My mother, aunt and uncle lost their mother to stomach cancer in 1958 their dad to a heart attack in 1960. So they were all married and starting to have kids. We all lived within a few miles of each other growing up, The three of them and us kids gathered for holidays,special occasions starting in 1958 after Grandma died. We still gather with spouses, kids, grand kids.....for Thanksgiving, Easter and the last Sunday in July summer picnic at the lake. 52 year tradition and most of us have never missed.
When their parents were both gone, my aunt was 18, my mom 23 (I was 5) and my uncle was 26.
Today my youngest 2nd cousin is 18, our son Derek is 23 and Darren will be 26! My parents, aunt and uncle were mere kids!
This morning we had a 5 way email going back and forth, my mom, my aunt, two of my closest cousins and myself.....talking about how old they were when their parents died, how kids today don't know much.......worry for trivia stuff..text messages...hair....ect Here is a part
My mom: Yes! We were young, but we knew how to dress a chicken and kill it first....cut the head off!, carry the water in and out, wash clothes with a wringer washer, iron the clothes...that we sewed first...put wood in the stove, carry out the ashes, empty the 'pot', bake bread (sorta), wash dishes in a dish pan, dry them with a towel
Now my writing (I will be 56, grew up on a small farm )
We grew up before Aids, terrorists, Dirty bombs, cell phone auto accidents, McJunk food, Remember if you were getting an important call you stayed home to get it, now its in your pocket. Or "hey be quick about it - its long distance." We use to have a 'party line" phone...different rings for us and 2 neighbors...back then others would "rubber" on the phone, quietly listen in,, We thought we knew more at 18-21..then our kids do---maybe so ah but maybe not. Our 3 kids "get it" to varying degrees.....Darren at almost 26 is the most mature acting and thinking.....I have to say the teen that gave us the most grief.....turned out to be the most interesting caring adult. He helps me alot......put up motion outside light, cut a hole in my barn wall with a tin snips then said It must be hard to put a window in by yourself,,,so let's put it in together. Can discuss religion, politics, $$ management, can fix any computer problem.....self taught --can build a computer from scratch, fix any car, instinctively knows what that "ping" is. He even understands me
One time Paula was gone to a funeral with her mom...Southern Minnesota.....I had birds that sold on Eggbid that late morning and the buyer wanted them shipped....I boxed them up and ...I was going to gently/carefully drive the pickup to Garfield. A big no-no I know (less than 20% vision and gave up my Driver's License 7 yrs ago (see the Last 7 years blog) . Darren happened to stop in. Gently asked where I was going/ I explained. He spoke with quiet confidence and looked me in the eye "We both know you can drive the pickup to Garfield. But I have time to drive you there. Let's do that. I agreed........one of the few persons who can soft shoe me without me resisting..........and he is my son.
A few months ago, we were sitting in the living room taking. Darren said I want you to know something. I have two dads.......my biological dad that I go to watch football and discuss car mechanic and you. You are way different "you get it" With you I can discuss feelings and emotions, laugh, relax and you have taught me a lot... [(sniffle) gheez, ah hucks] So when I say I'm going to my dad's...remember you are my dad too...
We needed new tires on the car..he said I buy them online.....Tire Rack.....He looked up the site, found what we needed.......I filled out the info and bank card........free shipping........we saved $100 over the in town price....then they sent us a $25 rebate. He took the car to the mechanic in Carlos... Darren did the work of switching the tires and balancing cost us $40 Darren lives in Carlos
Darren's mowing maintenance job at the City Cemetery had ended 2 weeks before. Darren needed a job...worried about it more than he let on...When he brought the car back he said I got charged $40 to switch the tires (I paid him) But next time it will be free he says with a grin........I ask why? Because the mechanic gave me a job.....the other guy isn't showing up.......I start tomorrow. Darren has never applied for a job, they just fall in his lap.......other people see what we see,,,,,,, The other day I thanked him for something he had done as he was leaving, and I said you're our guardian you know........he grinned "ya that works".
Paula works on Saturday Darren is coming to drive the pickup for me to get the smelly buck back home.
And yes he knows how I feel I have told him several times
We hear of people out there that they lose their jobs, housing ect, get real sick and have no one to turn to.. rather a foreign concept to us
I feel blessed to have an outstanding family of origin and extended family- an aunt and uncle who are like 2nd parents and cousins that are more like siblings. They gave and give me the tools to be a better man.