How Grateful I am.

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Last Tuesday morning the world said goodbye to one of the most influential men in my life. After 93 years, my Grandfather (otherwise known as Grampy - or BIG Grandpa as my 2 year-old likes to say) passed away.

For much of my life I didn't know him well- me being in Ontario and my grandparents being in B.C. We visited a handful of times. But in 2006, I quite randomly moved to Kelowna, right into their home.

Grampy was an Air Force man. Retired with the rank of Colonel. Their household was immaculately maintained. They ran a tight ship. With a staunch, serious demeanor, he had always seemed a bit authoritarian..... until you got to know him. It wasn't long before I realized where the Banks clan gets their wicked witty humor (#selfhighfive). Grampy was skilled in the fine art of sarcasm; He didn't even need words, just the look on his face when you got a piece of pie bigger than his was enough to bring you to awkward laughter.... then offer him your slice.

In the 12 years I've spent in the same city as my Grandparents, I've learned many things about being a grownup. Here are the top 3 lessons I learned from my Grampy:

1. tend to your finances

The ultimate practice in abundance, tending to your finances gives you a crystal clear view of where you stand financially. This isn't scary. This is #FREEDOM. For most of my life I lived paycheck to paycheck. No investments, no savings. No understanding of my financial future. Now I meet with my husband once a week to look over our finances, and decide together which purchases we need to make, and how much we can move to our savings account. I think twice before making impulse buys, and find lasting value in the things I already own. Which brings me to the second lesson:

2. tend to your belongings

It is possible to keep a wood ladder in good working condition for 56 years. I know this because Grampy gave me his 56 year old wood ladder, that he had moved around with for his whole adult life. Do you leave your patio umbrella outside in the elements, only to see it breakdown and have to buy a new one after just a couple years? Me too, until I received the bright yellow floral Hippy A.F umbrella Grammy and Grampy got in the 60's, that had been dutifully placed back in it's plastic bag, inside the cardboard box after each use. I once spent $350 on a new BBQ, and after 4 years it was garbage. Doing the math, that BBQ cost me an average of  $0.24 per day. Grampy had his BBQ for 50 years. He probably spent like $60 on it. Average cost? $0.003 per day. Twenty four cents doesn't seem like a lot, but when you add up every small appliance, piece of clothing, furniture, or any other 'thing' in your home, the daily cost of not taking care of your stuff adds up. And that money could be better spent travelling the world with Grammy.

3. tend to your garden

There is nothing more satisfying than enjoying the physical fruits of your labor. Tending to the "task" of going outside and putting your hands in the soil.... I am a more grounded individual for it. My kids are too. And now we will forever celebrate Grampy as the raspberries and tomatoes ripen in our garden. PLUS, it's pretty undeniable that anything fresh from your own garden tastes better than what you'll find in the supermarket.


I am forever thankful for the time I spent with my wonderful Grampy, not to mention the years my children have had with him. Had it not been for his kindness in inviting me into his home, I would not be where I am today. I love you Grampy, Rest In Peace.

What have you learned from your grandparents? Leave a comment below.