There is nobody quite like your grandparents—those wonderful men and women who slipped you sweets and let you get away with things your parents never would have agreed to. Beyond the extra treats and birthday gifts, grandparents offer younger generations a wealth of intriguing insights, gleaned from decades of real-life experience.

To celebrate our elders’ sage advice, we asked members to share the most memorable pieces of wisdom they’ve received from their grandparents:

  1. “My paternal grandmother was a master quilter, seamstress and pianist. I remember many things about my Granny, but the one thing she said that always stuck in my mind was, ‘When in doubt, don’t.’ I love it and still use that advice to this day.”
  2. “My grandmother always said, ‘Save money for a rainy day, because the rain always comes.’ I attribute my own financial success to the lessons in frugality and saving that I learned from her.”
  3. “The BEST advice I received is: Never speak to your spouse in a way that YOU would not like to be spoken to. This is excellent advice still today, and I remember it often.”
  4. “My grandmother said that whenever you plan to start something new, start it on a Friday. I asked her if she meant Monday, but no—Friday. She passed away on a Friday.”
  5. “Always, always, always run errands looking your best. It doesn’t have to be your ‘church best,’ but certainly never go out in clothes you wear around the house. Sadly, this is not a piece of advice I follow all the time. One I do follow is ‘the morning hours are golden,’ meaning get all your chores out of the way early in the day.”
  6. “My mother said that her grandma (my great-grandmother and namesake) would look at her eight grandkids covered in dust and dirt from playing outside in rural Mississippi and say, ‘Ya gotta eat a peck of dirt before you die. Might as well start off young.’ It certainly took the pressure off my grandmother to keep Mom and all her siblings sparkling clean all the time.”
  7. “My grandparents never told us what to do or gave advice, but they did lead by example. They ate wholesome, fresh food and exercised daily by mowing their lawns and cleaning their homes. The way they dressed, they said, showed respect for others. They were frugal and proud that they never took money from the government or anyone else. At times, they did lend money to friends, but they did not expect it back. They worked hard in basic jobs all their lives and were loving and kind, although none of them had formal education beyond high school. I think of them often when I am faced with life’s difficult decisions.”
  8. “Enough is enough, and too much stinks.”
  9. “My Grandma’s house was my safe place when I was growing up. When I would misbehave, she would threaten me by saying she’d give me a ‘severe thrashing with a toothpick.’ This is just a small example of her gentleness.”
  10. “My grandparents and great-grandparents used to say, ‘Respect your elders, because someday you will be one.’ ”

Share the age-old lessons and advice you’ve received from your grandparents in the comments below.

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