell of bread, cookies, onions and veggies, special soups  - all of them elicit very specific memories. Just Google “sense of smell,” and this is what you learn:

  Of all the senses, the sense of smell is the most important trigger of memory. One reason is that the olfactory system is located in the same part of our brain that affects emotions, memory, and creativity.

  And so we can be in the grip of a food memory at any moment...walking down a crowded street, entering someone’s home, getting seated in a restaurant. All of these things can evoke memories of food. When I smell roasted chestnuts, I’m immediately transported to two different places at once: the streets of NYC and then Disney World where for one Christmas we met as a family and were greeted by roasting chestnuts at the entrance to The Grand Floridian. Both the cold of NYC and the Florida warmth combine in my memories to create a sense of complete enchantment. 

  What are the food smells that make you think of your grandparents? For me, it was pitta, or avgolemono soup, or something my Greek grandmother called Chop Suey, which is hilarious because that name is generally associated with an Asian-american dish of cooked vegetables and meat with a sauce poured over rice.  But for us, it became a dish of ground beef, diced tomatoes and elbow macaroni. A far cry from the original! But if you make it, you get to name it. 

  In our family, Avgolemono Soup - a Greek egg, lemon and orzo soup has become Soap Suds Soup because the whipped egg whites look like soap suds floating on the surface. We always call the boxed Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup, GSFA, which stands for Green stuff floating around. We call a specific kind of chocolate cake, chocolate mistake cake because my husband’s mother accidentally made a frosting that hardened on the cake too quickly and the frosting became more like a chocolate bar on top...so yummy. 

  We can’t be the only family who has these crazy traditions. I would love to hear yours! If you have any that you would like to share, feel free to post on our FB page The Grand LIfe, call in a memory at 317-572-7876, or email me at [email protected]

  I have to say that each time I prepare one of our grandparent’s recipes, I think of the great cooking legacy that each of them has left. After scrambling hamburger in an iron skillet, my grandfather used to scrape the crumbles out with a piece of bread and hand it to me. I don’t do that often, but I do think of grampa everytime I scramble a hamburger. And every time we sit down to a holiday meal, we enjoy Grandmother’s Yeast rolls. I love that as we split open a roll to add honey or butter, we often exclaim that grandmother’s recipe is the best. Once again, her memory is evoked, and we not only enjoy her rolls, but also, by remembering - we enjoy her company. - with each and every glorious bite.  

© 2019 Emily Morgan