One of my favorite stories to hear about has to do with family life on the farm years ago. I have heard several tales about farms in my own family’s past, as well as many from other family’s pasts. They all share the common thread of the importance of family.
We’ve all seen the old tv shows where multi-generations lived under one roof. While I’m sure it was not always easy having so many people live in one house, there were so many benefits to this. The older generation helped to care for the younger ones. Older children helped with looking after the younger children. The older generations were kept safe, at home, and cared for by younger family members. I’m sure there were many life lessons shared by all the generations living this way.
Birthdays, and holidays, were shared as an important day together. There would be a home cooked family meal, and a cake would be made – something that was not a daily occurrence at that time. The family would all gather, and while there may only be one or a few presents, there was great thought that went into these gifts. Often times they were hand made, and always something useful for the person’s needs/interests. The amount of presents wasn’t important, it was the amount of thought that went into it.
Skills were passed downed and shared from generation to generation. Whether it was how to fix something, or homemaking skills such as knitting, there was always more than one reason why these skills were shared. Yes it was important to help keep the skill alive by passing it along, but it also served as a way to help prepare the children to be able to take care of their own homes and families one day.
Some of my favorite stories involve hearing about the family gathering at the end of the day after dinner. Often times they would be in the same room, listening to someone read either from the Bible, or another book, or listening to the radio. The ladies would be working on mending or sewing, and the children would be there. I love this for many reasons, but one of them being the communication that would have gone on at this time with the family. No interruptions from cell phones, nobody was missing dinner due to a ball game, and no t.v. blaring. It truly was just a time of family enjoying the quiet time of the day, and sharing their thoughts while unwinding from another long day of farm work.
We all know life is busy today, but the importance of family is no less today than it was back then. I find there are lessons in looking back at family life past, that can be applied to family life today. I hope you will too, and will share them with your own family. Family is a beautiful thing.