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Recollections 6

The Grand Life: Wholehearted Grandparenting

Release Date: 01/11/2021

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

Guests from Season 3 of the podcast share memories of their grandparent's work and careers--tagging along to work with them, and being shaped by their jobs and their work ethic. Emily also interviews a grandmother who's a business-executive-turned-filmmaker.

EPISODE SHOW NOTES

Emily's guest has produced Beyond Sixty Project, a new documentary film. Learn more here

THE STRETCH IT TAKES (essay)

  We have a black and white picture of my grandfather’s business prominently displayed in our front hallway. He owned a car dealership and auto body shop with two gas pumps in front of it. In the photo, I can see my grandfather’s name proudly displayed in large block letters - the names Oldsmobile, Cadillac, and GMC Trucks surrounding it. By the time I remember visiting, he had moved into a much larger facility with huge plate glass windows and a big large showroom with shiny new cars parked inside. It was an awesome place to visit as a kid. 

  When we visited my grandparents, he would often take us into his office and generously hand us plastic replicas of cars. I wish I had saved those. I remember the doors of the model cars would open and close. Sometimes the trunks would even open. I loved running my hand across the glossy paint of the toy car and imagining myself driving it off the lot. 

  My grandfather’s office opened up into a larger space where my Uncle Paul and Great Uncle Stanley had desks. My second cousin Jean Elsie worked there, too. I knew that my Dad had worked there as a young man as well. It was definitely an old-fashioned family business. My Uncle Stanley always had dimes in his pocket to dole out to us, and as soon as I got my hands on that dime, I ran into the service area to spend it on a cold Orange Crush that I pulled out of one side of the bright red and white Coke Machine. Air ratchets chattered through the service bays as I pushed the lever, opened the slim door on the left, and grabbed the cold bottle by the neck and pulled. The machine released the goods with some resistance. Happily, I’d pop the top off the bottle with the can opener that was tucked into the front panel of the machine. Cold Orange Crush never tasted so good. 

  Once refreshed, I would head out to the gas pumps to “help” the customers. When a car would drive over the black rubber hose outside, a bell would ring inside to alert the staff of a new customer. I would run out ahead and try my best to offer to pump the gas. I remember the staff and customers being kind and generous with my attempts. I also remember a slight reprimand for crawling on the hood of a car, squeegee in hand,  to wash the front windshield. My eagerness had met my limits. I was way too short to try that again. And I’m sure the customers didn’t appreciate my hand and footprints on the hood of their car. 

  It was such a different time, where people would ask if I was Gerald’s granddaughter and pat me on the head when they realized I was. I was part of a legacy, and I sensed that in my grandfather’s workplace. When I pump gas now and smell the fumes, I often think about my grandfather. I can’t go into a service bay of our local Chevy Dealer without wishing I could have a bottle of Orange Crush. This is the thing. We are programmed for connection, and our memories are linked strongly to our senses. 

  So what memories am I building with my grandchildren that they will someday recall? Our workplaces are often our homes. Will they connect the two? Will they reminisce about our workplaces the way I do with my grandparents’ place of business? It’s definitely going to be a stretch, since work and home are now so intertwined. It’s hard not to look back and wish for the old days...but instead, I am going to look forward and think about how I can help my grands understand what I do, and how it gives me so much more freedom to see them because I don’t walk through a big glass door into a physical workplace. 

  I, instead, live in a virtual world of writing, editing, and creating content for this podcast, which gives me the flexibility to stop by for visits, or have the grands over for lunch or an afternoon of book reading and playing. Yes, the workplace has changed, but what hasn’t is that I am building memories with my grands that will last a lifetime. 

© 2021 Emily Morgan