Ed, my neighbor next door, has had his family home for a few weeks this summer. “What a difference having grown children and grandchildren around makes to a person’s schedule,” Ed lamented. “Ruby and I are gone to bed by eleven and up by seven. With family home, somebody isn’t up by noon and another one never went to bed at all. You cannot get in either bathroom, as someone is always taking another shower. Everybody is hungry and no one wants to cook. The consensus is always that we should eat out every meal. By the time our family leaves, we need a couple of days of rest and a mild sedative to get back to normal.
“I’m sure the change was good for you and you probably enjoyed all the activity and experiences you had with your family being home,” I observed.
“There were a couple of things I could have done without,” Ed related forcefully. “Once, even I agreed to go out for supper, because my son was paying. Then, I found myself among sushi lovers and I was eating tempura and sampling deep fried tofu while dreaming of meat and potatoes,” Ed related with a big hint of disgust.
“My grandson and I had a big discussion about selling things I no longer need. I had a freezer and snow-blower I wanted to get rid of. I was talking yard sale or the Yorkton Auction Center. Rodney, who is an authority on everything, insisted I let him list it on Kijiji. I let him list them online to show him that you won’t sell anything in our town by listing it on Kijiji. The sad truth is that I bet him twenty dollars that they would never sell through this computer listing nonsense. The fool things were sold before I could say, ‘I told you it won’t work,’ a third time. I hope he felt guilty about taking my twenty dollars, since I’ve told him often enough how hard up I am. After he said that I should pay up my bet without squawking and be as good as my word, I went to the farm to talk to Rex about how I need to rewrite my favorite grandchild list,” Ed confessed.
Families, in my opinion, are about those folks we cannot live without and sometimes with. The best of times and the worst of times are experienced in families. The Bible says, “God sets the lonely in families.” It is in the context of families that the greatest lessons of life are learned. Love, respect, shared joy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control are the foundation of one’s personal life taught in the dynamics of family life. It is in our families that we learn the meaning of sacrificial love and the destructive power of hate. Nothing can teach patience and humility like family life.
It would seem that people today are generally less interested in maintaining family relationships. Yet, loneliness is greatest when we are intent on going our own way alone. Families provide the training ground for peace, and goodness as a life style for everyone. God cannot be mocked as He places us in families as a blessing. It is in our families that we learn and practice being good to each other in His name.