Grandmothers are precious gifts from God. While I may be biased, Nanny, my mom's mother, and Mamaw, my dad's mother, were the best grandmothers on Earth! Period.
From words of advice to random phrases in conversation, my grandmothers spoke some memorable words as I was growing up. Some of them are original quotes and others are common phrases that my grandmothers spoke frequently.
1. "You have to make your own fun." -Nanny
No matter where we were, Nanny always made sure to have fun. This is a phrase I have recalled on numerous occasions, especially in college. While it isn't always easy to find the fun in studying for a test, remembering Nanny's words definitely helps.
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, don't forget to have a little fun.
2. "Lord willing and the creek don't rise." -Mamaw
She would often say this when telling someone she would do something or be there. "I'll be at work tomorrow-Lord willing and the creek don't rise."
My dad's response would be "if the Lord's willing, it doesn't matter if the creek rises or not!" Oh gosh, I love my family.
3. "Kill 'em with kindness." -Nanny
Before there was Selena Gomez, there were my grandmothers.
Although I heard both of my grandmother's use this phrase, it is one that Nanny used regularly.
Whenever one of her kids or grandkids came to her talking about a difficult person, her response was always "kill 'em with kindness."
Although this is not always the easiest advice to follow, it is beneficial. It goes along with the phrase "you can't fight fire with fire."
Our first instinct may be to snap right back at a difficult person, but this will only make matters worse. Showing them kindness will shock them and often disarm them from their battle position.
4. "Go Visit Your Neighbors." -Mamaw
As my Mamaw spoke this advice to my dad, she did not necessarily mean our literal neighbors. She often was speaking of people in our community who "thought a lot of" my dad, as she would say. Even if he couldn't stop by for a visit, she always in
This is a reminder that we need to make time for the people in our lives. Life can get exceptionally busy, even to the point that we forget to keep in touch with those people who we do not see on a regular basis. No matter how busy we think we are, we are never too busy for a quick visit with a friend or elderly relative. You never know how a 10-minute conversation can impact someone's day.
5. "Take time to stop and smell the roses." -Nanny
Nanny always had a way of taking her time. We often joked that she would walk at "Nanny pace." It wasn't because she could only walk that fast, it was usually because she was stopping to look at something.
When asked why she walked so slowly, Nanny replied, "You've got to take time to stop and smell the roses."
While she sometimes literally meant stopping to smell the roses in front of her house, this wasn't the main point of her statement.
If we are always hurrying from one place to the next, we can miss out on a lot. We begin to overlook the little blessings in our lives.
When we slow down, we begin to notice how truly blessed we are, and this can even lead us to be kinder to others.
Of course, don't forget to smell those roses every now and then.
6. Nanny's Cooking Advice
Every year after Christmas dinner at Nanny's house, she would walk into the kitchen and pull out a hot, gooey pecan pie. It was always a hit! We all raced to get our slice, knocking down a cousin or two if that meant we would get there first! No crumb would be left behind of Nanny's famous pecan pie.
That is until her secret "recipe" was found in the trash can.
While we thought Nanny had whipped up the perfect pecan pie every Christmas, what she had really done was not quite Food Network material. Nanny would buy a Mrs. Edward's pecan pie, put it in her own pie container, and warmed it up in the oven before everyone got there.
I guess she didn't conceal the evidence very well this particular year. I don't think anyone ate a single piece of the pie that year.
Looking back, we all laugh about it because that is something only Nanny could get away with. Of course, every Christmas, we make sure someone brings Nanny's pecan pie.
These simple phrases and the countless memories that are attached to them are so valuable to me. I will always cherish them as they remind me of my precious grandmothers.
Although I do not have them here with me anymore, their words will always be alive in my heart.