SOLC 23 of 31: What lives in us

In a recent conversation with my Aunt we were planning a short overnight trip together. She was reminicsing about how when she planned trips with my Grandma Janet, grandma would always hem and haw before the trip. The constant complaining prior to the trip was almost enough to make her want to cancel it. But once on the trip, or home, grandma would be happy she went along. My daughter is the same way! I didn’t connect the two pieces of their personalities until we were planning this trip together. My daughter will hem and haw and complain about going somewhere even if we are off to the most amazing place. Once there, she LOVES it and after the trip I’ll often remind her of her prior complaining (in hopes that maybe next time she won’t). It’s funny how those personality quirks are passed down too!

My Grandma Janet was also the master of striking up conversations with strangers — anywhere, anytime. She’d make the doctors waiting room a friendly chat room, or the line at the restaurant. She’d give out compliments to strangers and learn their life story before you even knew it. In her older years, she’d accompany us, but sit on a bench to wait while the kids played at the park. There, she’d make a new friend and then tell us all about them on the way home. This skill doesn’t live within me. I’m not good at making small talk with people I don’t know. It certainly is a talent! We marveled at her ability to strike up conversations and put everyone at ease. I wish this did live within me. Maybe it’s there and it’s something to work on.



  1. elsie said,

    March 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    As we get older, I recognize traits from family members within myself and my siblings. I wish I had the skill of striking up conversations with strangers too.

  2. March 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    This is such a nice reflection. It is so interesting how certain traits seem to be passed on to family members. It must make it interesting for you to get ready for vacations when your daughter is complaining. I wish I could be brave and strike up conversations with strangers sometimes also.

  3. Delilah said,

    March 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I am not good at striking up conversations with strangers either but my husband is and he makes new friends everywhere we go. Like you I need to work on that skill making people feel at ease is a gift!

  4. March 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    My daughter is usually light on the complaining, but she has the knack of making friends with strangers. I used to joke that as a preschooler, she knew more people around town than I did.

  5. Jaana said,

    March 24, 2013 at 2:01 am

    I too wish for the gift to talk with strangers. Maybe we could practice together?

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