Friday, January 31, 2020

Ways I Learned

I think back about how I learned to do different things.  There were a lot of influences, but I guess my biggest ones were Mom and Daddy.   I learned so very much from these people about everything.
Cooking, sewing, baking, gardening, landscape, business, hard work, helping community, confidence, being frugal, being creative, being a decent person, etc.
My greatest lessons in life came from them.
I didn't really have grands to learn from.  I only had one grandparent growing up and she lived far away, so my parents were my huge influence.

However that was not the only learning in my life.  I took Home Economics in Junior High school and truly enjoyed that.  I don't know that I really leaned about cooking and sewing (as Momma had already taught me) but I did learn about working with others and encouraging others in life.  It was a fun experience.  There was also shop class, mechanics, wood working, and many other 'real world' classes that were available.  There was a vocational school that was available for afternoon classes - it was a different building - but credits counted for high school.  You could study just about anything there.

I took economics and learned a lot about finance.  I took typing and business and learned much about the working world.  I even took a blue print reading class (in conjunction with a job) at an adult night class.  I was working at a major building/hardware business at the time - and that was a way to expand my knowledge.
I did go to college (didn't finish - life happened) as well.  I studied education and sociology as I really wanted to work with at risk kids.  I learned so much from those classes about people and humanity.  I even took criminal justice classes.

Another neat learning institution for me was 4-H.  I don't think that 4-H is worldwide.  I know it is big in the U.S. and I believe Canada - not sure about other places.  I started in 4-H in the 3rd grade (the earliest I could) and participated through junior high/early high school.  I entered projects in sewing and baking each year.  I always did really well.  My greatest joy was the year we had to make angel food cakes - oh my did we eat a lot of cake that summer!  My big win was winning GRAND CHAMPION at the county level and getting to go to the state fair and display.  That was huge and everyone wanted to win a grand champion ribbon (only one given in each category per county).  More cakes baked until I made one that pleased me and off to the state fair and a blue ribbon there!  What a year that was.  That was my highlight in my 4-H journey!!!!

4-H was more than the projects to me.    It taught hard work, community, service, dedication, helping and so much more.  Those were some of the great lessons I got from it.  I still remember our motto and pledge.

I pledge
My Head to clearer thinking,
My Heart to greater loyalty,
My Hands to larger service, and
My Health to better living, for
My club, my community  and my country.
(Words we should all live by every day)

I lived in what would be considered the suburbs, so it wasn't just for kids in rural areas and still isn't.  I think youth today could learn so much from this organization.  Not only could you work on and display projects on just about anything, but you learned great lessons in life.  It is definitely a community for youngsters to learn and share ideas.  It teaches responsibility.

So many push for college educations and that is wonderful.  I just hope people today realize that there are so many other learning institutions that actually teach "life" and not academia.  There are many vocations today that a person can earn a great living and not need a college education.  There is nothing at all wrong with the trades!!!!!  College is not for everyone.

My husband worked for many years as a teen/young man with his uncle learning the plumbing trade.  It helped much in life in so many ways.  He then went on to work as an apprentice in auto mechanics and that became his career until he retired.  He could problem solve about anything and he was smart at so many things. 
I studied all kinds of things over the years.  First I will say that I hated math in school!!!!  
My first job was working for my parents at their lawn and garden business.  I learned so much there.  People skills, business, landscaping, gardening, horticulture, etc.
I went to work for the building service for a couple years in the office and then I went on to become an accounting specialist  for over 30 years!  I still find that hilarious.  I was really good at what I did, but had you told me in high that I would work with numbers I would have laughed my bum off.  Math is now a very strong suit of mine! (go figure)
We both had good careers in life and made decent money.  No college required.
My parents both completed schooling at the 8th grade.  They went on to have a very successful business of their own.  Daddy was a mathematical and word genius in my opinion.  He could do any math problem you gave him (in his head) and he know words and their meanings that I will never know.

I guess my point is, there are so many ways that we have learned over our lifetimes.  We have learned from so many people and experiences.  Some of those lessons were also lessons on what NOT to do!!!!!

