Grandmothers always smile |

Grandmothers always smile

Cassie Pence

“Whatever you write on a heart of a child can never be washed away.”- AnonymousVarious cultural biologists and anthropologists hosted a convention in Europe and invited grandmothers in order to study the women’s significance.

The scientists came to the conclusion that grandmothers were very important and influential.”But they weren’t sure which buttons grandmothers pushed to be so influential,” said Marguerite T. Langstaff, a Colorado senior judge and author of “The Granny Mystique.” “And that tickled my fancy because we all know about grandmothers, it’s no secret. And I guess the bottom line is heart-felt love.”Langstaff’s book discusses those buttons, which she calls the “Nine Granny Wisdoms.” There basically things that grandmothers do for their grandkids, like nurture confidence and self-esteem, expose children to a variety of experiences and places and always smile.”The wisdoms come from me,” said Langstaff, who has a home in Eagle-Vail. “I didn’t read them anywhere or make them up. But there’s nothing new about them. All grandmothers know those things.”

Her book incorporates touching letters from children of all ages writing about their grandmas. Alex, age 11, writes: “Nana was wonderful, because she was always loving, kind, creative, and she kept me company all the time.””When we remember our grandparents, we don’t remember the big, expensive presents that they gave us, or didn’t give us. We remember little things, like what they cooked or how their hands looked, or how warm and comfortable they felt,” Langstaff said, who during her law career worked with juveniles.Studies have shown for a long time that the grandparent relationship is second in importance to the parent-child relationship. Langstaff said that even if you don’t have grandchildren and are wishing you did, you can make a difference in a child’s life.”There’s somebody down the block or across the way that needs a grandmother,” said Langstaff.

‘A Star From Grandma’Local Janet Mueller has written a children’s book, “A Star From Grandma,” about the special relationship between grandparents and grandkids, as well.The story is about a gift a grandmother gives to her grandson. She tells him a story about a magical grandma who places a star inside every apple. The stars are secret messages to grandchildren to remind them how very special they are. “When I did the apple story I wanted to stress how important the grandparents are,” Mueller said. “Part of the problem is a lot of people live far away, so I wanted something to show kids to cross that boundary.The unique aspect of the star in the apple is its real. If you turn an apple on its side and cut it in half, a star will appear. You can read Muellers story to your children and let them know that the star is a gift from their grandma.I had a very special relationship with my own grandmother and grandparent in general, Mueller said.Mueller illustrated the book, too. The pictures are oil paintings done in very bright colors. The book is on coated stock paper to hold up well in little hands. She wrote and designed the book when she was home with her two sons.I had a lot of little influences, Mueller said.The apple-star story was passed down through Muellers family. Its a touching story that reminds us just how special grandparents are, which is especially appropriate today Grandparents Day.For more information on The Granny Mystique go on Langstaffs Web site at Muellers A Star From Grandma is sold at Verbatim Booksellers in Vail Village and the Bookworm in Edwards. You can also contact Mueller on her e-mail at

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