Today would have been my Nana's 100th Birthday. Born in 1913 she turned 50 the year I was born. I can only imagine how thrilled she was to have a granddaughter and, being 50 myself, I know she must have loved where she was in life. I celebrate my Nana today with a list of things that she taught me. I am forever grateful.

Things Nana taught me:

1.   It’s never too late to start over. I was 41 when she strongly encouraged me to go ahead and start a new life. She kept saying, "You're SO young!!"
2.  You need to clean your junk drawer out regularly. I loved going through her junk drawer. She had a place for everything and everything in its place! She was so organized and so well prepared for anything!
3. Oil of Olay is God's gift to women. She gave me a bottle every year at Mother's Day and Christmas. Perhaps it was the key to her very youthful skin, even into her 90s! I STILL use Oil of Olay.
4.   Dove soap is the best. The smell ALWAYS reminds me of her…every single day as I use the pink one.
5.   If you weren’t married in the Catholic church, your divorce doesn’t really count.
6.   If you see the Pope when you’re at the Vatican (which I did), your divorce is completely absolved.
7.   You can fix just about anything with scotch tape. And lots of it.
8.    Contact paper makes EVERYTHING look better! And, actually, it fixes and makes new just about anything that scotch tape is unable to repair.
9.   It is very simple to ‘darn’ a sock. Four or five stitches and it’s like new! No need to EVERY buy a new pair! Sew a button back onto a shirt or a falling hem! Take care of your clothes and you won't need to buy new so often.
10.   Traveling is the best use of your time and money. And the BEST memory. In the last few years of my grandparents’ lives—even in the nursing home—they were STILL telling stories of their three months traveling Europe. It had been nearly 40 years later.
11.   It’s IMPORTANT to take care of yourself. Wash your clothes. Take a shower every day. Take a bubble bath, wash your hair, clip your nails. It feels so good to feel good!
12.   Pop tarts taste good at any time of the day. Especially really hot on blue paper towels. (Maybe you had to be there.) It was our secret snack at night...
13.   Snake cans never get old and are always funny. ALWAYS! She could be silly and funny and laughed a lot.
14.   You can survive anything. My Nana lost both breasts to cancer—25 years apart. She lost her son in a car accident. She lost her husband many years later. But she never lost her dignity, her sense of humor or her passion to serve her family and others.
15.   You need to clean your house constantly to keep it looking good. Sweep, mop, vacuum, wash the walls, the floors, keep laundry going, iron everything…a clean house helps keep a clear mind. I LOVED watching her CLEAN and organize!
16. Save your money. My grandparents mentioned many times the fact that they outlived their money. Who knew they'd both live independently into their 90s? I think of this each day when I pay my bills and intentionally steer AWAY from Target. 
Oh how I miss my sweet Nana. I so wish I could go see and talk with her! She was such a good listener and OH how she understood me. I was open and honest with her and I think she'd have changed lives with me in a heartbeat. She was ASTONISHED when I traveled Europe on my own and could not believe that I went to Africa! She was proud of me.
I am grateful that I knew her well into my 40s. The lessons she taught me will never fade away. I lived the life she dreamed of--with encouragement from her.