As Mr. LB and I sat drinking our coffee and chatting as we do every morning,
I mentioned how different conversations were when I was growing up
as opposed to what we hear today.
This stemmed from the mentioning of visiting
some elderly out of state relatives.
My family is/was a bit different than Mr. LB's.
I not only knew all 4 of my grandparents, but also
my great-grandparents, great aunts and uncles,
cousins, second cousins and so on.
Birthdays, baptisms, graduations, etc. created scenes like we saw in
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
Anyone who would have seen my great-grandparents 50th
wedding anniversary would have laughed at how many people
we fit into one house and yard.
Like most folks of the time, my family was working class.
This branch of the family tree had a dairy.
When my grandfather left home,
he had a soup bowl, a blanket, and a clean shirt for Sundays.
They were workers.
Even though 'the kids' struck out in various directions,
they all worked.
This in itself is nothing unusual.
What is a bit unusual are the conversations I remember.
With ample opportunities to talk and discuss concerns,
the family was a community of its own -
just not a geographic one.
I remember them discussing politics and
like any normal kid would look elsewhere for entertainment.
The thing is, they didn't all agree.
But not agreeing didn't mean that one person was right or wrong.
That's why they were discussing it.
Unlike today, there was no hatred in the conversation.
Differences were just that - differences.
They could still care about and love one another in spite of the differences.
I wonder if that is still out there?
It sure isn't what is reported in the media.
The other thing I remember is the sharing of advise ~
(good or bad, who knows?)
Weather it was the best way to butcher rabbits, which variety of tomato plant produced best, or why a pick-up gear might be slipping, amongst that large of crew, someone was bound to know something.
Even conversations I never heard, I knew about in the way of ---
Uncle Joe said that door might work better if. . .
or Aunt Lee said she likes this cleaner (Aunt Lee kept an immaculate house.)
All this said isn't just to share family quirks,
but to bring to light the fact that I don't hear these kinds of conversations
much anymore- not never, just seldom.
There is so much slander, one-ups-manship, and sarcasm.
I miss "the old folks talking."
It was healthy for a youngster to hear how solutions were derived.
I'm not a brainiac or world genius, but I am a problem solver
and am pretty good at improvising or coming up with plan B (or C.)
I don't take credit for that.
I was taught by not only my parents, but a whole community of relatives
who each in their own way influenced me.
We do have a bit of a saving grace today with internet and blogs.
We can mention things like manure in the garden,
grease under the fingernails, or a sick critter and not get looked at
like we just sprouted a unicorn horn.
We can have a community of sorts.
The hard part is kids seeing the real life camaraderie,
and working together, and laughter that happens along the way.
If you live someplace that they do get this, they are indeed blessed.
No amount of schooling can replace that.
If you don't have it, look around, you'll find someone -
shoot, stop on by if you're in the neighborhood.
You're more than welcome to help can corn, split wood or whatever:)
And to all you someones out there, thank you.
Thank you for doing and sharing.
Believe it or not,
reading about pulling lambs and turning compost is a comfort to "hear."