My grandmother knew

My parents are getting ready to move, so last weekend we cleaned out their house.

There was so much to let go of, so much to sift through, so many treasures to find.

My favorite treasure was a notebook that used to belong to Elizabeth Cassani - my grandmother and my dad’s mom.

My grandma died of cancer when I was a freshman in high school, so I don’t remember much; only that she was a good cook and was always kind.

But as I read her writing I realized we shared a similar belief system and view of the world.

She lived during a very different time - she was a coal miner’s wife and mother living in Central Illinois.  Yet she held firm to universal principles and the importance of self care and daily happiness.

Below is only a sampling of thoughts, articles, and quotes contained in the pages of this notebook.

And my dad told me this notebook is one of many.

It’s difficult to decipher between her thoughts and what she borrowed from other people’s writing, but these are some of my favorite excerpts:

Do what you do well – read, write, brisk walk, garden.  Tight money need not wring joy out of life.  Keep busy, good for body and spirit.  Bend, kick, dance some new steps.

Self examination in the wee hours of the morning - relax, fill lungs with deep breath of fresh air, eradicate the day’s strains and stresses.  Life is a matter of breathing. Leonardo da Vinci had habit of deep breathing before start of each creative effort. He had more energy and produced more than any man of his time.

Life is a learning process, wisdom as years pass.  Inner security only comes from courage, experience, ability and willingness to learn, grow, attempt unknown.  Not problems but reaction determines growth and maturity.  Do what you really want!

Gardening is essential – raise your own health foods. They don’t eat at restaurants in Europe – they eat from Farmer’s Markets.

Remember there is reality and image. Intuition works. Pursue. Careful judgment can turn matters your way. Contact people who can help – further your aims. Bring more pleasure to life.

Ask – is it good for me? Time to begin a new cycle of personal enterprise – an expert doesn’t necessarily know more than I, but has it better organized and uses slides.

Drop off baggage of past. Travel light. Forget in order to press on. Make new, old is for memory. Reward yourself.

Wisdom – will not seek praise, striving daily to realize more goals of helpful, happy, and enjoyable living and growth.

Help books can be contradictory – think of it as a radio and “tune in” to suit mood or activity. Be selective, pick and choose what is right for you.

Believe you have it, and you have it – Latin Proverb.  Ask and it shall be given – Matthew 7:7

Attract good fortune! Expect something good to happen to you! Create beauty in daily life.

Perhaps perspective or understanding is passed through the genes?

Regardless of how or why, I am thankful to have the opportunity to live, discuss, and pass on what she knew.


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