…because of rice and beans.

my grandma likes to cook.


i can remember going to my grandparents’ house one year after they tore down a wall that separated the kitchen from a spare bedroom. i can remember not understanding why she wanted to get rid of an extra room, especially because i know that she enjoys having visitors over.  my mom told me my grandma wanted a bigger kitchen so she could put a longer table in it.  so that there would be enough room for more people to gather around.

this thanksgiving we were blessed with a large meal and a table full of family gathered together as we bowed our heads to say grace.  turkey, pineapple ham, and stuffing.  my aunts’ green bean casserole and lightly browned mashed potatoes.  cherry cobbler, pumpkin pie, and fruit salad. sweet tea to drink. the table takes over the entire kitchen and we all danced around each other trying to find a seat. and off to the side of the oven were bowls full of rice, beans, tortillas, hot links, and carne asada.  my favorites.  she had prepared this extra meal for me.        my grandma smiled.

“you didn’t have to do this grandma,” i said.

“i know, but they are your favorite.” she said. you could tell she was tired by the way her eyes were sleepy and the shuffle of her feet.  she’d been cooking all morning and i watched as she massaged her arthritic hands; but her eyes smiled, you could see that too. and what my grandma has taught me is to make extra time to bring happiness into another person’s life, in the simplest and most quiet of ways. 


my grandma likes to cook, but more importantly, she likes to feed people. 


she wakes up and cooks for my grandfather, for her now adult children. for her neighbors.  for anyone who will eat.  and during the holidays she cooks christmas dinner for all of the men and women who are in the prison.  sometimes she prepares the food with help, and sometimes she prepares it alone. but every year she makes sure that their christmas meal is special. she prepares meals for the church, and she prepares meals for celebrations and for funerals. i could tell you more stories, but mostly i just want you to know that i believe my grandmother is the kind of person we would all like to become. my grandmother is the kind of person that you want to know. the kind of person that you can’t wait to hear speak.

and before we left for our drive home  she prepared another meal for us. homemade salsa, tortillas, papas, sausage, and scrambled eggs.  she served me coffee with cream and sugar.  she sat there in her infinite wisdom in front of the meal she had just prepared.  my dad, grandpa, grandma, and i were talking about work.


‘you have to be patient with people,’ she said.  “the world is so big and you are just one person, you can’t expect it to change so easily.”

She continued on, “Be patient and give people time.  And you must be nice, you must be kind.” 

can you practice patience today?  can you allow someone just a little bit of extra time?  can you leave for work a little early so that you won’t be in such a hurry? and can you make the time to do something nice for someone else? can you breathe some patience into the areas of your life that are not quite where you would like them to be?  can you make the time to slow down? and instead of a sigh of  frustration can you send out a sigh of love?  patience is about remembering that all things take time.  it’s about finding a wave of calmness in a sea of frustration.  slow.  steadyyou’ll get there.  it will get there. 

can you remember that people are worth our time?



and if you haven’t yet, take the time to get to know your grandparents.

and if you aren’t able to get to know your biological grandparents, there are hundreds of aging adults in senior citizen centers, assisted living, and nursing homes who are looking for a friend.  let’s not forgot about our older, elderly friends who have stories to tell, experiences to share, and lessons to teach.

take the time.




  1. I don’t know you, but I feel like we could be sisters separated at birth!.. I get so excited when an email update from your blog makes its way to my inbox, because your latest entry always just happens to be the exact thing I needed to hear. Keep it up, friend! :) I wish I could put my thoughts together so profoundly. Keep loving life, and keep being your sweet little self. I’m already looking forward to your next gem!

    A fellow sentimental girl from Oregon :)

  2. This post like almost all if your other posts really brings tears to my eyes. Your words are so touching and I really can identify with your finding the light in others, your heart, and your genuine ability to see good in almost all situations. I don’t know you, but you have inspired me more than you can imagine. You have also given me hope and faith in myself. My grandmother is very similar to yours and this post just makes me feel closer to the connection I have with my family. It is so wonderful to know that someone with similar beliefs, values, and genuine goodness has so much to share. I really appreciate you and your incredible blog. I hope you have the best of holidays and thank you for being the inspirational person you are!

  3. Your post somehow makes me sad.I liked it so much,that I have started to miss my grandmother all the more.It’s has been nearly a year that I lost her,and no matter how hard I try,I am never going to see her,to hold her,to tell her how much I loved her.
    But,girl,I must say all those were very touching,wish i could take out sometime and listen to our elderly friends,they have got so much to say but no one to listen.

  4. The days on which I receive an email notification of a new post, are typically the days I know I will be inspired to change for the better. In retrospect, I realize I don’t immediately hop onto your site to read your new thoughts. And that isn’t because I don’t want to…I desperately want to. But I save it for a time in which I need that jolt of motivation and perspective. Your posts are my lifelines. Thank you Jess. I hope you are having a fantastic holiday season :).

    1. Thank you Jess. This is very inspiring. Alice told me I need to read this and now I know why. When we sat down for our thanksgiving dinner I had to sit back for a moment and reflect because I new this was a special moment for us all to be together like we were and you nailed it. I tell the girls all the time that they need to take time to talk to their grandparents. They have so much to share if you just talk to them. Again, thanks for sharing. This brought tears to my eyes cause I know how special your grandparents are and I have been blessed to have had them in my life as long as I have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s