Author Topic: Grandparent's Wisdom  (Read 6456 times)

Offline Xixor5

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 1
Grandparent's Wisdom
« on: March 22, 2011, 09:33:33 PM »
Skip to the bottom paragraph if you're short on time:   ;D

I would love to hear feedback, especially from Jack on this.

I'm 29 years old and for my whole life my grandparents on my mother's side have always struck me as the "gloom and doom" types.  They have short wave radios, live out in the woods of Arkansas, and have always been talking about the end of the world, etc.  While I was younger I just dismissed it as "oh that's just my crazy grandparents" and so on and so forth.  But now that I'm getting older and hopefully wiser, I see the truth behind their lifestyle.

Anyway, my purpose for posting is to generate questions and comments I should direct towards my grandparents.  I've recently come into a situation where I can spend a couple weeks, maybe a month with them and I want to really soak up their beliefs and knowledge.  They've always lived in NE Arkansas and I've been there several times but they also have a property in remote Arkansas that I haven't been too.  It's a cabin type place with generators, solar power, and more I don't know about.  I imagine it being in an area of Arkansas like Jack has selected and it's probably my grandparents BOL.

Anyway, I'm not really close to my grandparents but I feel there's so much I can learn from them.   I've never really talked to them about stuff like this but I feel that they are survivalists.  Their lifestyle has always suggested this.

MY REASON FOR POSTING IS THIS:  If I go live with my grandparents for a couple weeks or maybe a month, what questions should I ask them... What skills should I learn?  I know nothing about canning food, bushcraft, managing money, and even religion.  I would love suggestions on what kind of discussions I should engage them in for the couple weeks I am there.  Thanks TSP. :)

Offline NWBowhunter

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 832
  • Karma: 24
  • Got Elk!
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 09:55:45 PM »
Maybe you should just share your believes with them and let them guide you with their stories. Ask leading questions How did you do this, Why did you pick this land or settle here.

Offline Malamute

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 250
  • Karma: 18
  • Lester Burnham goes Survivalist
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 10:14:18 PM »
I'd ask them about what people in Arkansas did during the summer to keep cool before air conditioners were available.

Especially if they were alive and aware during the Great Depression, ask them what types items that they highly regretted having lacked or had only in short supply.


Offline Dawgus

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1818
  • Karma: 89
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 03:46:55 AM »
 Before asking questions and learning from them, get to know them better and just enjoy the time with them. For 15 years, I've suggested that everyone with remaining grandparents do the same.
 I knew my grandmother W well, (dad's mom), but I never knew both from mom's side very much at all. When I was 30, grandma W passed away and and pappy N followed 8 days later. I'll always regret not getting to know him better. Take some of this time just to know them as your grandparents and not concentrate learning from them. You never know how much time you may have left with them. I missed the opportunity of knowing more of my family well. You still have time. Use it wisely.
 As far as your original question, just bring up recent events in general conversation. The Japanese tsunami, Katrina, etc, and see what their reactions and opinions are. Tell them that you have become interested in gardening, canning,and outdoor skills and would love to have their advice and guidance. Start slow and wade in a little at a time. Some who live out from the rest of the world, and especially the way they seem to, are leery of sharing their lifestyle with others, no differently than many of us on the forum are. If you don't know them well, they don't know you well either. While you're still a grandson, you could be treated almost like a stranger at first yourself.
 Good luck, and let us all know how things go when you are able to.

Offline ChEng

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 430
  • Karma: 35
  • Chief Engineer
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2011, 03:39:12 PM »
Skip to the bottom paragraph if you're short on time:   ;D
...
MY REASON FOR POSTING IS THIS:  If I go live with my grandparents for a couple weeks or maybe a month, what questions should I ask them... What skills should I learn?  I know nothing about canning food, bushcraft, managing money, and even religion.  I would love suggestions on what kind of discussions I should engage them in for the couple weeks I am there.  Thanks TSP. :)

Before asking questions and learning from them, get to know them better and just enjoy the time with them. For 15 years, I've suggested that everyone with remaining grandparents do the same.
...

Excellent advice from Dawgus.  Like Dawgus says, after you get to know them better, you can start out by observing the disasters from during your life-time (Hurricane Katrina, Haiti Earthquake, Brazil Earthquake, Japan Earthquake/Nuclear Disaster, etc) and how those have gotten you to think about being prepared.  Mention that you have always seen them as being prepared for troubles.  Then ask their advice on where to start.  If they start to tell you to do things that you have already done, just say something like "Yeah, well after watching you and thinking about how you would be prepared for those type disasters, I have already done ...  What do you think that I should be doing next?"  Keep the questions pointed at getting to their wisdom.  If they are willing to talk, then let them lead.

