Papa’s Pearls from Homefires: Review

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One of the few things in my life I regret is not having my grandparents around. I don’t even know if I can qualify it as a regret since it isn’t anything I had control over. I am blessed to know I will see them again one day, but since they died when I was young I missed out on all the wisdom I know they had to give me. I become so frustrated when I hear of families treating their grandparents as a burden or unimportant. Our society does not value their elders anymore and there will come a time when our society will truly regret it. 
 photo papaspearls_zps509cd1df.jpgPapa’s Pearls is a collection of sayings, stories, and wisdom passed on to his children and grandchildren by way of his daughter. Dianne Flynn Keith artfully tells the stories of her childhood in such a way you feel as if you knew Papa (Carol Joseph Flynn). Each chapter is titled with one or two of Papa’s signature sayings and includes stories from his life which build off of them. As I read through these various quotes and stories I couldn’t help but be reminded of my own grandparents and the things they used to say.

One of my favorite stories was of Papa working in the sewer. He would have to wade through sewage in order to do his job as a plumber. I’m sure it was a thankless job, but he did what he had to do in order to provide for his family. The same value was passed down to our family by our own grandfathers and fathers.

My own grandfather worked for years in a coal mine, scrimping and saving each penny in order to be able to purchase land for a farm when he was able. This was certainly not a job he loved, but he worked hard. My great-grandfather sold pies made by my great-grandmother in order to provide for his family when he was laid off during the Depression. My husband worked a variety of jobs in high school and college including mowing lawns, fast-food, pizza making, working at a grocery store, and more in order to save and pay his way through college to end up without debt on the other side. A good work ethic is not taught as it once was and I hope to instill the same ideas in our girls.

I also liked the multiple times that the author referenced her father’s positive outlook on life, no matter the circumstances. It is so easy to fall into a woe-is-me type of attitude when things get difficult, but our children are watching us. Do you say you are joyful in Christ, but neglect to show it to your children? I can become guilty of this at times and I was challenged to make sure I am living out those important parts of my faith which I want to pass on to my children.

I did choose not to read this aloud to my children. This is much more suited for older students and their parents. Since my girls are younger (ages 7, 5, and 3), they would probably not have gotten very much out of the stories. We are not catholic, but Papa was and some mention of this and some catholic practices in the book. This would not have been something I would want to explain to my girls at such a young age, but it would probably not have been as big of a deal for older children. Although I still highly recommend this book I think this is important to be aware of this fact. It can be purchased directly from the website for $21.97 (this includes shipping) or Amazon.

Don’t forget to check out the other reviews from my Crewmates!
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2 thoughts on “Papa’s Pearls from Homefires: Review”

  1. Thank you for reviewing \”Papa's Pearls,\” Melissa! I especially enjoyed reading about the strong work ethic of your grandfather and great-grandfather. I thought you might like to know that if you share a memory about your grandfather or great-grandfather on my blog, you'll be entered to win a $50 Gift Card to Amazon. Get the details here: Thanks, again! 


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