It is CBAL’s 20th Anniversary and one of the things we are celebrating is 20 years of supporting community members throughout the Basin and Boundary to be lifelong learners. I love learning new things and I come from a family who has always valued learning and sharing knowledge.
My grandparents were continually participating in activities that provided them with opportunities to learn something new. They were fond of reading books and magazines. When I was growing up, it was a common sight to see my grandparents sitting together, reading their books.
As they grew older, they may have slowed down, but their love of learning didn’t. They were part of the local garden club, and they travelled frequently with Elderhostel. They learned how to rock climb, all about the history of the Windermere Valley and even Vancouver Island Marmots. My grandparents’ example of lifelong learning has given three generations of my family the passion and interest to continually learn.
My grandpa was an organic gardener before it was a popular way to grow food. He had a large vegetable garden as well as several flower beds. He taught us about companion planting – planting certain vegetable together that benefit each other. Grandpa shared his knowledge about flowers with my uncle and now he has an outdoor space filled with beautiful flower beds. When he turned 92, my grandpa could no longer manage his large gardens and learned how to scale down to a few raised beds.
Although my grandma is no long alive, I’m inspired by her quilts and have taught myself how to make some simple block designs using YouTube and books. Several great-grandchildren are enrolled in post-secondary courses and my cousin has taken up beekeeping.
My cousin’s interest in beekeeping inspired my now 94-year-old grandpa to learn about them, too! He’s been reading some books and my cousin shares what she is learning from the beekeeping course she’s taking. He loves to share what he has learned with the family, so everyone has now learned something about bees! If you think beekeeping might be an interesting thing to explore, my grandpa recommends: Collins Beekeeper’s Bible.
Seeing my grandpa still being passionate and interested in learning new things makes me realize that I will never be too old to learn something new.
I am grateful to be part of an organization that fosters lifelong learning opportunities. CBAL supports all kinds of learning, for all ages, in each community we serve. For more information about our programming, go to cbal.org.
Community Literacy Outreach Coordinator Windermere Valley
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy