Sunday marks Grandparent’s Day and we honor grandparents everywhere by sharing our own stories of our most grand family members.
Generations United encourages us all to “Do Something Grand” not just on Grandparent’s Day, but all through the year. We at A Place for Mom have answered that call to action by sharing with our readers the valuable, inspirational, heartfelt and sometimes, humorous life lessons we’ve learned from our own grandparents.
Lesson No. 1: Don't Take Anything for Granted!
My grandfather came to America from Ukraine just before World War 2 and started a small farm in Texas. But before that, when he was only 12 and still in Ukraine, he survived a horrific famine. Out of the one hundred families that lived on his street, only 20 people lived to tell the tale.
What you are about to hear is a real recollection-as it was written in a personal journal just after the crisis by one of his neighbors:
"Where did all bread disappear, I do not really know, maybe they have taken it all abroad. The authorities have confiscated it, removed it from the villages, loaded grain into the railway coaches, and took it away someplace. They have searched the houses, taken away everything to the smallest thing. All the vegetable gardens, all the cellars were raked out, and everything was taken away.
It was so dreadful that every day became engraved in my memory. People were lying everywhere as dead flies. The stench was awful. Many of our neighbors and acquaintances from our street died.
...we tried to survive the best we could. We collected grass, goose-foot, burdocks, rotten potatoes, and made pancakes, soups from putrid beans or nettles. Collected gley from the trees and ate it, ate sparrows, pigeons, cats...and dogs. When there was still cattle, it was eaten first, then the domestic animals. Some were eating their own children. I would have never been able to eat my child. One of our neighbours came home when her husband, suffering from severe starvation ate their own baby-daughter. This woman went crazy."
Another neighbor wrote a petition to the authorities. Here is just a paragraph:
Of course, nobody cared. In a crisis, it is everyone for himself! Although...in many cases, families did still remain families. Just after the winter, when there was absolutely nothing to eat, my grandfather, together with his mother, went to the nearest town where the government had established a soup kitchen.
Unfortunately, the 25-mile long journey was too much for his mother. After just five miles, she couldn't walk anymore.
My grandfather noted in his journal:
"Mother said, 'Save yourself; run to town.' I turned back twice; I could not bear to leave my mother, but she begged and cried, and I finally went for good."
But make no mistake taking this for granted!
History has shown us many times that it can all fly away in a split of a second.
The biggest misstep that you can take now is to think that this can never happen in America or to you!
All that my grandfather and our ancestors - who came here and formed America -lived through would be in vain without lesson number 2:
Call me old fashioned; I don't care...but I completely believe in America and what our ancestors stood for.
They all had a part in turning this land into one of the most powerful countries in the world.
Many died and suffered before a creative mind found an ingenious solution to maybe a century old problem. Believe it or not, our ancestors skills are all covered in American blood. This is why these must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same for our children and our children's children.
But now, my friends, we are sitting on the edge of oblivion.
Our fathers and our grandfathers were probably the last generation to practice basic things like building a root cellar or making pemmican.
Our ancestors laid the bricks and built the world's strongest foundation...that we are about to -irreversibly forget!
And we're going to pay the ultimate price for this.
Because if you have a big, strong house with a weak foundation, it doesn't matter if it looks nice on the outside-the next flood will sweep it away!
And that is exactly what will happen to most Americans in the coming crisis!
Here we are, human beings in the 21st century, several lifetimes and a world away from our grandparents and their ways. Have we become better at living? I think not. I watch as we become ever more expectant that the world owes us a living. Consumerism has reached epic proportions and people feel aggrieved if they don't own the latest gadget.
The truth is we have never been more disconnected from life, from the world, from the soil, from the trees, and from our own souls.
We are straying away from our roots on a dangerous road from which there will be no turning back. And the good and bad news is that we are the last generation that can truly do something about it.
We no longer know how to live without refrigerators, without cars, without phones or without supermarkets.
What will you do tomorrow if you simply are unable to buy things?
I sometimes even think we're kidding ourselves with our Bug Out Bags and with our three-day food rations. Wouldn't we be better off looking at what the pioneers took with them when they traveled from Independence, Missouri all the way to Oregon City? Game meat was unreliable even then, so don't think that they made this five-month journey counting only on that. If your life depended on this, what Bug Out Bag would you take with you? I know I would stick with whatever the pioneer had with him. He had to travel weeks on end without much help while taking cover from some native tribes at the same time.
