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Olive Tree Genealogy’s suggestion today is:

This is is our 10th Week of Sharing Memories – A Genealogy Journey Follow along each Sunday as we write and sometimes share, our memories of childhood. Your descendants will be so thankful that you did!

This week’s topic is Sayings or Expressions your Parents and Grandparents used. We’ve all heard them. We might even be guilty of continuing the pattern with our own children! You know, like the one where a parent says “I don’t care who started it, I’m going to stop it” or “Two wrongs don’t make a right”

Instantly, I wrote down five (5) phrases my Dad said so many times I couldn’t begin to count.  Dad was always involved in a hobby of building or repairing something.  He was tanning hides; taking and processing photos; building model airplanes and boats; building workshops; building a dune buggy; making furniture; repairing appliances, TV’s & vehicles; and on and on.  I think of  him as always busy with his hands and always troubleshooting with objects & with philosophical issues.  I share that because rarely would he tell me exactly what he wanted me to understand.  He told things through analogies or stories and my job was to figure it out.


Here are some of Dad’s common expressions, listed in the order I recalled them:

  1. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” He said this mostly if I was pestering him and then he started pestering me only he was rougher, though not intentionally.
  2. “You see in others what you see in yourself.” He said this whenever I was griping about some negative quality of someone.
  3. “An excuse is a mark of a Failure.”  He said this whenever I gave an excuse or reason for why I hadn’t done something at all or very well.  I always heard the word failure as meaning the person was a total failure rather than the task was a failure.  It is the way he meant it and he used it on himself, too.
  4. “If I told you to jump off of a cliff, would you?” This was always mentioned if I said a friend was doing something as justification for my wanting to do it.   I was to think of possible consequences for everything I considered before deciding.
  5. “You’re making this more difficult than it is.”  He said this when he was trying to explain something to me and I wasn’t ‘getting it’.  Once I understood his point he would tell me how smart I was.  This, as you might imagine, was a conflicting message.

My Dad is near and dear to my heart but chose many years ago to remove himself from my life (and others).  Regardless, he had and continues to have a strong influence in my life and I share his stories with my children.

I don’t know if any of the things Dad said were things my grandparents said to him.  Maybe my Aunt can shed some light on that.  If they weren’t, Mom might have something to add.

It would be interesting to know what my brother remembers.  Since we are 16 years apart our experiences are quite different yet at the same time quite similar.

At this time I really cannot recall any expressions that Mom or my grandparents said.  Maybe one of my family members reading this will recall.