My maternal grandmother was Lottie Stephens Redd. Her birthday was December 1 – the day after mine. I like to think I was an early birthday gift as we were kindred spirits. I remember vividly the last time I saw her alive. She was just recovering (from what I can’t remember), my Aunt Gloria was there and I came down to see her. She was sitting on the sofa and I went over to greet her.
I didn’t know that would be the last time I saw her. She taught me a lot including how to sew, fold fitted sheets (don’t ask because I don’t remember), and make zucchini bread. The best lessons were those unspoken southern rules of engagement:
Speak when you walk into a room
Say “Please” and “Thank You”
Say “Bless You” when someone sneezes
Sit down and be quiet when it starts thundering and lightening
Speak no evil against a man of God (pastor, preacher, priest)
I’ve learned a few more over the years. Most of them came from just living…some came from others who saw something special and me and decided to give me a bit of advice. Some of the best lessons I’ve learned are:
Write thank you notes – emails are ok, but not as personal
Cough into your elbow NOT your hand (that’s nasty)
Show that you are sorry – saying it isn’t enough
Bring more, take less
Follow your passion to the end
Create an advisory board for your life
So, my good home training started with my family mainly my grandmother, Lottie, and continues to come from the special people in my life. My sister, Denetris, (in this photo with our grandmother) and I grew up under the watchful eye of this amazing woman. Hopefully, we are making her proud as we continue to adhere to the southern rules of engagement and the things she taught us.
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