Cars 3 Lessons for Grandparents

Cars 3 [1]
Image courtesy of Pixar Studios
This week, my husband and I took our grandson to see the new Cars 3 movie. It is a family friendly movie with a revved up story line. While it entertained our grandson, we caught the message that we are to share our wisdom with future generations.

In the movie, Lightning McQueen is an aging patriarch of auto racing who becomes a mentor to a talented but underappreciated young female race car named Cruz Ramirez. Their road is filled with potholes, but both rise to the challenges. He is forced to face the fact that an exciting chapter of his life can now only be seen in the rear view mirror. Under his guidance, Cruz gains confidence to pursue her dreams.

Through the process, Lightning has to dig deep into his past to unveil timeless lessons about work, ambition, and relationships. He hits overdrive, applying old-school techniques to Cruz’s high-tech training. The idea is clear that younger generations are eager to hear from their elders, willing to learn from them. In return, their enthusiasm gives a power boost for older models. It’s a win-win!

For me, the biggest message of Cars 3 is that God gives us no retirement plan. We might be slowing down, but as long as we have a few pistons firing, God wants us to continue sharing what we know about Him.

Resist the urge to put on the brakes. Take your grandkids to a movie – or to a ball game. Get to know their interests, hopes, and challenges. Tell them what you know about living a life of faith in God. Remember to tell me about your time together at:

The Upside of Powering Down

breno-machado-17850We had a blockbuster of a summer storm earlier this week. That’s saying something, because in my lifetime I’ve been in close proximity to a couple of tornadoes that came and went without much interruption to my life. The drill goes something like this: head to a windowless,  interior room (preferably in a basement), wait for the wind to pass, come out of hiding, assess damages, and resume normal activities.

This week’s storm was memorable in a different way. It decided to take out the electrical power for a large swath of my neighborhood, thereby rendering itself quite a nuisance. Temporary loss of power isn’t uncommon in my area. But losing power for more than a few hours is noticeable. This one had us down for 21 hours. That was long enough to seriously consider how much we take the use of electricity for granted.

I was home with my grandson when the storm hit. We got to sit downstairs with a smart phone in case a “duck for your life” alert was issued. It didn’t happen. We did spend some time reviewing those weather safety rules the meteorologists are always announcing on TV. We performed this little exercise for memory. No power means no TV, no WiFi, no computer… no whatever it is that uses electricity.

Admittedly, there were a few “I’m scared” moments. But, the storm’s upside came as a forced shutdown of normal activities. As happy as I was to hear the power kick in the following morning at 5:17 a.m. (according to my bedside clock), I understand those powerless hours were a gift in several ways.

  • It became a running joke to watch one another flip on a light switch for no apparent reason. We gained a new level of respect for flashlights.
  • With the fridge off limits and stove out of commission, our preferred lunch option was a few blocks away at the burger restaurant where power was not interrupted (a definite upside). Ditto for the dinner hour.
  • Back at home we assembled a puzzle, we colored, we read books, and we made up stories. We spent more time than usual directly interacting with one another.

My grandson seemed to relished the adventure and the extra measure of attention he had in the absence of electronic devices. We might try this exercise another day, except we will keep the fridge, stove, and lights turned on. 

How did you spend your time the last time you had to power down? Let me know at: