Sunday, June 11, 2006
Family.....what could be more wonderful and more frustrating than family? I have been lucky to be born in a family that, while by no means perfect, for the most part is wonderful. I spent a few hours with extended family yesterday, and I left with a feeling that I am blessed. My dad's family could only be called a clan. We constantly fight amongst ourselves, are loud, brash, and opinionated. However, if anyone "outside" tries to mess with any of us, we close ranks and demolish the opposition. I have such a hard time realizing that not everyone has this kind of foundation for their lives. I know people who barely speak to their parents, much less uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Not that I think they have to if it doesn't work for them, I just can't imagine how it would feel to be that alone. Independence is good, but I like my safety net of family. If I need gardening, canning, cooking, or homemaking advice I go to Grandma. My uncle can fix anything mechanical and can usually find a cheap and inventive way to use found, broken, or "waste" stuff to accomplish any number of tasks. My aunt is a whiz with decorating, party planning, organizational everything. Everyone is great at something different. It's like having a whole library of "how-to" books just a phone call away. And the best part is, if you send out a call for help they all descend like a flock of chattering birds, bearing the most wonderful gifts of food, advice, and hands willing to help. How can you do better than that? Well, somehow, I have. I also have a network of "honorary" family members. Friends who are my chosen family. There is the "uncle" who taught me to view the woods as a free buffet full of tasty fruits, nuts, and 'shrooms just ripe for the taking. The "grandma" who taught me to cook by feel, not science. The "uncle" who knows everything there is to know about building things and home repair. I am so lucky. I really think my close family is a dying breed. So many families see each other maybe twice a year and are content with that. Each member is on their own once they move out of their parent's house, making their own way in the world. I'm sure it makes for a very self-reliant individual, but I think it would be so lonely.
Posted by barefoot gardener at 11:47 AM