What’s Your Best Feature?

Back in 2013, Virginia Allain wrote, “Most of us are critical of our own looks. We easily compliment others but brush off the nice things others say about our own looks. Sometimes parents felt they had to discourage children from becoming vain and tried to instill a sense of modesty in us.
Now even when we are hard on ourselves, there’s usually one feature you think is your best. Maybe it’s your eyes or your mouth or your high cheekbones. Perhaps you think your hair is what’s special about you.
My niece's eyes
The eyes above are my niece’s. She has equally lovely lips, nose, teeth, and hair. Actually, she’s pretty stunning. If you asked her, she would probably start telling you all the things that are wrong with her face and figure. I think we’ve gone overboard trying to suppress vanity in young girls.
As for me, I do like my big blue eyes and my blonde hair, though it used to be thicker and more reddish which I liked. I wish my nose wasn’t so stubby and that I didn’t have freckles. My eyebrows don’t contribute much to my face as they are too pale. See how easy it is to start tearing yourself down? Let’s start over and appreciate our own looks.
Ginger Allain - selfie

Taking a selfie – Virginia Allain

Here goes: I like my big blue eyes. They probably are a legacy from the Tower family line. Someone told me about my great-great-grandfather, Abraham Bates Tower, having the biggest blue eyes, even as an eighty-year-old.”
I know my mother, Gail Lee Martin, avoided the camera later in life if she hadn’t had her hair styled recently or if she was just wearing her comfy around-the-house clothes. I wrote about how pretty she was in her eighties. She was uncomfortable with my doing that. Here is that post: Beautiful Octogenarian.
gail in black, ginger in yellow sweatshirt

Here we are together, Gail Martin and daughter, Ginger Allain. I actually don’t have that many photos like this. Usually, I’m the one with the camera in hand. (One of the folks’ wagon wheel rugs is in the background)

What do you consider to be your best feature? Eyes, smile, cheeks, hair, ???
My friend, Kathryn, commented on Mom’s pictures, “Your mother was beautiful 60 years ago, and she is beautiful today. As I round the bend of middle age, I am inspired by so many older women whom I meet. I certainly count your mother among them!”

How to Make a Grandmother Happy

Gail Lee Martin’s daughter, Virginia Allain wrote this article for the eHow website back in 2009.

Our lives are busy and it seems like there’s never time for Grandma or great-grandma anymore. If you want to keep your family connections strong, set aside some time for your grandmother. There are lots of ways to make your grandmother happy.

gail in pink in chair

Gail Lee Martin in her favorite spot for TV watching, newspaper clipping, and chatting.

  • Call now and then. Don’t wait just for her birthday or Mother’s Day. Just call and ask how things are. Tell her what you’ve been doing. If she’s housebound or in a nursing home, then that phone call may be the highlight of her day. She may want to talk and talk if she hasn’t had much chance lately.
  • When you call or visit, ask about the good-old-days. There are lots of things about your grandmother that you probably don’t know. Where did she meet grandpa? What was her childhood like? What was it like in the Great Depression or World War II or whatever era she lived through? Encourage her to write her memories down.
  • Ask about the family tree. If the family history is not written down, it’s important to get some names and dates before that information is lost to you. Ask her to tell you about pictures in the family album. Note down the names if the album is unlabeled. You’ll be glad later on that you did.
  • Talk about things you did together in the past and family events. It will trigger memories for her and get her talking.
  • Offer to take her places, particularly if she’s stopped driving or is in a care situation. She will enjoy a family dinner at your home or a trip to the library. Consider her interests to plan an outing that is within her physical capability. Be aware if her budget is limited and find activities that fit within a social security income or else treat her to tickets.
  • Make sure your children have time with their grandmother. Create situations where they can be together in enjoyable situations so it’s a pleasant time for all. Remember she may not have the stamina and patience to babysit over-energetic youngsters, so don’t expect that.

    Gail Lee Martin with her grandchild

    Gail with one of her grandchildren.

  • Ask her to teach you things like cooking. Ask for her advice on raising a child. You don’t necessarily have to follow it, but it’s good to know alternate ways of doing something.
  • Ask her to bake your favorite cookies or knit you some slippers if she still does those activities. It gives her an opportunity to be the giver sometimes.
  • Stop by for a visit. Ask about things that she might need help with. Does her lawn need mowing? Ask if she needs any light bulbs changed or the trash bin taken to the curb. Before the visit, give her a quick call to see if there’s anything she needs to be picked up at the store.
  • Send cards for holidays and birthdays. Everyone loves to get mail. Write letters to update her on your life and include photos.

PS – These tips will work great for a grandfather as well.