Ever wonder who was Grandma Gatewood? She was the first woman to solo hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one season. Grandma Gatewood was a pioneer thru hiker on the AT in ultralight backpacking. She was also a creature of habit, thru-hiking the AT 3 times! In 1955, 1957, and 1964! Imagine the conversation you could have and the knowledge and wisdom to be gained from her! Knowledge in understanding facts, truths, and information from the trail. Wisdom, on the other hand, in using that knowledge in a practical, intelligent way to protect and preserve the trail
Grandparents are important in many cultures. The wisdom and perspective that comes with age gives most grandparents the patience, love and knowledge to play important roles in the lives of grandchildren.
Some grandparents are so great, they skip being parents entirely. Unbelievable right? Well it’s true…in the animal kingdom anyway. Thanks to a biological process called Haplodiploidy, male bees, called drones, can only be grandfathers and grandsons. They can’t be sons or fathers. For all the fun trivia knowledge, you have to google that one. Or check out my sources below.
I am lucky to have visited with my grandparents every week growing up, the whole extended family joined together to play and laugh! Many fond memories, that strike fear in me now, of racing by logrolling down a huge hill of ivy in my Grandpa’s back yard. And now with children of my own, I have gained a new outlook on how I see my parents, captured many adventures that may stay put in my children’s brain bank, and look forward to many more moments.
What better way to celebrate Grandparents than to get outside and play. Maybe they are still active and can go for a walk in the woods, or go sit on the porch in the painted rocking chair that must be there! Share stories with each other, and take home some wisdom through perspective with the right questions. Here a few starters:
What is a tradition you never want the family to outgrow, or family heirlooms you want to have passed down?
Are you the keeper of our family’s secrets?
What was your favorite place to go for vacation?
Who are/were your best friends?
Do you remember your first kiss?
What role has money played in your life?
What countries do our people come from?
What has your work life been like?
What did you do when you were a teen?
What was your favorite age to be?
Did you have a nickname that your siblings or friends called you?
Keep these explorations going! Give a gift of a lifetime and you can even tag along! Gift a Lifetime National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass. It provides access to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six federal agencies:
National Park Service
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Reclamation
US Forest Service
US Army Corps of Engineers
The lifetime passes are $80 and available to aged 62 or older and cover entrance and standard day-use fees and provide discounts on some amenity fees (such as camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).
Traveling companions, i.e. YOU, can also enter for free. The Senior Passes admit pass owner and passengers at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner plus three adults, where per-person fees are charged.