Always look at every day and every adventure in life as the "school" of life.  Daddy used to ask "what did you learn today" (he asked every day!).  Today I still try to learn something new each day.  If we are not learning we are getting stagnant.  I want to keep my mind active and learning is never a bad thing.

What/who were some of your greatest TEACHERS in life?  Parents, grands, schools, experiences, etc. ???



  1. Good morning, I took Home Ec in 7th and 8th grade, just part of the curriculum. I enjoyed it. I learned a lot. I was also in 4-H.
    My Dad was an upholsterer by trade and he taught me how to sew. Even bought me a sewing machine when I was 11. I think I have a love affair with domesticity. I didn't like math either when I was in school but spent my working career in finance also. Ironic!

    1. How cool that Dad bought you a sewing machine at such a young age. That is neat. So much to be said about domesticity. I have always been a lover of all things creative and home as well.
      What was wrong with us??? LOL Hate math - get a job in finance. Sure!!!!! LOL
      It still amazes some of my schoolmates that is what I ended up doing.

  2. My parents were my teachers. Dad had a 4th grade education. What is the most profound sentence that served me both at home and my career? "Don't worry about the dollars, they spend themselves. It is the pennies you have to watch." Dad was a successful dairy farmer. When I started a new business for a group of 15 investors, I shared that sentence with them. We were VERY successful together.

    Mom had an 8th grade edcuation. She was a math whiz as was Dad. She taught me handwork before I went to kindergarten-embroidery and knitting. When I was 10, she started me sewing and cooking (and Dad started me working on the farm). I joined 4H the next year and learned technical tailoring achieving a blue ribbon for a sundress with a great finished collar and a full length zipper. I could cook or bake anything.

    By the time I was a Freshman in HS, I didn't take home-ec as I was already well beyond basic cooking/sewing.

    I continue to be grateful for all I learned from them. Being debt free before age 50 with 2 small functional homes (primary and vacation) and writing checks out of savings for big items-PRICELESS.

    Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me wonderful life lessons that created a peaceful low-stress way of being.

    1. What a lovely testimony to your parents. They taught you well.
      See we are examples of what good old hard work and ingenuity can accomplish.
      I love his statement - boy oh boy is that the truth.

      PRICELESS is right.

  3. School was always a struggle for me. I started reading at 3 and I don't remember really being excited about learning until I was in college. In grade school they just let me read books, when I was bored which was all the time. I think I read every book in our school library twice! But college was wonderful, I finally had to buckle down and study and I loved it. My parents and grandparents were hard workers and taught me many skills, which I am so grateful for. I am more grateful for the skills over the two college degrees. Believe me they helped me more.

    1. You were probably beyond what they were teaching for any given age - thus bored a lot.
      See you got your education in a couple ways. That is neat. Your folks and academia. You are an example of all the good books can do and diversity can teach.
      Glad you got to thrive from both worlds.

  4. Oh I remember 4H! Congratulations on your grand champion and blue ribbons. That must have been a delicious cake.
    I took home ec in 7 & 8th grades and in my senior year. I'm not sure it is even offered these days...sad.
    I think my mom and dad were my best teachers.

    1. LOL - thanks. There were so many cakes that year! well, every year there was a LOT of whatever I needed to make.

      I don't think there is home ec as we knew it, today. I have never heard anyone talk about taking it.
      I love that so many did 4-H.

  5. Just last week at the county high school where I live, they had what they call "Senior Adulting Day"! They had lessons on anything and everything. It made the news locally and has drawn national attention too! Isn't it sad that this is the exception instead of the rule! In high school I took classes in typing, bookkeeping, sewing and a lot of other subjects. The things I still USE today from my education are typing, bookkeeping and sewing! I'm so grateful that they still taught those things when I was in school.

    1. That is a great idea. There are so many things that young people need to know, that I don't think parents are actually teaching. Yes, sad that it is an exception - that would be great if it caught on. However, I think they need more than one day!!!!

    2. Totally agree that they need more than one day! I do think this high school does it a few times a year though. At least it's a step in the right direction! Maybe there is some hope!

