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French Fries, Milkshakes, Grandmothers. . .and other Simple Pleasures

Priscilla Shirer | Oct 20, 2014

This is my 96-year-old grandma . . .

Grandma Smiling

This is my grandma and her simple pleasures . . .


I marvel when I’m with her. Every single time, tears sting my eyes at the thought of what her life represents – the many years and moments, decisions and choices, faithfulness and dedication that have become my legacy.

And I love watching her enjoy simple pleasures.

Her life used to be overwhelmingly busy – years ago when her days were full of small children and schedules and details and budgets. My late grandfather was away most of the time trying to make a living to support their eight children. So, she raised the brood as a single parent for the most part. Little time for anything else. She dedicated herself to them, working from early in the morning until late into the night to keep them fed and clean and clothed and educated and in love with Jesus.

Now, her days are much more quiet and slow. She sits mostly in her favorite living room chair and welcomes any of her children, grandchildren or great grand children that come to visit. Her eyes glisten with excitement when there is a break in her fairly mundane days. Her mind is still sharp but her body can’t seem to keep up. She laments the aches and pains that hinder her from being as productive as she once was. She can’t believe that she’s unable to clean her house in one day like she used to, run errands from one store to the next nimbly or cook a feast for her whole family to enjoy. She misses those busy days.

So, I take her for fries and milkshakes and a drive in the sunlight to nowhere in particular.

She loves it all.

These simple pleasures.

She doesn’t bemoan the calories she’s ingesting. She just enjoys them. She doesn’t wish she was doing something else – something more important than taking a car ride with her grand daughter – she just relishes the moment of simple abundance. She’s not worried that her clothes aren’t designer or even matching for that matter. Her robe and house shoes will do just fine. It’s all pure happiness.

And she teaches me.

Her smile, quiet ease and genuine gladness remind me to enjoy the small things in life. To bask in the sun, to eat the indulgence, to listen to a friend, to cook the meal, to take the walk, to play hard, work harder and enjoy it all.

Not because I’m 96 and have to . . . but while I’m 39 and choose to.

What simple pleasures are you grateful for today?

I’ll start:

  • The sunshine and cooler temperatures in Dallas
  • The dessert and laughs I shared with my husband and sons at Chick-fil-A
  • The falling autumn leaves
  • The new recipe I cooked for dinner last week
  • Butter Pecan Coffee Creamer
  • The weekend spent outdoors with family and friends at my son’s baseball tournament
  • My son’s first over-the-fence homerun
  • My husband’s firm, strong hug

. . . and a memorable hour, driving my 96 year old grandmother, while she ate French fries and drank a vanilla milkshake.