Posts Tagged ‘grandmother’

Photo: AP via News10.
It only took 60 years to fulfill a dream of being a Yankees bat girl! Fortunately, the young lady still has the same dream.

John knew I’d like this story about a grandmother achieving a late-in-life dream. ESPN was among many outlets that carried it.

“Gwen Goldman exchanged fist bumps with the New York Yankees, whom she had been admiring for decades from afar, walked onto the field and waved to the crowd.

“She got to be a Yankees’ bat girl on Monday night at age 70 — a full 60 years after she was turned down because of her gender.

“Shaking with excitement, she beamed while recounting how it felt to be at Yankee Stadium on this day for the game against the Los Angeles Angels. …

” ‘From walking in the front door of the stadium at Gate 2, to coming up to a locker with my name on it that said “Gwen Goldman” and suiting up, then walking out onto the field,’ she said. ‘It took my breath away. … It was a thrill of a lifetime — times a million. And I actually got to be out in the dugout too. I threw out a ball. I met the players. Yeah, it goes on and on. They had set up a day for me; that is something that I never would have expected.’

“Goldman retired in 2017 as a social worker at Stepping Stones Preschool, a public school in Westport, Connecticut.

“She used the Hebrew word ‘dayenu’ — which translates to ‘it would have been enough’ — to describe the different parts of her experience.

” ‘It just kept coming and coming,’ she said.

“Goldman had been rejected by then-Yankees general manager Roy Hamey, who wrote her in a letter on June 23, 1961: ‘While we agree with you that girls are certainly as capable as boys, and no doubt would be an attractive addition on the playing field, I am sure you can understand that it is a game dominated by men. [A] young lady such as yourself would feel out of place in a dugout.’

“Current Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said he had been forwarded an email written by Goldman’s daughter, Abby. In a letter dated June 23, 2021, Cashman wrote, ‘… it is not too late to reward and recognize the ambition you showed in writing that letter to us as a 10-year-old girl.’

” ‘Some dreams take longer than they should to be realized, but a goal attained should not dim with the passage of time,’ Cashman added. ‘I have a daughter myself, and it is my sincere hope that every little girl will be given the opportunity to follow her aspirations into the future.’

“Wearing a full Yankees uniform, Goldman threw out a ceremonial first pitch to New York player Tyler Wade, then stood alongside manager Aaron Boone for the national anthem.

” ‘I think it’s really cool,’ Boone said. … ‘Hopefully, it’s an experience of a lifetime.’ …

“New York extended the invitation as part of the Yankees’ annual HOPE week, which stands for Helping Others Persevere & Excel.

“Goldman posed with the umpires when the lineup cards were brought out. After the third inning, the Yankees played a video that included the letters. … She then was introduced to the crowd, walked up the Yankees dugout steps and onto the field, and waved her cap as fans applauded.”

More at ESPN. Also at the Washington Post.

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Photo: Obec Louka
Agnes Kašpárková says that she does her artwork for the pleasure it gives her. The 91-year-old artist works
in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic.

I liked this story from Stefan Andrews at Vintage News about a 91-year-old grandmother who’s a kind of street artist.

“For most of her life, Anežka Kašpárková (also known as Agnes) has been making her income by working as a farmer. … Ever since she retired, Kašpárková has used many of the sunny days each year to make her home village of Louka a little bit more beautiful.

“The village is found in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic. The [artist] is now an expert on how to decorate window frames, doors and facades across her village with traditional Moravian folk art. She mostly works on flowery patterns, giving a fresh feeling to the old facades worn by time. …

“Other women have done a similar type of decoration in the past and Kašpárková has worked tirelessly to continue the tradition. …

‘I try to help decorate the world a bit,’ she is recorded as saying.

“Kašpárková uses mainly blue paint and works simply with one small brush. Her color choice blends perfectly with the old, white-painted village houses and buildings.

