Granny: My Kids Have Turned Into My Parent?

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I finished the next book in my Fuchsia, Minnesota series this week and popped it off to Cozy Cat Press. In my new book, that hopefully will be titled Granny Skewers A Scoundrel, I spent some time thinking about the relationship of parents as they get into their sixties and beyond and their adult children.

Granny’s adult children, Thor, Starshine  and Penelope play a larger part in this book as do Franklin’s children. In Granny Hooks A Crook, Book one of he Fuchsia, Minnesota Series, Granny is forever in danger of her children sending her to an assisted living or the wrinkle farm, a nursing home. Granny’s age is never mentioned on purpose. Is she in her 60’s, 70’s or 80’s? It is anyone’s guess, as the series continues it will be understood. The reason Granny’s age is up in the air is because of the stereotype we put on older people.

Granny does some unbelievable stuff. Elderly people aren’t supposed to act that way. Would we think differently if the character was in their 20’s or 30’s? We would probably put their strange behavior down to a night of drinking or other weird drugs or their youth.

As I was writing I was thinking about my relationship with my adult children. When my children were young, and still today, I worried about them. They are now in their 30’s and 40’s and I still worry about them but I am not used to them worrying about me. The tide has turned. They have become me. I tried to help my mother when I thought she was at the age she needed help, probably earlier than she did. Now it is our turn for our kids occasionally to try and parent us.

On a recent Minnesota Blizzard night, us old people decided to journey out with the blizzard roaring to spend time with friends. Our children when informed of this journey but at first didn’t believe we were going out and then made sure they heard from us to make sure we got there. How many times have they gave me a hard time when they were younger about calling? It felt kind of daring at our age to do something that we would have done in our youth. It was nothing in those days to bundle up, get in the vehicle, brave the blizzard and spend some time with friends while the blizzard roared outside the window? I have to admit it was exhilarating. I wondered why we didn’t do it more often but then I remembered, we are old, and it isn’t something that we normally do because we might get hurt.

Granny’s kids have a concern that she is going to fall in her flip flops, get lost with her car and is not eating right. My kids, now that they are adults bring food to make sure we are eating right, especially when we are sick. When our finances have been low they have offered money although we didn’t take it. When we balked at going to the doctor they came and took us even though we might protest going to the doctor. They have become us.

Granny does many things to outsmart her kids which doesn’t help her cause any. She likes her independence. My mother was independent and I didn’t understand it and perhaps that is why I make Granny the way she is in my book. It is a way, if my mother up above is watching, for her to know that I am sorry I didn’t understand her independence. I had bought into the stereotype that older people must act a certain way and my mom didn’t fit in. to those guidelines.

I do have to say that I think I learned that stereotype from my Grandmothers and the fact my parents took care of their parents. It was what you did in the 50’s and 60’s. Older people were not as tuned in to health and exercise as they are today. I didn’t know anyone like Granny until I my mother who broke my ideas of what old is. And then, I didn’t appreciate it because I didn’t know how to cope with it.

I expect more and more, my children will want to help me out of love and I will let them. Granny loves Thor, Starshine and Penelope and she would not do anything to hurt them. They would not do anything to hurt her and in the coming books of the series Granny’s children will have a new idea of what aging is. Granny’s children will continue their journey with Granny and learn many things about what it is to age, from the fact, older people can fall in love, dance, and even crawl on their garage roof if they are in good condition. The stubbornness keeps them going and keeps them living, loving and laughing.

My kids want to take care of me. We have switched roles but they also have become my friend. I know in the future I can depend on them if I do need help. Someday our roles might be reversed. God gives us each other to love, to learn and help each other  through the seasons of our lives.

I leave you with a Grannyism, she has instructed her children that if she ever tells them this, they should believe her; “It’s my life, but I forgot where I put it. Help me out and I won’t pout. Don’t remember where it’s gone. Is it on Mavis front lawn?”

Another Reward Card? My Wallet is Full.

Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf published January 27, 2014

My wallet is getting fatter. Unfortunately it isn’t getting fatter with money or even credit cards. It is getting fatter with all those rewards cards that we have to carry to get rewards when we visit a business.

Don’t get me wrong, reward people, I love my rewards cards. I must admit my life was a little simpler when I didn’t reap the rewards of my shopping.

It seems every business is jumping on the rewards-card bandwagon. There are Hy-Vee Gas cards, Panera rewards, Shopko rewards, Cherry Berry rewards, Pizza Ranch rewards, Pet-Co rewards, Office Max rewards; and those are only a few of the many.

There are times when I have to stop and remember where I am when checking out. Yes, I occasionally do forget where I am, in the I need that frenzy of shopping. I get to the register, dump my products onto the little conveyer belt that moves the items closer to the cashier and then I fumble in my purse to find the right card. Of course, while I am fumbling and digging through my billfold I almost and sometimes do, drop it on the floor.

The solution would be to be prepared by digging out my card before I get to the register but what fun would that be? It would not give those shoppers coming behind me the excuse to check their cellphone, talk to the person behind them or glare at me for holding up the line.

Things are made a little simpler when it comes to coupons; we don’t always have to have to the paper coupon anymore. We can store the coupon on our cellphone. Of course, that means that not only do we have to pull our rewards cards out, we have to hold our cellphone and get it to the place on our phone where we have the coupons. The people behind me always love that.

Some stores are making it easier if you are a prepared and organized person. I actually don’t know too many of those. If you are an organized person, you can go to the store’s website and put the store coupon on your rewards card. That does make it simpler.