Offline 4bull

  • The Pumpkin Whisperer
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 765
  • Karma: 70
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2011, 06:01:11 PM »
Lissen , watch , and remember ,what happens there stays there. They've worked hard to have what they have .
Say as little as possable and let them fill the void. You know they want to share there knowlage with you.
 Just show intrest in everthing they say...   hey i want to go too.   I miss the old ones.
   i.e. how did you do this, who did that, wow thats cool, i wish i could do that.

Offline Xixor5

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 1
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 09:41:15 AM »
Thanks guys this is good stuff.  Looks like I'm going to see them in about a month.  I'll report back on how it goes.

Offline TexGuy

  • Sometimes posts while drunk.
  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 319
  • Karma: 12
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 05:01:45 PM »
Ask them what they use to eat, like what was the common meal. Most of the time it was XXXXX with beans or peas in the south. Ask how they kept meat and food from spoiling and what it was that got them through the winters.


Offline gundog

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 336
  • Karma: 15
  • It's the dog....not the gun.
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 06:06:26 PM »
Listen as much as you can.

When they are gone you will not remember what you were saying.....but you'll remember what they were saying. Trust me on that.

I lost my last grandparent a couple years ago....grandad was 97. He remembered the dayWWI ended and told me about going to the town park where the people were buring an effigy of Kaiser Wilhelm, he said he was scared because he thought it was the real person. He remembered evrything forward of that. When you think about the history he lived through......the serious times.....the changes in the world, it makes you want to tease out the stories, that's the real gold.

Offline MD3C

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 252
  • Karma: 4
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 06:00:21 PM »
Kind of envious. I met my grandparents when I was six. That was the only time. They both died before I hit 10.
They would love to share their lives with you. Especially since you are willing to take the time to be with them. Soak it all in.
M

Offline Xixor5

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 1
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2011, 08:52:42 PM »
Bumping this and updating.  I'm flying out May 5 to spend a week with my Grandparents.  It should be good and I'm especially interested in hearing what they think about the Japan situation and what just went down in the southeast with all the tornadoes.  They've always been gloom and doom with natural disasters.  :) 



Does anyone else have any good "prepper mentality" related questions that you wish you'd asked your grandparents but never got the chance to?  Post em now! :)

Offline Oatmeal

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 22
  • Karma: 0
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2011, 09:07:26 AM »
Xixor, You have a great opportunity to get to know your Grandparents! Just go and enjoy it, dont try and cram too much in, just absorb all that you can while you are there.

My Grandparents had (my Grandma still does) a similar mentality as yours. I wish I would have spent more time with them when I was younger and had the time.

If I could offer any advice, it would be to pay as much attention to what they DONT do, as much as what they DO do.

This day and age has led us to believe that we need to do more.  Sometimes the simplistic way, is is just plain better!

Enjoy your visit!

« Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 09:17:55 AM by Oatmeal »

Offline SteveandTracyinKY

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 912
  • Karma: 18
  • Survival Chef
    • The Hen House
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2011, 09:23:18 AM »
I would suggest asking as many questions about the land and the woods as possible. Older grandparents seem to know things about the outdoors that can never be replicated. Questions such as "what does it mean when _____?" and "How do you do when frost is coming?" ( I was amazed that my grandfather knew when frost was coming by watching bugs and leaves). Preserving food is also one of their specialties, just by natural experiences.

Offline Cacinok

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 396
  • Karma: 6
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2011, 01:35:11 PM »
I wouldn't go in asking about "doom and gloom".  I would go in asking about ham radios, about how to can foods, details about homesteading, about gardening, etc.  As you ask questions, they'll eventually ask you why the sudden interest.  First you tell them you wanted to develop the relationship w/ them, which is true.  Then you tell them you have a bad feeling about where things are going.  They'll open up eventually.

What you can gather from them is what life was like during the depression, assuming their that old.  Also, what things were like in the 70s - it's not exactly analogous to the depression, but the inflation caused a rough time for many.

Offline average_joe

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 750
  • Karma: 20
  • Semper Fidelis
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2011, 04:49:44 PM »
Just go and be with them and enjoy the time together. Don't go there like you're on a fact finding mission. Chill out and things should come naturally. They may not consider themselves preppers, to them it may be everyday living. I do know one thing you'll never regret the time you spend with them. My mom is a prepper and doesn't even know it. ;)

Offline Cult Leader

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 48
  • Karma: 6
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2011, 08:57:53 PM »
Listen....or better yet, write it down......or best deal, record it(either video or audio).  My cousin sat down with my Grandma and a tape recorder for two days and those tapes have been copied so often it would make the guy boot-legging Jimmy Buffet concerts blush.