“Kašpárková says that she does her artwork for the pleasure she gets from it, and that she never makes any plan how her next creation is going to look. She just takes up her brush and gets things going. …

“Given her age, Agnes complains that sometimes she finds it challenging to paint. Yet … she has been comfortable enough to climb a ladder almost every spring and refresh the design on the village chapel.” More at Vintage News, here.

Most people know by now that buildings make great canvases for outdoor murals. I myself have blogged a lot about this form of art. The blue Czech designs represent a different take from urban graffiti, say, as does the current London art walk experienced through windows.

Hannah Jane Parkinson writes at the Guardian, “Artists Walk is … a simple idea for an art trail that began as a joint endeavour between printmaker and painter Rosha Nutt, and her art marketing consultant friend Holly Collier. Those who in normal times would be exhibiting in galleries or community spaces can now place their work in the windows or surroundings of their homes for passers-by to admire. …

“ ‘Lockdown was the catalyst,’ Collier tells [Parkinson]. ‘So many artists have moved studios into their homes. Exhibitions and events have been cancelled. It’s pretty depressing being an artist who can’t show work. We wanted to do something that had a positive action.’ …”

“Until 14 December, London artists working in whichever medium – painters, photographers, illustrators, film-makers, ceramicists and more – can pay £15 to have their location added to the ‘interactive map’ on the website, as well as a short bio and links to the artists’ website and social media profiles, plus a custom poster.

“Collier and Nutt pulled the whole thing together in seven weeks. ‘It’s been late nights, early mornings and a lot of elbow grease,’ Collier says. They applied unsuccessfully for an Arts Council grant, but local collectives and businesses stepped in. An estate agent became a sponsor and organised a leaflet drop. Alexandra Palace – usually home to concerts and comedy gigs – lent its support, including what amounts to a quasi window-residency.” More.

Such a creative way to help artists show their work to potential customers in this difficult year!

Photo: Hannah Jane Parkinson
Paintings displayed by Sarah Barker Brown for Artists Walk 2020 in London.

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Photo: Elisa Coltro/Facebook
Nonna Irma, of Noventa Vicentian, Italy, poses with some of the children in the Kenyan orphanage she supports.

News outlets around the world reposted this story about a 93-year-old’s outreach work as described by her granddaughter on Facebook. But I found that BrightSide dug for additional details.

The website reports, “This charming woman from Noventa Vicentina, Italy is Irma, and she is 93 years old. Despite her age, she’s full of energy and desire to change the world for the better. She decided to fly to Kenya to help children in the orphanage there. Her granddaughter shared her grandma’s photos on her Facebook page, which took over the Internet. …

” ‘Irma has always loved life and was never stopped by life’s obstacles,’ her granddaughter [Elisa Coltro] wrote. She knows what difficulties are like and has always tried to help others. Irma lost her husband at 26 and later one of her three children. Her life has not been easy, and she has always relied on her own strength to make it through.

“Many years ago she met Father Remigio, a [missionary] who has spent his life helping the people of Kenya. Irma has supported him for many years. Once she heard that Father Remigio was hospitalized, she made a decision to visit him and all the places he had built during his lifetime, such as hospitals, orphanages and kindergartens.

“Now being in Kenya, Irma helps children as much as she can. She teaches English and Math in the school of Malindi. … Her age never stops her from taking motorcycle rides. Despite all the difficulties she’s faced, she continues to enjoy life. Irma plans to stay in Africa for a few weeks, but there is a possibility that she will want to stay there for good.

“She has always taught her children and grandchildren to help others. Her granddaughter Elisa did volunteer work in refugee camps in Greece in 2016 and 2017.” More here.

One of the things I like best about the story is the sense of a network of fellow travelers. Irma’s daughter went to Kenya with her. Her granddaughter volunteers. And zillions of people loved what Irma is doing enough to share the news on social media. One and one and 50 …

Photo: Elisa Coltro / facebook   

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The Associated Press had a story not long ago about some energetic Bolivians  competing at handball.

“A group of Bolivian grandmothers and great-grandmothers have a pretty nontraditional way of easing the aches and pains of old age. These Aymara women get together every Wednesday in the city of El Alto and play handball.