    3. Wonderful. Absolutely going in the right direction!!!!

  6. Hi Cheryl. I totally agree with you about college ( university here). It is not for everyone but a lot of people think it is the be all and end all in life. I have seen people who are very educated but are not good in the real world. And there are people who have not been educated at school and they can do anything. I think learning is not just at school but in everyday life. It is amazing how many people do not know how to cook or organise housework even. those things are important too. Ann

    1. Good morning Ann. Agree - there is common sense and there is book smarts. They don't always perform the same. We definitely need both.
      Many skilled workers make good money and have great lives and no college. AND where would we be without them? Those are the people we count on every day!

  7. I took HomeEc all through school. I started in Grade 7 and finished in Grade 11 when we moved to an area (new province actually) that didn't have that class.

    I took typing for one year as I knew even then that I would need it for my own use (never worked in an office and didn't plan on doing so).

    Our high school in this city is a comprehensive and teaches all the things I can remember from when I went to school. Problem is that now educational funding is being cut and these types of courses ar the first to go.

    God bless.

    1. You make a very good point - on funding. That has changed a lot of things. Such a shame. So many useful and IMO needed classes have gone away.
      I wish our schools still taught all those things.

  8. Former 4-H kid too, here. My parents and older siblings taught me a lot. I've also had some good mentors in the work place.

    1. Love it. Oh my, I forgot about siblings. Thank you for reminding us all that had/have good siblings.

  9. If someone would have told me I would be interested in "learning" after I got out of high school I would have laughed at them!! I went to work as a secretary after graduating (which is what I always wanted to do). I got married two years after graduating and after being married for not even 6 months we decided apartment life was not for us, so we moved from Illinois to Wisconsin. Lived in Wisconsin for 19 yrs. and had three kids in addition to horses, chickens, ducks, geese, pigeons, rabbits, dogs, cats and goats. We figured 10 acres wasn't enough so we moved to SW Missouri and bought an 80 acre farm where we raised cattle, sheep, pigs along with the goats, chickens, dogs and cats. Talk about learning a lot in that time frame. I never took a sewing class but figured if you could read, you could sew and I taught myself and made a lot of the kids clothes (which they still complain about!!). Actually taught a sewing class in 4H for two years. My 12 yr. old daughter took on a project of a ruffled plaid blouse. It turned out beautiful!! Began spouting terminology like Larygotraecheitis after taking a Poultry Disease course at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and becoming a licensed State Pullorum Tester. This is the same female who flunked 1/2 yr. of Biology because I couldn't remember Phylums, subPlylums, genuses, etc. on tests. Who cared??? I had boys to date and sock hops to go to!!! Anyway, your post on learning all through life really struck a chord with me. I now raise Monarch caterpillars and release Butterflies in the summer. Right now, I'm super interested in Herbology. I really don't think I'll live long enough to learn all the things I want to!! LOL! Thinking back, I didn't want to take a home ec class because I was afraid I'd flunk it because trying to learn about vitamins bored me to death!! LOL!

    1. See, I even spelled Laryngotraecheitis wrong!!

    2. WOW! Talk about enterprising! what a fun and exciting life. You sure have learned a lot. I love it. This is a perfect example of my very last line - LIVE TO LEARN and LEARN TO LIVE.
      You have done both and good for you. We are never too old to learn something new. We should always keep trying to enrich our lives with knowledge.
      Thank you for this great testimonial.

  10. Mama and Daddy, 4-H, teachers, professors, friends. I took one year of Home Ec and did not learn a single thing. I could sew better than anyone. I knew all the kitchen terms we had to learn and could cook! It was boring. The teacher wanted me to take another year.

    I enjoyed languages, science, and history. The guidance counselor pushed office courses after I finished typing, which I did want to take. I refused.

    As we moved around after marriage, I went to ten universities. I finally got two BAs and an MA and took more classes after that. I only need the PhD!

    I can learn anything, almost, from a book. Two of my three children are also teachers.

    1. Good for you for sticking to your guns and studying what you enjoyed. If you are enjoying it - you learn more.
      I tend to learn by doing or watching more than reading. I always envy those who can learn so much from reading.
      Sounds like you did great - congrats on the degrees. I am sure you are quite proud of those children as well.