loader from loading.io

Moving Near Grands

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Release Date: 03/01/2020

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...

info_outline
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 .

info_outline
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.

info_outline
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...

info_outline
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. 

info_outline
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, .  

info_outline
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...

info_outline
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...

info_outline
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 .         

info_outline
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.

info_outline
 
More Episodes

If you haven't already uprooted from your home and replanted yourself closer to where your children and grands live, chances are you've considered it. Emily checks in with one active grandma and two funny grandparents who have moved a few states away and share the outcomes. Plus, a visit with a city planner who's helping her city win an "age-friendly" designation from the AARP.  Also: The Stretch It Takes to move not just our bodies, but our households.

THE STRETCH IT TAKES (Emily's essay) : Is It Moving Day?

  When I sit down with friends over coffee, we often talk about moving to be near our grandchildren. There are so many different scenarios; a couple who lives in Seattle but whose children have both settled in NYC. Friends who have some family down the street in Indianapolis, and other children and grands in Pennsylvania. Others who have children and grands scattered across the country from Maine to California. Another who has one in Europe, one in Texas and three in Massachusetts. 

  Sometimes the conversation revolves around mathematics: where are the most grandchildren? Or around need: who needs us most? Or location: where’s the most comfortable living environment for me as I age? Or maybe even around relationships: what child do I click with the best? Yes...parents don’t have favorites, really, but they might have those whose lifestyle, marriage, or location fit better with their own ideals. 

  Then there are the other most practical questions: How do I afford to live in a city that has a much higher cost of living? How would I even begin to make friends? Does the place they live have resources for us  as we age? Am I going to be closer or further away from my own parents? 

  The list is long and complicated. Not to mention that it’s easier to just stay put. I once read a study that said that if you don’t make the last stages of life decisions early (by the time you’re 70 years old, if I remember correctly), it becomes much more difficult to move forward after that. I get it. My husband and I are a decade away from that, but as each year passes, we become less and less interested in the kind of changes we KNOW are going to have to happen as we age. Not to mention the kind of level headedness  it requires for the paperwork and logistics. So we are starting now to divest ourselves of material goods. We are simplifying in a way that is deliberate. We purchase fewer things, and we purge often. I have rid myself of many loads of collectibles, chinaware, furniture, clothing, and kitchen items. My husband has sold old collectible toys and tools. We are downsizing inside the house in anticipation of eventually moving to be somewhere smaller. And also developing an awareness that our children really don’t want that 8-ft-tall antique armoire we’re so fond of... or our own grandmother’s fine china we never use but are hanging onto. 

  Now, there may be some of you who are doing just the opposite, creating more space for the grands...adding on and making room so that when they all come home, there is room for them all. It’s the “if you build it, they will come.” philosophy. 

  That is a choice that many make, and in my conversations I’ve heard stories of those who do that and then the grands don’t come to visit despite the pool and the pool table. But there are others who do that and the grands do come. So it’s a gamble either way. 

  There are those who go small and then get hotel rooms for their kids and grands when they come (it’s cheaper than a huge mortgage, they explain)

  Or they stop making their home the place to gather and believe it’s time to have the kids take over the job. 

  The options are as varied as the people I talk to. The one thing our conversations  have in common, though, is that it is not an easy decision no matter what. We are all doing our best, and as I mentioned in my very first episode of The Grand Life, grandparenting has definitely evolved. How many of you had grandparents who moved to be close to you? I’m going to guess that very few of you had that situation. It just wasn’t the norm. In the 50s and 60s, grandparents stayed put. The children moved to be closer. 

  Things have changed, and so many of my friends have embraced the change and moved to be closer to their adult children and their grands. It is not an easy decision, and it requires some amount of sacrifice, and a lot of flexibility. 

© 2019 Emily Morgan