Grandma Died Still Teaching Me Lessons

Grandma died…still teaching me lessons…
Do you find the lessons in life's difficult situations?
Life has a funny way of teaching us lessons. Have you ever found yourself just floating along, minding your own business and BAM! Out of nowhere something or someone comes along and snaps you back into reality? That is what happened to me a few years back.

I have always been close with my grandma on my mother’s side. It all started back when I was a little girl. My hometown, where I live today, did not offer kindergarten to its residents. My parents wanted me to be able to attend so they sent me to live with Grandma deVore. In a town even smaller than Red Bluff, Vina had a school that offered kindergarten. Since my grandma was the high school cook, she had an insider’s knowledge of the class.

Being the oldest of five kids, it was not hard for me to leave my home. Grandma treated me like a little princess and I got one on one attention, too. Mrs. Krause, my kindergarten teacher was the one that taught me the lesson about not stealing somebody else's things. Do you remember the ring I took from the little girl?
A year ~ living with grandma

During that year, my grandma and I developed a very close relationship. She treated me like a miniature grownup. I helped her cook our meals, work in the yard and go to the grocery store. My uncle had purchased a console stereo, very nice for that time-period. Grandma deVore did not allow anyone but herself to put the LP records on it and play it…except me! That was such a privilege. I have never forgotten that stereo and how proud I was to be able to place those plastic discs onto it.

Friday nights were not a particularly happy time for me. After my grandma got off work, she packed my suitcase and we drove to my parent’s home. I would spend the weekend with them and my siblings for family time. Sunday evening grandma would return and back to her home, we would go.

On the way back home Friday night though, we would stop off at Minch’s Meat Market and Slaughter House. This is where her high school employer purchased the fresh meat for my grandma to cook. The woman behind the counter, Joyce was so kind. She always had a Tootsie Pop for me for being such a good helper. I always looked forward to visiting the meat shop before we headed to my home.
Lessons to last a lifetime
That year has held memories for me my whole life. Grandma deVore molded my entrepreneur mentality that year. Working beside her to help grandpa start up the root stock vineyard showed me how to be proud of your work. It also helped me to learn that it takes work, dedication and an attitude of “I am not giving up, no matter what it takes”.

As I grew up during those years after returning to live with my parents, I continued in my grandma and grandpa’s footsteps. Always having plenty of work to do outside of my chores at home, I was able to buy my first stereo. Although it was a portable one, it was all mine.
The relationships I formed would teach me how to treat others while building my own business in auto transport years later.
The story does not end here. Join me next Tuesday as the story of my grandma teaching me about life, business and relationships continues.
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Here to Serve,

Carla J Gardiner

Carla J Gardiner is an ex-banker turned entrepreneur who built an auto transport brokerage and dispatch center from the ground up. With half a days training and little else Carla learned the business inside and out the hard way…by doing it. Her passion and purpose lies with the people she works with daily; the client, dispatcher, broker and truck driver. Her frustration within the industry has birthed a new division of her company; one to properly train, encourage and mentor other professionals in auto transport.
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  • Such a wonderful article Carla…those positive memories from childhood have such an impact on us for the rest of our lives. Kudos to your parents for going to such lengths for you to be able to attend kindergarten! Thanks for sharing!

    • admin

      Thanks Denny. Out of nowhere these memories came flooding back to me. I seized the opportunity to put them on paper, and tie them into how I was groomed to be a leader in business. Grandma would be so proud, I just know it.

  • Anonymous

    How lucky you were, Carla, to have a grandmother nearby when you were young. We lived overseas, so I only discovered my extended family after I came up to the States to go to college. And they STILL had a major impact on my life. So I can imagine on yours!

    • admin

      I hold my grandparents relationship very close to my heart, Sharon. The oldest of five, I was expected to work from a very young age at home. I got a little pampering, spoiling and yes more work at grandma’s house. But, to this day I remember vividly the specific lessons grandma and grandpa taught me.

      I’m still not quite sure how they differ from our parents, but they do. Somehow they pack more punch. I hope I can be that sort of grandma to my four little ones, too.

  • Jeannette

    What wonderful memories! I was also fortunate to have close grandparents and they impacted my life greatly. Thanks for sharing!

    • admin

      Grandparents do impact kids lives in more than one way. In today’s world it seems grandparents are taking on the role of parents more and more. I’m so thankful mine set the example they did. When I was young I didn’t think the lessons were so great, but I sure do today.

  • I love how your grandma’s spirit and the lessons you learned still live on, long past her passing from this world. That’s a true living family legacy! I look forward to the next installment!

    • admin

      Thank you Susan. The next chapter is up on Tuesday. We’d be honored to have you return to read the continuing story of my life’s lessons. Grandma had no idea that I would become a self-employed auto transport broker, let alone go on to coach other entreprenuers in brokering and dispatching, too. She would be so proud and I am excited that you enjoy reading about her life.

  • Victoria Gazeley

    Love your story, Carla. It’s so wonderful you were able to spend that time with your grandparents. I wasn’t so fortunate, so am working hard to ensure that my son has that relationship I never did… As a result, it’s great to hear from adults who spent lots of time with their grandparents as children and what it means to them now. Thank you for sharing this!

    • admin

      Hey Victoria, thank you. It’s so funny remembering back I thought grandma and grandpa were mean at the time. But as an adult, oh the wealth of their teaching. It is awesome that you recognize a void in your life and work so hard to ensure your son get that special relationship with his grandparents.

  • Great story Carla. Never know where our lessons are going to come from as we grow up and into a business. Obviously you had a great grandma/grandpa that imparted wisdom into you so that you too “are” great today at your business.

    • admin

      Thank you Carol. We all need to pay attention and learn from those who have gone before us. Why make the same mistakes if you can avoid them? Makes me think about my coaching students. They will be able to avoid some of the near fatal mistakes I made as a new broker. Isn’t that awesome? It will help them set themselves above others in the marketplace.

  • What a wonderful gramma! I love your story and can hardly wait for more on your time together. She sounds exactly like the grandma I would like to be.

    • admin

      Oh she would be dancing around to hear you say that Elvie! I can just picture her, lol. Thank you, she did set the example for me. I am doing my best to be that kind of grandma. Can’t wait for my report card from my grand-kids:)

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