I commend you on recognizing the importance of the knowledge of another generation.  I've always said :
"I don't know what university my Dad and Grandmothers went to between my 16th and 24th birthdays, but they all went from being complete idiots to the smartest people in the world."

Offline Xixor5

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • Karma: 1
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2011, 09:50:20 PM »
Original Poster here again.  Just following up with the update I promised.

I just got back from spending five days with my grandparents.  I had a really awesome time and learned many things.  The best part was just sitting in a rocking chair and talking to my grandma and listening to my grandpa tell stories from when he was younger.  I've always said my motorcycle trip and whitewater rafting vacation with my Dad was the best trip ever but this one was equally as good in a different way. 

My grandparents live simply and it was very eye opening to see how much "junk" I think I need in my life that I really don't.  This will definitely be something I'll think about and use to help save money and make better financial decisions.

I learned a little about gardening and went out and helped them some.  My grandma and I talked a lot about vitamins and herbs for medicine.  Neither one of them take prescription drugs and I think they're in better health than me.  My grandma is 76 and my grandpa is 84.

Both of them are into government conspiracy and it was fun to talk to them about that kind of stuff.  Some of it may be true and I know some of it is not.  I find that stuff interesting and I like to be open minded enough listen with a healthy does of skepticism.  One example I'd never heard of were these "chem-trails" my grandma says the government sprays in the clouds and this can apparently cause droughts or floods?  I'll have to read more on that ;)

We talked about food preps and my grandma showed me some neat tricks she does with her food saver vacuum sealer.  I really wish I'd had more time for her to teach me how to make bread.  Neither my mom or aunt know how so hopefully I can get back sometime and learn that from her.

I found out my 19 year old cousin is really into bush-crafting which I also have an interest in so I'm hoping to go back sometime soon to trek out into the woods with him.  All in all the trip was really awesome and I didn't want to leave.  If any of you don't know you're grandparents (or any family) very well, I urge you to take any opportunity to spend some time with them.  I'll cherish these memories until I die, I know that.  On a final note I'd like to thank all of you for your suggestions on how to spend my trip.  I took all the advice in this tread to heart and it really did help to make my trip special.

-Josh

Offline TexDaddy

  • TSP Goat Wrangling Geezer. He is EVIL also.
  • Moderator On Leave
  • Forum Veteran
  • *
  • Posts: 12295
  • Karma: 265
  • I live in Texas. What country are you from?
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2011, 09:55:57 PM »
I am so very glad you had this time with you grandparents and you feel the trip went so well. Congratulations.

I hope you and your cousin are able to get together and help each other along. +1

Offline NWBowhunter

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 832
  • Karma: 24
  • Got Elk!
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2011, 11:27:16 PM »
Great to here you had a great trip. Them old folks no a thing or two. ;D use that knowledge and stay skeptical.

Offline average_joe

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 750
  • Karma: 20
  • Semper Fidelis
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2011, 04:59:04 AM »
Glad you enjoyed it. Are you ready to go back?  ;)

Offline mamabear

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 844
  • Karma: 35
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2011, 05:34:33 AM »
I'm glad that you learned things, and even more glad that you enjoyed yourself. I do hope you make it back, even if you don't learn any more from them, you will have that time with them and be able to look back on it with fondness.

Offline Zuladad

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 47
  • Karma: 3
  • Do not be deceived
Re: Grandparent's Wisdom
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2011, 07:04:52 PM »
What I wouldn't give to "transport" back to the '50s, the times I was a kid and growing up with my grandparents.  I have to forgive myself that I was a kid, and more interested then in Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, and Janet Miller (oh, Janet!) than in what really mattered.  My grandparents knew how to live, how to do things.  They grew up having to slaughter hogs, smoke meat, milk cows, tend the chickens, grow things to eat --- all this was routine and natural to them.  Electricity was a luxury, lights only (they had to pay the "light" bill, not the electricity bill).  They did most things by hand.  No washing machines, no friggin' cell phones or computers (gurr, grumble, hiss).  I even remember the phone being on the wall & everyone knew the ring sequence (three shorts and a long) that meant the call was for you.  If you wanted to know were someone was, you could ring up the operator and ask "Gladys" if she knew where so-and-so was.  You won't be surprised that one of my favorite movies is "Peggy Sue Got Married".  Man, I really wish I had been more observant, more concerned with learning what my elders knew and less drawn to pink and black and white bucks.  I actually wore a white sport coat and a pink carnation (dear Marty)!  What great grandparents we had.  Xixor5 - what a gift you have.  Durned if it don't bring a tear to me eye.