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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