Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Traffic Jams by Konnie Enos

Since I live in a large city, traffic jams are a part of life. Getting anywhere means planning for extra travel time. Living in a large family can create similar situations in the home, especially if your home isn’t big.
In our house you have to look both ways before you enter the hallway to avoid the inevitability of being ran into by my daughter. I won’t say she is pacing because sometimes she skips and others she runs. You can see why it is important to check first.
There is also the eventuality of more than one person needing the bathroom at the same time. In our household it isn’t uncommon to hear someone yell (we have some hard of hearing family members), “There’s a line.”
This of course is to encourage whoever is in the bathroom to hurry up.
The one time I never really have much trouble getting use of the bathroom is at O’ dark thirty in the morning when I have to wake up my youngest so he can get ready for school. Most days we are the only two awake at that hour and I can generally get done in the bathroom before my son drags himself out of bed and finds himself some clean clothes to put on. In fact, he can take long enough doing just that, even on the days my youngest daughter is also up at that hour we both generally have time to use the facilities before he gets to the door.
This morning was one of the morning when my daughter would also be awake, and I knew this before I went to wake up my son. I did not however, stop at the bathroom first, which in hindsight I probably should have.
I went to wake my son up but he did not stir or respond to me any fashion before I headed back to my room. I was sure I’d be relying on the snooze feature to insure I went back to try waking him up again.
By the time I’d accomplished that much the bathroom was now occupied by said youngest daughter. I crawled back in bed to wait my turn.
A moment later said son come in looking for the clean laundry that never got put away yesterday, and he is not pleased he has to wait for his sister to get out of the bathroom before he can take his bath.
While he is waiting and looking for his clothes my other daughter wakes up. “Who’s in the bathroom?”
From my bed I moaned. “Your sister.” Then I yelled. “There’s a line.” Then I added. “There a veritable traffic jam.” Two people (my daughter and I) waiting to use the facilities and my son needing to get in the tub. While it’s not unheard of to get three people in line in this family, I can honestly say that’s the first time it happened so early in the morning.
Our next obstacle was getting said son in and out of the tub in under his usual half an hour because he no longer had that much time. Not if his brother and my youngest daughter were going to get ready for school on time. I had to tell him he didn’t have to wait for the tub to finish filling up before he started bathing.
Somehow we got through this morning. And by some miracle I didn’t run into any real traffic jams trying to get my kids where they needed to be.

Smile. Make the day a brighter day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Writing Every Day

“Write every day.” That’s advice I’ve heard in writing chats since the very first one I attended way back in 2000. For years I viewed the statement on the same lines as the one about outlining before writing — one big load of not for me.

Of course, way back then, writing every day wasn’t for me, because I don’t write on Sundays. I absolutely refuse to write on that sacred day. (In my church, we call it the Sabbath and there is after all the fourth commandment. Exodus 20:8 - 11)

Hey, I may not be to the point of earning money doing this, but writing is work, a lot of work. More importantly, it’s my work, so not on the Sabbath. Anyway, the adage didn’t work for me, until I realized one thing.

The advice isn’t about work ethic as much as it’s about keeping in the habit it’s about not waiting for the muse to hit, and just about being in your writing place ready to write at a certain time. 

Meaning it doesn’t have to be every day, if it works better for your schedule and lifestyle to write only every other day, than do it. If some days of the week it’s easier to write first thing in the morning while others, it’s easier to write later in the day than do it.

The point isn’t to write every day, it is to write CONSISTENTLY. It’s about forming a habit that will help the muse know when it’s a good time to catch you ready willing and able.

But even the best-laid plans can get sidetracked. Konnie would be able to present more examples of that, but then Konnie’s writing plans tend to get sidetracked on a daily basis. She has too many people living in her house wanting her attention and time, and none seem to realize how much of time they hog collectively.

Since I live alone, I don’t have as many distractions, and I have in fact gotten in the habit of writing every morning except Sunday. So much so that I have trouble changing the time of day I write.

If I can’t write during the hours between breakfast and lunch, I may not get any writing done that day, and Monday was one day when I wasn’t able to write at all, no time. Busy all day. Tuesday, I did manage to open my WIP up last night. I wrote one paragraph. That’s all.  

Sometimes life does just does that to all of us.

I know what obstacles Konnie faces every day. I can name all six of them. J  What kind of obstacles do the rest of you face? I’m guessing its family and friends, both of which got in my way this week, and all of which gets in Konnie’s way daily. So name who make its hard for you to write every day, and maybe let them know if it will help.

Happy writing everyone. J

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Family Ties

Look at a Norman Rockwell picture and you’ll see multigenerational families gathered together enjoying one another’s company, a big family meal to celebrate a birthday or a kid’s birth, or the occasional holiday.

I can remember some similar experiences growing up, spending time with extended family. But because of time and distance, my boys have little or no memory of such multigenerational gatherings and considering their complete lack of living grandparents and great grandparents, a difficult thing to do.

It leaves me wondering if families are even close like Rockwell depicted anymore.

How many families do you know where all the adult kids live within the same city? County? State? How many extended families do you know who gather more often than once a year to celebrate anything or spend time with aunts, uncles and cousins?

My mother’s siblings all live in the same state we all grew up in, but the last two times I know they all gathered in one place were for my mom’s and her mom’s funerals.

My father’s siblings also all live in the same state, and technically their grandfather’s family has a reunion every year in Idaho Falls, though I haven’t heard about for the last few years. And Great-Great Grandpa Westover’s descendants have a reunion every year on the family ranch. Though I’ve heard attendance is falling and I have only been once, when my girls were young, before the boys were born.

I have a general idea where all my aunts and uncles are, but my husband isn’t even sure all of his are alive. We found one within the last ten years, but the others we have no contact with.

I can remember someone taking a five generation picture shortly after my niece was born, with said niece, my sister, my mom, my maternal grandmother and my mom’s maternal grandfather. I’ve never had the opportunity to form such a picture. And considering my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, etc. are all dead, to form one now I’d have to be the great-grandparent in it. So I’ll probably in my 90’s.

My oldest son can’t tell me even how many kids two of my brothers have, let alone genders, or names. He barely knows how many kids my youngest brother has. I’m sure his brother is even more clueless.

I had ties to my grandparents and cousins growing up. I still have contact with some of them. I remember my grandparents. My kids are missing that.

My second oldest is delving into family history with a fervor, finding stories where she can about her ancestors. And maybe that’s why she does it, to feel the bond with her family she doesn’t have here on earth.

But how do I help my kids create those bonds with their cousins?

How do you give your kids close ties to their extended family when they don’t see them, don’t know them, have never met them? How do you give your kids the feeling of loving grandparents when their grandparents are all dead? How do you create bonds with cousins your kids never get to see?

I know I’m failing. I feel bad becauase my kids don’t have that kind of extended family.