Let’s add being a senior citizen to the mix. Senior citizens at many places get senior citizen discounts. Some are widely advertised where others are kept under wraps. You have to know what stores have senior citizen discounts and then you have to ask for them when you are at the checkout. You also have to know in many stores, what day they cater to senior citizens. There is also another little catch.

Some chains of stores don’t have the same senior citizen policy in every store. The days differ, and in one case I have found that the liquor store offers a senior citizens discount, but the actual other store connected doesn’t.

I am tired writing this. Being a smart consumer these days is tricky. One day I was shopping with my daughter. A sale of something that I needed didn’t start until two hours later. We were in the store at the wrong time and had to be home in another community before the sale started.

I was disappointed but accepting. My daughter pulls out her cellphone, finds the ad on the phone and calls and finds a clerk in the store. She asks if there is any way we could get the discount early since we couldn’t be there at 3 p.m.

The clerk said they would check and came back and said it was in the system already so they would honor the sale. We should show the clerk the ad and tell them they said it was fine to honor it early. We checked out, and I got the sale price. I would have never thought of that in my old age. Shopping used to be simpler.

That is my point. Life is getting challenging for those of us with an older brain. Shopping now is somewhat of a puzzle that we have to put together to get our perks and our prices. If you have the time — and senior citizens are supposed to have the time — then its fun.

Younger people pick up on this easier, but families with young children don’t have the time. Of course, they don’t have to search out senior citizen discounts, but with their lives on fast forward all of the time, keeping track of all the rewards if they want the perks can be mind-boggling.

I liked it when J.C. Penney cut its prices and did away with sales. Their prices were wonderful, and it was great shopping in the stores. Unfortunately, many consumers didn’t feel that way and J.C. Penney lost money. We are programmed to go for the deal.

I can’t wait to see what the stores think up for us in the future. I am researching the hidden senior citizen discounts in preparation for an article later on to aid seniors in finding their way through the discount maze.

But I should warn you, the last time I was in a maze, a corn maze, I needed to be rescued. If you don’t hear from me during my research you will know I am hopelessly lost under the pile of reward cards. Listen for my call for help and rescue me.

An Old Column About Coffee Cups

I had to pull out this old column that I wrote many years ago about Coffee Cups. Coffee Cups are still special to me all these years later. I hope my writing has improved but beyond that I know my love of coffee and coffee mugs will never leave me. They are a legacy to those who have given them to me. They are a warning to those who read whatever cup I am using that day as to my mood. Coffee Cups also keep me reminded through the day to always be thankful. If I keep an encouraging message in front of me for the day or a picture of a loved one on a coffee cup my day seems be full of spirit and joy. Here is my old column IMG_1250 IMG_1251


By Julie Seedorf © March 2007


My in-house critic thinks my columns are too frivolous. This critic thinks I should take more of a stand on issues instead of writing about fluffy things. I gave this friendly criticism quite some thought this week. Should I become tougher and more opinionated? Those who know me probably feel I state my opinions much too often. I debated about throwing out the fluff and becoming a tough columnist.


Do I want to become a serious columnist that writes about serious issues? Do I want to debate and disagree with politicians, landowners, authority and the list could go on? I do read quite a few columns and most of them are various serious columns about very serious issues. I thought long and hard about changing the tone of my column. I have made my decision.


This week we will discuss coffee cups! That is a very serious issue to me. As you already know from previous columns, I value my coffee in the morning. What I did not tell you is that I value my coffee cups. My mood in the morning sets the tone for the coffee cup that I use. For instance, my coffee cup this morning was given to me by a friend 20 years ago. Yes I still have it! It is an angel sitting on the moon and looking at the stars and it says, “You brighten God’s world! Let your little light shine.”  This morning I needed inspiration and I needed to feel that I mattered to someone today.


My coffee cups change during the day depending on how I feel. One day I made the comment to a friend “It’s been one of those days!” A few days later I received a coffee cup from her that says, “It’s been one of those days.” Along with that sentence is a blonde women lying on the ground just frazzled at 5:00 o’clock after a long day of work. Another cup tells me to “Have a day filled with rainbows.” One of my favorites says, “Exceptional Beauty, a fine mind and natural talent made me what I am today.” The picture on the cup looks somewhat like a very, very old red hat lady in black. Some days that picture fits me very well.


These cups can change my mood. They can pick me up. They can remind me of the important things in life. These cups can put a smile on my face in the middle of a chaotic day.


My cups remind me of friends. I received a rainbow cup from a friend that was dying of cancer. It came out of her cupboard and she knew my love of rainbows. It was her remembrance to me. I still have it and use it 25 years later. I remember my friend every time I use my cup. My friends have given me some awesome coffee cups.


To my in-house critic a coffee cup is just a coffee cup. He should read his coffee cups! I thought I was alone in my strange coffee cup world and then my sister-in-law had coffee at my house. She had to choose her own cup because as she stated “I’m not sure how I feel today so I need to choose a cup that fits my mood.” A co-worker bought special cups for work. As she was drinking her first cup of coffee in her new cup she stated “My coffee tastes so much better in this cute cup.”


I am taking a stand! Read this Mr. In-house critic. Coffee cups make a difference!  The wrong saying on a coffee cup can make or break your day. If you are having a bad day it must be because of that Styrofoam cup!!!  Restaurants should forget the blah cups and give us pizzazz in our coffee cups. Forget the matching set. Go for glow, go for inspiration, go for smiles. A restaurant with great coffee cups and great coffee would have my business forever.


I hope this column was serious enough for my in-house critic.