And this is just a small, tiny example!
I don't want to see our forefathers' knowledge disappear into the darkness of time...and if you care for your family...and what America stands for...then neither should you!
This is the third and most important lesson of all:
I believe in God and in the power of free will! I believe that you are the only one in charge of your destiny and that you are constantly making decisions that shape the rest of your life.
It's true that we all had different starts, depending on our families and upbringing, but most of us here in the United States had at least decent beginnings. We had water and food, we could go shopping from time to time, and we had a decent medical system compared with other countries.
We should be more thankful for that! And we should ensure that we have something put aside for darker times.
If anything goes wrong with this country don't blame the government or the president. They don't truly care about you or your family. You'll be the only one in charge of your fate!
I don't know if you've noticed, but nothing just falls from the sky. GOD HELPS YOU, but He does not lay it on your table. You have to work hard and do things yourself!
You can truly change things! And you can do a lot more than you think you can!
With this idea in mind five years ago, I wanted to do something that hadn't been done before!
Something that not only would help me survive a crisis without investing a fortune in stockpiles, but something that I could do around my house on a daily basis using only methods that were tested and proven by our forefathers for centuries.
I went to my grandfather to find out how he survived and to learn the little secrets that helped him stay alive in spite of almost everyone else dying.
He was now almost 90, but the old man was still in good shape. For three weeks on end I absorbed his lessons like a dry sponge. On top of that, we built a lot of things together, including a root cellar and a storm shelter, just like the folks did when he was young. We made lard and ham, and we smoked four turkeys and preserved them for winter in four different, traditional ways-and a lot, lot more.
When I was a child, I was raised by my grandparents, but I hadn't spent such a quality time with him until then. In fact, there were months when we barely even spoke-not because we couldn't stand each other but because I was always too busy working or taking care of my kids... a lame excuse and a thing that I deeply regretted later on in life.
Once Upon a Time in America…Are you ready to turn back the clocks to the 1800s for up to three years?Our grandfathers and great-grandfathers were the last generation to practice the basic things that we call survival skills now. ….Watch this video and you will find many interesting things!
My grandfather passed on a couple of years ago and with him a magnificent amount of survival knowledge. I don't know if you're in a similar situation, but think about your grandfather and how many things he did or knew...things that will vanish forever into the dark abyss of ignorance.
And because I deeply believed in lesson no. three, that I was the only one who could change something, my goal for the last couple of years changed from not just "learning" but "saving" our forefathers' ways.
This is one of the most important things that I've done in my life. I'm proud of it, but it took me five difficult years!
First, there is no person that knows all our forefathers' forgotten secrets. Let's just say that there are still a handful of people that still practice a lost skill transmitted from generation to generation even today...but not all the skills of course. I had to get in touch with a lot of people.
Second, where do you find these guys? They are no mainstream survival experts; they don't have a website or a TV show. Some of them even live in remote areas without Internet or TV cable, earning a living like the pioneers did!
Third, I wanted to do something unprecedented. You know, articles like "11 Skills Your Great-Grandparents Had That You Don't", and they start listing the skills: hunting, fishing, foraging, butchering, and so on.
Pffff...this kind of information will never help anyone. I needed something solid, exact, and to the point! Not just skills! I wanted to know things that they actually built, ate, and stored and EXACTLY how they did it.
And fourth, I'm not sitting on a gold mine! As much as I enjoyed traveling and learning these skills, I still needed to go to work.
But what I didn't realize when I started my journey is that you can't save these skills only by writing them down. If all these writings will be forgotten in a dusty drawer right next to my bed, it won't help anyone. This knowledge will die together with me, and all my efforts to save our forefathers' ways would have been in vain.
This is because all my life I blindly believed in lesson 3...that "it is always up to me."
But I was wrong!
In this case, it's only halfway there:
Today is your chance to be part of saving our ancestors' lost ways. I wanted to make this information available to every family out there without having to spend years of their lives or thousands of dollars.
So I came up with this great idea to edit all my manuscripts and to turn all this lost knowledge into one of the greatest books of this century:
Saving Our Forefathers' Skills-VIDEO