In Praise of Class

While visiting my parents a couple of weeks ago my dad made a great comment about a news item. One candidate or another was speaking on class warfare and my dad said how could they comment when they didn’t really have any class. I apologize to him if I didn’t quote him properly, but this really isn’t about politics, because he followed it up with the most important part: his mom didn’t have the money or power (in their own heads) of these men but had more class then they’ll ever be able to buy. And right he is.


This five foot nothing Norwegian used to ride seven hours to a cabin in Wisconsin with two boys in the back seat of a Volkswagen. They complained, she didn’t.

She power walked all around Chicago before power walking was a thing, the same two boys unable to keep up even though loaded with M & M’s. She rode the bus to her destinations and took us on adventures with it.

She moved from house to house to visit her kids and grandkids, sleeping wherever was convenient for them, and I swear the only luggage she ever had was her knitting bag.

Although the guest, she got up and made Swedish pancakes, but don’t tell any Norwegian. She also made fantastic cranberry nut bread and great chocolate chip cookies.

The woman could nap in the blink of any eye, sitting up. Now that’s a talent.

Those are the memories I have of Grandma Mabel. I didn’t know the years before where she raised three children on her own, going to work every day, on that same bus, and I’m sure never complaining once. I imagine the kids did enough it on their own, that’s what kids do. She didn’t complain about the government not taking care of her, she just did what she needed to do. And those kids turned out to be amazing parents and aunts and uncles.

Now that’s class.

18 thoughts on “In Praise of Class

  1. Beautiful post!

  2. tipping me hat off to the lady with *class*. I wish I could nap in the blink of an eye, I swear – it’s such a powerful thing!! So here’s another hat off for the lady with *class* who could power-nap.

  3. That’s great! That generation was truly amazing.

    On a personal note: I cannot believe how many Norweigans I know. (I got into a little trouble with some of my Norweigan friends the other day, due to my post “The 18-Hour Day”, LOL.

  4. I have to say, my mom is like that too. A stronger, classier and more compassionate person than just about anyone else I’ve met.

  5. Thank you for bringing back that delightful word…”CLASS!”
    World Class, First Class…in this often “Crass” world, I enjoy being around people with Class!! I love your Grandma Mabel!

  6. If our dead truly are always around us, Grandma Mabel would be embarrassed and pleased all at one time. Class always tells, doesn’t it!

  7. Self control..

  8. Brought a little tear to my eye. You are so right!

  9. Well said Jeff.

    On one of those Hayward trips back home I lost my Oreo cookie breakfast all over her. Grandma didn’t bat an eye. ( My old man freaked a little).

    This strong-willed little old lady came to this country, at age 17, with all of her belongings in a wooden crate (which we have in our Family Room) and a Chicago address written on a piece of paper. Did I mention she didn’t know our language. (Funny, she didn’t need to dial #2 for Norwegian).

    I still miss her.

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