Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There Something To Be Said About Communal Living

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." ~Henry Ford

Our current living conditions are a bit peculiar.  We sold our house and decided to build.  But we made the decision to build, after looking at so many houses for a year and a half, shortly AFTER we sold the house.  So, in the interim, we decided we would live at my mothers house and try to save a little money.  Great idea!  But then we found out that my baby sister and her husband decided to move in with mom for the same reason.  Who could blame them?  At first, we thought it was going to be a bit tight and we would have to be prepared for all types of new scenarios.  Let's be honest, most people would cringe just a bit. 

But, I am here to say that communal living is actually quite great!  The give and take of the household really frees up some extra time that I can devout to my baby at night.  I haven't cooked a meal on the weeknights since we moved in two months ago.  All thanks to our new and superior live-in chef Jan (my bro-in-law).  The man is a master in the kitchen.  What he lacks in cleaning and general kitchen maintanence skills, is overshadowed by is serioulsy excellent dishes.  And the man is on a fresh bread kick!  Not just the run of the mill white bread either.  We are talking rosemary and garlic bread, cheddar and garlic bread, round loves, long loaves, wheat and he just brought home a bread-making cookbook from the library...so I can't imagine what he will come up with next.  It has just be wonderful and thanks to him, I am able to play with Max a little bit more at night than I ever could before.

And let's not forget my sister, the tornado!  The girl can't stand clutter or messes.  She seems to think laundry is an enjoyable hobby!?  She is such a machine.  Even when Jeff and I try to do the clean up after diner, most nights she just whizzes past us with a dish rag in one hand while simultaneously loading the dishwasher.  She is something to behold.  Jeff and I try to focus on keeping the outdoor maintanence up to par and keeping the garbage, recycling and compost on a rotation out the door.  When they leave on weekends, we end up doing some cleaning and a little organizing so we can start the weeks fresh.

One thing we did not anticipate, is the fact that we love hanging out with them.  It's kind of nice having varing opinions and conversations on shows or in the case of the boys...football, baseball, basketball, etc.  Sometimes I just want to make them stay at home on the weekends and make them play games and drink with us cuz we don't get out much anymore these days!!  Plus, it is way more fun that going out to the bars these days anyway!  Poor kids...stuck with the crusty couple with no life anymore!!  I kid, I kid...sorta!

Anyway, the point being, I can really see why there was such a benefit to having large families and living so close together back in the day.  Sharing the burden of running a household or large farm or large garden is made so much easier with extra hands.  As they say, many hands make light work.  It allows people to take on the things that they excel at and enjoy the work they do all while being a productive member of a unit.  I am actually thankful for getting this time with my family.  It's been nice getting to really know my brother-in-law and seeing how in love my sister and he is.  It also great to see them with Max.  They love him so and Max loves them.  I am glad that they get to spend so much time with him as he is growing up and learning.  And it just cool to be able to be friends with my baby sister who I used to think was such a little pain...as how most sister relationships are when you are young.  She is an amazing woman and I am just so proud of her and all the talents she has. 

All in all, our living situation has been a blessing in disguise.  And I am thankful for the situation as it is.

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