“The ‘awichas,’ as grandmothers are known in the Aymara language, don sports jerseys over their traditional skirts and look forward to meeting and exercising with friends every week. …

“Team handball is an Olympic sport; two teams pass a ball using their hands to throw the ball into the opposite team’s goal.

“The handball team is part of a program where about 10,000 older people are practicing sports and playing Andean music; they also get free medical care.”

See some great great quotes and photos at NBC News, here.

Photo: Juan Karita/AP
In this Feb. 4, 2105 photo, 72-year-old Aurea Murillo prepares to make a pass during a handball match among elderly Aymara indigenous women in El Alto, Bolivia.

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When I arrived at Suzanne’s house after work yesterday, my grandson was having a bath. I hadn’t seen him for a few weeks. I stood in the bathroom doorway and smiled. When he saw me, he stared for a few moments. Then he got a funny little smile on his face and said, “Huh.”

Today we went with Suzanne to the Music Together class. I had decided to take a vacation day. His other three grandparents had already seen music class, and I was determined to get there, especially after hearing that last time he crawled into some unknown grandma’s lap for the lullaby!

Music Together is a great thing for babies and toddlers and their grownups. It’s franchised around the country. My husband and I attended one session a couple years ago with my older grandson in Arlington (where I believe Will McMillan now teaches, and wouldn’t I like to attend that one!)

Today’s class was chaotic and fun, with lots of rhythm and movement activities and little kids running around and banging percussive toys. They were all very good about putting the instruments back in the proper bins. (There’s a special bin called Taster’s Choice. That’s for the instruments that have gone in someone’s mouth during the exercises and thus need extra attention.)

After the little man and I both had a nap, we went to the Children’s Museum. 🙂


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John sent two articles about roles that grandparents are playing in children’s lives — in this case, grandmas.

The blog Microtask details Professor Sugata Mitra’s cool insights about the Grandma Effect.

“The theory is that grandmas are good at encouraging kids. They praise them and say things like: ‘Now that is clever dear, I’d never have been able to analyze the molecular structure of DNA all by myself!’ Supervising village children, Indian grandmothers got some impressive results: test scores almost doubled in two months …

“And the next step? The ‘Granny Cloud.’ While working at Newcastle University, Professor Mitra recruited over 200 UK grandmothers as volunteers. Broadcasting via webcam each ‘grandmother’ spends at least an hour a week encouraging classes of Indian school children. Some of the Indian locations are so remote that the Granny Cloud is the only access kids have to education.” More.

The second link that John sent has more on the Granny Cloud. Jane Wakefield writes for the BBC: “Jackie Barrow isn’t a granny yet but as a retired teacher she felt she might qualify for an advert in The Guardian newspaper calling for volunteers to help teach children in India.

“She did, and today, three years on, she is reading ‘Not Now Bernard’ via Skype to a small group of children in the Indian city of Pune.

“They love it and are engaged in the experience as she holds up an Easter egg to show them how children in the UK celebrated the recent holiday.” More.

Good work, Prof. Mitra! (Or as my grandson would say when I manage to attach the bike helmet properly, “Good work, Grandma!”) Everyone knows grandmas are cheerleaders, but Prof. Mitra took it to the next step.

Photo: Three-year-old photographer
Grandma saying, “Very creative camera work, Dear!”


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We are gearing up for Mother’s Day around here. It’s an important time of the year for Luna & Stella. For one thing, it gives us a chance to share our enthusiasm for all those who take on the role of mother — whether or not they are actual mothers.

The nurturing person, the rock in someone’s life could be an aunt or a big sister. I have heard of a neighbor playing a mother role for a lonely kid. What about a loving grandpa?

Luna & Stella, as you know, has many birthstone-jewelry offerings, and not just for women. Check out L&S cufflinks if your grandpa was like a mother to you. Why not? Suzanne and Erik may think I’m crazy to suggest cufflinks for May 13, but hey, I’m just the blogger!

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