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No Stress for Grandma!

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No Stress for Grandma!

Loretta LaRoche
Loretta LaRoche More by this author
Nov 07, 2011 at 02:00 AM 0 comments

I have often talked about my Italian grandmother Francesca. She was so much a part of my childhood. She was the quintessential Nona with her flowered housedress, sensible black oxford shoes, and her hair done up in a bun at the back of her head. She always smelled clean and her ways of expressing herself had a calmness that seemed to permeate the atmosphere.

My grandmother Francesca kept her weight down by eating moderately and by taking a brief stroll every day around the neighborhood. She wore no makeup and rarely spent a lot of time worrying about what she looked like. She existed primarily for her family, making delicious meals and spending time praying for individuals who needed spiritual help.

I’m sure there are still a percentage of these types of grandmothers somewhere here in America and abroad, but they are fast becoming a part of the past. Today’s Nonas are much more hip looking and involved in all kinds of activities. Many of them work full time. I know because I’m one of those working grandmas. I often wonder if my grandmother was better off even though she had to deal with fewer modern conveniences such as communicating with family and friends with a rotary telephone or a letter?

I know that my grandmother never discussed how stressed she was. Life was pretty simple aside from occasional bouts with dysfunctional family members.

In retrospect, I believe the family brought drama to her life and made her feel perky. Francesca didn’t have to wake up and worry whether her highlights or her haircut was going to work. Hair products weren’t an issue. She used a bar of brown soap for everything including washing her hair. Olive oil was her hair conditioner as well as her salad dressing. No push-up bras or thongs. I’m sure she would have laughed at the thought of enhancing her breasts. I can just see her face if she had ever seen a thong. She’d exclaim, “What happened to the rest of the underpants?”

Nona Francesca had no need to buy sexy nightgowns to entice my grandfather. I think her nightwear was probably woven with steel thread so that removing it would be a major feat! I’d bet that she had very little information about sex. Perhaps she was under the illusion that her children were miracles since she would have had to shield herself from sinful thoughts.

I loved that I never heard her talk about dieting. She seemed to have an innate understanding of what well-being meant and knew that being overweight was not where it was at.

Lighten Up Your Week:

Let go of your stress and let your persistent need to be more and do more be tempered by a little bit of old-fashioned Nona mentality this week. You just might live longer.

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